ASNMSU Spring Elections begin to take form

ASNMSU has kicked off a new election season that will decide Senate and Presidential seats for the student government.

Election packets for the Association began to be distributed this past Monday, January 22, to student that would like to be candidates for a specific position.

ASNMSU holds elections twice a year, during the fall and spring semesters. New Senate seats are up every spring given the staggered format of Senate terms, but the Presidential and Vice-Presidential seats are up for election each spring, including this year.

Students can become eligible candidates for office after filling out the election packets and receiving approval from the election board, which is a board that ensures the integrity of the elections and the candidates’ eligibility. 

ASNMSU’s Chief Elections Officer Nancy Mestre, whose job is to ensure a seamless process for prospective students, shared some tips for students interested in running.

“The earlier the better,” Mestre said regarding picking up and turning in the election packets. “It looks better and I can get the paperwork together easier” Mestre said about deadlines for packets.

Mestre also suggested reviewing the campaign rules and elections code, which she refers to as “the gospel” for her during election season.

For students interested in running for office, there are important dates listed in the election packets, including the packet submission deadline, the biography deadline, important meeting dates and election dates. Election packets are due at 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 9. Mestre warned the election board will not consider any late packets.

Among other qualifiers, the most evident that students will see for potential candidates will be in the form of signatures in order to put these people on the ballot.

This year, for Senate elections, there is a 25 student signature amount required from students within a potential candidate’s college. While for President and Vice-President, there is a 100 person amount needed for signatures, which can be from any college on campus. In both instances, ASNMSU suggests to have an extra 25 signatures on top of this requirement in case any names are deemed invalid.

The positions serving as Senators, Vice President, or President last a one year term.

These senatorial positions elected in the spring are unique because they are staggered with summer breaks between two semesters, according to ASNMSU President Kevin Prieto.

However, executive seats are different in that they also run through the summer. Presidential and Vice-Presidential positions officially begin for payroll purposes on May 15 of this year.

According to Prieto, the duties of President include lobbying in Santa Fe, chairing committees, and working closely with administration and faculty. Above all else, the President “represents the student body,” Prieto said.

Prieto, who served as Vice President of ASNMSU during the 2016-2017 school year, said the roles of Vice President include being president of the Senate and running the Legislative branch of the association, among other duties.

Senatorial seats are filled by students from each of the colleges, and the number of positions depend on the enrollment population of each college.

For this year’s election, available seats include one seat for the college of aces, five for arts and sciences, one for business, two for education, three for engineering, three for graduate, and one for the college of health and social services.

Being a Senator means being a “voice for the students,” Prieto said. They must represent their colleges, pass laws, and write legislation, he added.

Senators can be re-elected into office each year they attend the University, said Mestre. “As long as they’re [senators] a student they can keep re-running. Even if they go to grad school they can be a grad senator,” she said. As for the Executive positions, most elected officials are upper classmen or run for President after becoming Vice-President so term limits rarely apply.

Despite the option to run multiple times, Mestre expects a lot of new faces this election. According to her, there is only one sitting senator thus far who is planning to run again.

Mestre summed up the upcoming election in one word: Fast. “Right now we’re working on T-shirt designs, we’re working on a new logo, posters, and planning the Presidential debate,” she said, “right now we’re just working out the logistics.” The Presidential debate is set for Feb. 28.

Students who are planning to run for positions can pick up election packets in the ASNMSU office located on the second floor of the Corbett Center Student Union Building, or can print a copy on ASNMSU’s website.







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