California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    ASCLUG Elections: Was There Enough Time?

    The annual Associated Students of California Lutheran University Government executive cabinet elections took place on Feb. 10 and 11.  I had just heard who the candidates were and suddenly it was time to vote.

    The interest meeting for the ASCLUG elections took place on Feb. 3 and campaigns began later that day, Daniel Lacey, Senate director-elect said.

    It seemed that there was little time between then for students interested in the President, Programs Board Director, and Senate Director positions to decide whether or not they wanted to run.

    “You’re crunched for time because this creeps up on you really fast.  You need to know pretty well in advance if you’re going to run or not so you could prepare,” Lacey said.

    There are four types of marketing strategies allowed for campaigning: paper marketing, social media events, door-to-door, and campaign videos, which were brand new this year, according to Christina Sharkey, presidential candidate in this week’s runoff election.

    The way to run a successful campaign for any of these positions is to know ahead of time,  that way the candidates use the week from the interest meeting to the election to put up posters, create Facebook events, post videos and knock on doors in the residence halls.

    “As far as the marketing period, a week before the election, I think that was great timing-wise just because if you have it any longer its going be, like, grueling,” Amber Trujillo, Programs Board Director-elect said.

    Any longer and students probably would have forgotten about the election.

    The fact remains while there is enough time to start and run a campaign in a week, there is not enough time between the interest meeting and the election to decide to run.

    “I feel like the info meeting is more so to just get your materials and the roles of the campaign, not necessarily interest on the position,” Evan Carthen, presidential candidate said.

    Carthen, Lacey, Sharkey and Trujillo all decided they were going to run before the spring semester began.  Because they knew ahead of time, they had more preparation time than if they were to wait until the Feb. 3 interest meeting.

    “I had kind of started filming a video before I started doing my Beyoncé-inspired campaign video about a week and a half before it was due,” Trujillo said.

    In order to run a decent campaign, candidates need to know well in advance if they want to run and for which position.  In the current model there is an information meeting the day campaigning begins, with the meeting itself consisting primarily of campaign rules, according to Trujillo.

    With this setup, the candidates themselves may have questions about running.  If the candidates are not well informed, the student body is going to have trouble making a decision.  The amount of votes cast is already very low, according to Sharkey.

    “The number of participation is fairly low so they’re trying to get it up,” Sharkey said.

    It would be much more beneficial to have two information sessions for potential candidates.  Instead of one session to outline the rules of campaigning, there should be one to describe the jobs of each of the elected positions in more detail which would take place earlier in the semester.

    “I feel like maybe having a separate meeting to kind of go over the positions instead of giving just, like, this huge, long packet for everyone to read would have been a little bit better,” Trujillo said.

    Carthen agrees another meeting would be beneficial for those who are on the fence about running for Executive Cabinet but also encourages all interested students to “take advantage of the Executive Cabinet as a resource.”

    The elected positions handle a great deal of business that flies under the radar of the majority of the student body.  While all the candidates have been a part of ASCLUG for multiple semesters, these positions take on more work than that of a regular senator or Programs Board member.  Having a primary meeting with the current Executive Cabinet may help guide those who may be on the fence about a bid for one of those positions.

    The elections affect not only the candidates but also every student at Cal Lutheran.  Well-informed candidates lead to well-informed voter turnout.

    Katrina Petty
    Staff Writer
    Published February 18th, 2015