CSUN Election Season Begins

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The Consolidated Students of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (CSUN) election season has begun. Candidates filed for entry to the executive election last month between Feb. 8 and Feb. 22. Leaving the campaign season to take place throughout March and April.

The election will be held on April 13. According to the election rules, CSUN’s 53rd Executive Board will be decided when the polls close on April 13. Voting in this election is open to all enrolled undergraduate students and the polls will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. by the Student Union. According to the rules, the location may vary but there will be one polling booth available “inside the Student Union building on the first floor OR outside the building near the Plaza.” 

In the coming months, there will be multiple opportunities for students to be involved in the school governance process. According to the CSUN election resources site, “The Primary Election is held on the second consecutive Wednesday and Thursday of classes in March and the General Election is held on the second consecutive Wednesday and Thursday of classes in April.”

CSUN represents a unique opportunity for students to be involved with and observe the way local student government operates. With the election of a new executive board students are offered specific insight into the way their student government will be run and where certain priorities interact with opportunities for action. 

The CSUN executive branch includes the positions currently being campaigned for are student body president, vice president, and senate president. This branch also includes the positions of attorney general and chief of staff all of which oversee general function areas of CSUN Senate meetings and Senate subcommittee governance.

The structure of CSUN is divided into 3 branches, not dissimilar to the United States government system: executive, legislative, and judicial. The executive branch is designated as the overseer of all CSUN activities including lobbying trips, coalition forming, and academic/research collaborations. The legislative branch consists of standing Senate subcommittees, as well as a regular meeting of 25 senators from across the university’s 9 colleges. The CSUN judicial branch is composed of 9 justices, including the Chief Justice and Associate Chief Justice, which are appointed by the CSUN executive and confirmed by the Senate.

The CSUN legislative branch has four standing committees that control campus initiatives, these include Internal Affairs, University Initiatives Committee, Scholarships and Grants Committee and the Ways and Means Committee. With senate elections happening each fall semester, this executive election allows students the liberty to express their concerns for campus issues to those actively campaigning for this local office. These are the officials who will have ultimate oversight over all CSUN activities for the following year.

As the election season begins, students can expect to see campaigning in designated areas across campus. Tickets will be seeking endorsements from Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) and other school assemblies as students and candidates alike look to clarify the issues most important to them for the upcoming academic and legislative term. 

Both tickets have created platforms on social media and are currently seeking student input and requests for ideas. Linktree directories in each ticket’s respective Instagram biography can put students in contact with candidates to express concerns for campus or issues they would like to see uplifted by their student representatives. 

The first ticket in this election is Empow3red. The ticket is made up of Makayla Franklin for student body president, Morgan Dunbar for student body vice president, and Samara Woolfolk for student body senate president. In their biography, Empow3red establishes their campaign as “Your new path for change,” including notions of “Inclusivity, Accessibility, and Connection.” 

Early campaigning for the Empow3red ticket consisted of discussing student safety, as well as diversity and equity. According to an Instagram post, the campaign is supporting the implementation of walking groups, as well as safety bags to provide resources to students who may feel unsafe on campus. In addition, the post continued to emphasize the focus on the connection between students in CSUN and the connections made with others across campus. Creating spaces for these interactions and avenues for concern are encouraged in alignment with greater campus connection and problem-solving abilities. 

The next ticket running for CSUN executive is called UNLV HOPE. The ticket comprises Zachary Johnigan for student body president, Mateo Portelli  for student body vice president, and John Toledo for student body senate president. According to the ticket’s biography, they aim to “reform campus parking, ease financial burdens, and strengthen student services.” 

As early campaigning has taken place primarily across social media, the ticket clarified how they plan to reform campus parking. The first area of this response includes the implementation of red and green light sensors that will save students time looking for parking. Additionally, the ticket plans to enter a “dialogue with parking services to negotiate parking prices down, and to make it more clear which lots are full.” Finally, the ticket called for structural reforms that would prevent seniors being blocked from graduating because of unpaid or late parking tickets.

Both tickets present a complete introduction to themselves and each of the candidates’ individual academic and professional backgrounds on their respective ticket pages. Student government, as both tickets mention, creates an opportunity for connections that span across campus and can bring all students into the decision-making process that impacts the academic careers of all enrolled individuals.

The CSUN campaigning period is an annual opportunity for students and organizations alike to be involved in UNLV’s local academic political community. As the election period continues, the Free Press will continue its coverage of CSUN Student Government and provide weekly election updates. 

At the time of publishing this story, the Free Press was unable to confirm with the CSUN office if these were the only tickets running in the executive election due to CSUN not responding to several official email verification requests. 

Both Tickets can be found on Instagram. 

Empow3red can be found: @empow3red53 

HOPE can be found: @unlvhope

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