ASASU election campaigns rescheduled due to coronavirus

Campaigning will now begin March 30 as the University transitions to online instruction

Campaigning for the 2020 Associated Students of ASU election will now begin on March 30 and will continue until April 15.

All campaigning and events will be held online to ensure safety while the coronavirus remains a public health concern. Voting will also be held entirely online on April 14 and April 15.

ASASU includes the Undergraduate Student Governments for all four campuses and the Graduate and Professional Students Association

This follows the University's decision to move classes online and encourage students to move off-campus as a way to limit the spread of COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus.

Carla Naranjo, the elections commissioner for ASASU, said the election commission's marketing plan already had an online component to it, and they are currently working to expand to make up for the lack of face-to-face engagement.

"We are trying to move elections as efficiently as possible, while still being able to make students aware elections are happening," Naranjo said. "We want to make sure this is still an aspect of student life that they feel like they can be involved in."

Naranjo said it is now up to candidates to decide how they'll utilize the internet to promote their campaigns.

USG West President Tony Camisi, a senior studying management, recommended candidates use this as an opportunity to strengthen their online profiles and spread their messages effectively. 

"(Candidates should be) making sure to utilize social media, maybe even having zoom calls," Camisi said. "Having students (join a zoom call) and those candidates can talk about their message and what they wanna do for next year."

Naranjo said she can see a silver lining in campaigning under the University's current circumstance.  

"It'll kind of pull students back into their Sun Devil community and be able to help them still feel like they're connected on campus, even if they're not there physically," Naranjo said. 

Camisi said on-campus students have been a big help to elections and with many students moving out, USGW has been looking for ways to keep them involved.

"We really want to focus our efforts on pushing the narrative online," Camisi said. "To remind students that they need to vote and why it's important to be involved in the election on all four campuses." 

USG Downtown President Yasmin Alvarado, a senior studying public service and public policy, said while it may be difficult to stay engaged with the student body online, USGD will also be utilizing social media to maintain a connection while it brainstorms new ideas. 

"Whether it be a town hall or a debate that we can do over zoom, we're trying to figure out ways we can still engage students, which is going to be difficult," Alvarado said. "But it will be a learning opportunity for all of us."

Elizabeth Rosenkrantz, assistant director for ASASU, said she has kept in touch with student leaders while they figure out ideas to engage the ASU community. 

"I have really enjoyed hearing the positive and creative ideas that (student leaders) are thinking about, not only in engagement efforts but student support efforts," Rosenkrantz said. 

Rosenkrantz stressed the importance of students following the election, whether they live on or off campus. 

"Voting in the ASASU elections and participating in the campaign season is a great way to stay connected to fellow Sun Devils and the ASU community," Rosenkrantz said. "Please know your elected leaders are here for you."

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