For the first time 20 years, the Associated Students of the University of Nevada president and vice president offices will both be held by female students. Another nine females and a gender-neutral candidate won seats at the Senate table for their respective colleges.
Hannah Jackson and Carissa Bradley — president and vice president-elect, respectively — won the 2018 ASUN presidential election on Thursday, March 15. Their historic win, however, was not unprecedented as they ran unopposed for both positions.
“I think I’d have to say that Hannah and Carissa taking over ASUN is a step in the right direction that ASUN needed for a couple of years. Being the first two women to ever take over this office is not only historic but it’s progressive,” said current ASUN President Noah Teixeira. “Just seeing a vision of the future and understanding what they see for the association over the next couple of years is incredible. I think that candidates come along and ASUN officers like come along every now and again and they sometimes don’t always get the opportunities they need to make such a historic impact, but I think both of them have the positions now to make such a large impact the association and the student that we’re going to be seeing an incredible ASUN over the next couple of years.”
The last all-female president and vice president duo were Amber Joiner and Charlotte Mausolf in the 1998 ASUN election.
Women will hold 45 percent of the Senate seats that were filled in Thursday’s election — but Interdisciplinary Programs’ two seats were not filled as there were not any candidates running.
It was also a historic election for voter turnout. In the past two elections, turnout has been low among the student body with only 13 percent voting in 2016 and 22 percent in 2017. ASUN surpassed its goal of 25 percent voter turnout for the 2018 election with 28.1 percent of the student body voting.
“When we knew we were running unopposed, one of the big things that we wanted to do was reframe our campaign to just get people to vote in general,” Jackson said. “We’re so happy and excited we did reach our goal.”
Courtney Kinsella, the ASUN elections chair, said turnout was higher than expected because of Jackson and Bradley’s efforts.
“It was so high because of initiatives put on by Hannah and Carissa, like ElectHer,” Kinsella said. “I think it brought a lot of attention to elections. It brought attention to how important it is to vote.”
ElectHer was spearheaded by Jackson and Bradley after data from past elections showed a decrease in female participation.
“This has been a national issue, but also an issue on our campus of not having very many women run for office and also be elected into office, so we wanted to find a way to kind of address that and we think this is program is a really great fit,” Jackson said to The Nevada Sagebrush in October.
The national workshop prepares and encourages women to run for elected office at their schools in hopes they will pursue elected seats outside of college. Out of the 13 female candidates that ran for office in the 2018 election, 7 attended the ElectHer workshop.
“I’m just really emotional because we’ve done ElectHer and that was really to increase the representation of women going into office,” Bradley said after she found out about the election results.
The list of winning candidates are below.
College of Business
College of Education
College of Engineering
Division of Health Sciences
Reynolds School of Journalism
College of Liberal Arts
College of Science
Interdisciplinary Programs did not have candidates running in the election for their two seats.
Madeline Purdue can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @madelinepurdue.
Correction: It was previously stated that Jackson and Bradley were the first all-female duo to be elected to ASUN’s high office.