Monday, April 11, was the kick-off for the Associated Students of Western Oregon University (ASWOU) campaign week on campus. It is the week that students running for ASWOU office positions get to actively campaign for students’ votes. So I sat down with ASWOU Judicial Administrator Janesa Ross for more information regarding the elections and voting process.
Ross explained that every student running for office has turned in an ASWOU application which contains three essays, as well as some of their own personal stances and opinions. Students who applied could only run for one office, so they had to strategically narrow down which position they thought they would be most effective in. Those running for office have only one week to actively present themselves and their stances to the student body, then voting officially begins. Once elected, new ASWOU members (other than the president) begin their position in fall 2016 and carry out their term until dead week of 2017.
Why WOU students should vote
“It’s just like any other political election . . . you’re picking who’s fighting for you,” Ross said. “We talk to administration, legislatures, anyone who deals with student rights, about anything that affects students – including tuition. . . on behalf of all the students at Western.”
So basically, if you want an officer who fights for issues that affect you, and deals with subjects you’re passionate about, make sure you vote for whichever candidate best represents your stances, and who will carry out actions you agree with.
Usually only 10 percent of WOU students vote on ASWOU office positions, which means 90% of our demographic isn’t being adequately represented. So if you want to see positive changes in your school, make sure you get active in the election process – every voice matters.
Measures students can expect to see on the 2017 ballot
“This year our senate hasn’t written any constitutional measures,” Ross explained. “So . . . we will not be having any [bills].”
This means ASWOU elections will be the only chance students have to vote and express their personal views on campus issues this year.
How students can get more information on the election
On OrgSync there is an elections portal where the candidates’ essays and photos will be posted in order for the student body to get to know them better. Candidates also have the option of posting their personal emails so students can contact them with more questions. This year ASWOU says they are working hard on a line of communication between the candidates and WOU students.
How do students vote?
Students can log onto their portal and click the OrgSync button at the top right. On the front of the new page there will be a voting banner students click on that takes you to the question form.
“Make sure you push ‘Finish,’” Ross urged. “A lot of people just push save and exit,” which will not submit your votes.
Pulling stations and tabling will be going on at the ASWOU table in the WUC, out on the plaza outside of the WUC, and in Valsetz around dinner time. They will also have flyers with QR codes that take students directly to the voting form.
Voting opens Monday, April 18 at 8 a.m., and is open until Friday, April 22, or until they have 10 percent of the student body’s vote. When polls are open, students can submit their votes any time, night or day.
There are plenty of sources for information regarding ASWOU around campus and online. Now that students know a little bit more about deadlines and the voting process, they are highly encouraged to participate in upcoming election events and to get their voice heard. Remember Wolves, the only “wrong” vote is one not made. Consider contacting ASWOU themselves if you have anymore questions.