Student participation lacking in ASASUD’s elections

Lack of participation in student government elections is noticeable on each campus this year, but the Downtown government is struggling most to boost student involvement.

Only four of the Downtown campus’ 12 open seats have candidates on the ballot, and only one student is set to run for president.

If the government’s eight seats remain empty, next semester’s president will appoint students to positions based on an application process that would be conducted in the fall.

Applications for ballot candidates closed Monday, but write-in applications will be accepted through March 30.

Downtown student government President Christian Vasquez said the lack of senate applicants could be because of the presence of only one presidential candidate.  He said usually two presidential candidates encourage people to run for senate, and then those senate candidates contribute to the presidential campaigns.

“Historically, executive tickets tend to encourage more senatorial candidates to run,” Vasquez said.

Downtown government spokeswoman Beth Wischnia said an ongoing negative conversation surrounding ASASUD on the The Downtown Devil’s website — the campus’ student-run news organization — could have contributed to students’ disinterest.

“Due to negative press people may have been less inclined to get involved in ASASUD,” Wischnia said.

Wischnia said she hoped people who have expressed frustration with student government would get involved.

Vasquez said he expected the people expressing strong opinions on The Downtown Devil to run in the election.

The West, Tempe and Polytechnic undergraduate governments each have two candidates for president. Eleven candidates from West are running unopposed and five seats remain unclaimed. The Polytechnic campus government received applications for all 12 seats, but only after extending the deadline to apply.

To encourage more applicants, the West campus deadline has been extended to April 1. If the seats are not filled, the elected president will appoint senators in the fall.

The elections committee at Polytechnic extended application deadline to Friday.

Reach the reporter at mary.shinn@asu.edu