By Courtney Sims |Copy Editor|
With problems such as a lack of university involvement, campaign funding and endless red tape, the ASI elections are not able to meet their purpose.
ASI candidates are forced to obey strict rules handed down by the Board of Directors, if any candidate is in violation of the rules and or bylaws, they will be stripped of their candidacy.
It seems to me ASI has stricter rules when it comes to running for a position in office than our country’s politicians.
Candidates are given only one week to campaign for the election. Presidential candidate James Walker finds this rule to be most annoying.
“In my opinion there is too much regulation on what candidates can and cannot do, and how they can campaign. It has become a bureaucratic nightmare to obey all of the rules, and make sure that you don’t incur violations,” said Walker.
I agree with Walker; one week is hardly enough time to make an informed decision based on brief campaign trails, which seem to only extend from UH to the SMSU.
Students need the university to become more involved with the ASI elections, the lack of support can be seen from miles away.
Another presidential candidate Samira Haidarnia feels that the lack of support sets a poor example for the students.
“If the school played a larger role in the process, more positions would compete, thus make a more exciting race which would then intrigue more students to participate.”
Because each candidate receives a $300 dollar credit towards their campaign, this puts them all on an “equal” playing field.
I propose the idea of students funding the nominees. I know it may seem reprehensible, but the students are the ones that truly win elections, not those who run for them.
Haidarnia expressed a similar notion.
“My gains are the student’s gains. It’s not about me or what I will gain, it’s more about what I can offer the CSUSB students. People associate leader with power, but I see the president as a servant to the students where their needs are first and the president’s needs come last. If anything, I hope to gain happiness and satisfaction with myself to know that I am helping my peers by using my great skills to lead them to success,” said Haidarnia.
But candidate Michel’le Jones said she feels money only benefits the student with deep wallets, and taints the real reason behind campaigns. “Money, shouldn’t be an issue. Whoever has the best model and the best solution should win. It should come down to how effective your ideas are, not the shiny posters. It’s ultimately about reaching the students,” said Jones.
With such a focus on who can run the best campaign, rather than student issues and positions of the candidates, it’s becoming less likely that students will get what the ASI presidential elections should really be about: choosing a leader who has students’ best interest in mind.
Voting takes place on May 2–3.