Tempe Undergraduate Student Government presidential candidates Emily McCaleb and Cassidy Possehl have begun their two-day special campaign after a surprise runoff between the two was announced Friday.
Neither candidate received a majority of 50 percent plus one vote, and now the candidates will start at zero votes. The special election will begin at midnight Wednesday and run for 24 hours.
Possehl said the first two weeks of campaigning went great for her ticket and she was happy with the large response of students who turned out to vote.
“We had a lot of people outreach to us on Facebook, in email or coming up to us on campus and asking us questions,” Possehl said. “All of those things were really encouraging to us and watching our team grow every day has been exciting.”
Creating relationships with students and organizations was a high point for the McCaleb ticket during the first campaign session.
“We were able to meet a lot of students during the first round of campaigning and made a lot of great relationships with different groups that we want to continue, not just through the second round of campaigning but through our term if elected,” she said.
The Possehl ticket received a higher percentage of the vote the first time around, but she said she realizes that a lot of work needs to be done since both candidates now have to start over.
“We were very lucky to get a higher percentage than the McCaleb ticket, and I think that gives us an advantage heading into the next election,” Possehl said. “Since we both are starting back at zero, we realize we need to reach out to some of the untouched population, international students, smaller clubs, sports clubs and different teams.”
The Possehl ticket will be out in full force campaigning during the runoff session, and Possehl said the biggest part will be being on campus.
“We are going to be tabling again like we did during the first campaign and we will be on campus all day, every day, reaching out to students and getting them involved,” she said.
McCaleb said the focus during the short runoff period will be listening to students and hearing their needs.
“Its not a huge amount of time to change strategy or tactics, but we feel the way we have been running our campaign, which has been (in a) very clean and positive way, has worked extremely well,” McCaleb said. “We’ve been able to listen to a lot of students and get their feedback so we are constantly improving and that is what we are focused on right now.”
Breaking the Mold
The idea of being the first female president in six years at the Tempe campus is something Possehl and McCaleb said they will have pride in if elected.
“It would be a phenomenal opportunity,” Possehl said. “I have spent a large part of my life in what you would call the feminist movement, and I believe in strong women, very willed women and women who believe they can hold any position a man can hold if not even better.”
McCaleb expressed that she would also be honored with the position and looks forward to being a role model if elected.
“I would definitely be honored to be a female in a leadership position, and I think it is something that is really important,” McCaleb said. “I think being a role model for women comes with the leadership role, but I don’t think it would be better or worse than a man, but it would be great if we are elected.”
The Possehl and McCaleb tickets have a wide range of experience in student organizations and advocating for students, and both said the vice presidents will be a large part of their administration.
Possehl said experience is not just working in USG and that her vice presidents have a wide area of expertise.
“The Vice President of Policy and Vice President of Services positions are not just about learning in USG how to be a staff member,” she said. “It is about real-world experience, which we all have.”
Working as a team is important for McCaleb, and that is how they have been working the entire campaign season, she said.
“We are a team,” McCaleb said. “That is how we work behind the scenes, and that is how we work for the students. We all have different areas of expertise and bring something different to the table so that has been really great having my vice presidents there.”
Voting for the runoff election will take place through myASU on Wednesday starting at midnight and will run for 24 hours.
Reach the reporter at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @joey_hancock