The Associated Student of the University of Nevada opened applications for student government candidacy on Monday, Jan. 20. The application closes on Friday, Jan. 30.
In order to qualify for an elected position, students must have a 2.75 cumulative GPA, enrolled in a minimum of seven undergraduate credits, must be able to meet for Senate meetings on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m.
Presidential candidates need to have completed 60 undergraduate credits and membership in ASUN for two consecutive semesters and vice-presidential candidates need to have completed 45 undergrad credits and membership in the ASUN for two consecutive semesters. All candidates must submit a deposit of $50.
The candidates must attend a mandatory meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 4. After the meeting, candidates will be able to campaign for themselves and participate in the debates throughout February and March.
“Each debate will have a moderator from the university’s administration,” said the Director of Elections Jakayla Hall said in an email to the Nevada Sagebrush. “Candidates will be asked questions pertaining to the office that they are running for.
Hall said each debate will have different questions and candidates will only debate amongst others running for the same position. Hall added how guests in the audience will have an opportunity to ask their questions at the end.
“This is usually a great opportunity for students to figure out who they want to vote for,” Hall said.
The presidential candidate will have a maximum budget of $500, the vice-presidential candidate will have a maximum budget of $400 and senate candidates will have a maximum budget of $200. Campaign donations are allowed consisting of items or service, but no candidate can accept any donations from any political or nonpolitical affiliated organization or non-profit who do not make their donations available to other political viewpoints.
The primary election will be held on Wednesday, March 11, at 8 a.m. Students will be able to vote for senators within their college and presidential and vice-presidential candidates.
Hall said according to the last four election cycles between 2016 to 2019, there is an average of 47 students who run each year.
Last year, ASUN saw a voter turnout of 16 percent, a drop from the 28 percent voter turnout in 2018 and the 22 percent in 2017.
ASUN found the general undergraduate population will more likely vote if they identified as female, live on campus, and was a junior or younger. They also found they were most likely to have a job on campus, a higher GPA and a higher credit load.
“This university has about 18,000 undergraduate students, which means less than 1 percent of our students run for elected positions,” Hall said in an email to the Nevada Sagebrush.
Hall said she cannot think of one student who believes the university is absolutely perfect.
“Most students complain about things and talk about what they would like to see done amongst a small group of friends, then those potentially great ideas die within that circle,” Hall said. “If students would like to see something done differently, they should probably be the one to make that change.”
Hall believes running for student government gives students a place at the decision-making table and they’ll have the platform to implement change. She stated that if the same people continue to stay in office, nothing will change.
Tori Supple, a senator for the College of Liberal Arts said campaigning and being a senator was a fantastic way to be involved with campus life. She said if she had not been a senator, there would be a lot she did not know about.
“There’s a bare minimum a senator can do—but to accomplish the goals you made, there has to be a lot of time and effort put into senate,” Supple said in an email to the Nevada Sagebrush. “Everyone can tell when there’s a lot of hard work put into legislation, so making sure you can manage your time to reach your goals is difficult to do, but at the same time, it’s so rewarding bringing your goals to fruition.”
Taylor Johnson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @taylorkendyll.