Fall Senate Elections Conclude Friday, Oct. 16
Associated Students of the University of Puget Sound (ASUPS) Senate fall elections concluded on Friday, Oct. 16 and hopes are high among senators that the elections will help give ASUPS a larger presence on the University’s campus.
“Senate meets every Tuesday and Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Murray Boardroom to approve legislation, distribute your student government fee, and represent your voice in campus matters,” ASUPS President Nakisha Renee Jones said in an email about the elections.
Half of the Senate positions were up for election, including two Senator at-Large seats, one First-Year Senator seat, one Residence Hall Senator seat, one Residence House Senator seat, one Greek Senator seat and one Off-Campus Senator seat. The Greek, On-Campus House and Residence Hall Senators were all to be elected via write-in votes, as well as one Senator-at-Large position because no one chose to run on the ballot for these seats.
All students were eligible to vote, including seniors.
“Getting involved with Senate is important, because that’s where your student money goes—if you’re looking for money for programming, that’s where it comes from,” Senate Chair Kaitlyn Vallance said. “Senate is also a really small electoral body of only 16 senators, so people really do need to vote and get involved, because we can’t know everything everyone wants without that input.”
Vallance would like to expand Senate to more than 16 senators to improve representation, which will not be possible unless people express interest in ASUPS. “We can’t expand unless people run and vote,” Vallance said.
“I really want us to be a place of advocacy, not just a place for funding and approving clubs,” she said. Vallance also hopes to see ASUPS senators more involved with their clubs. “Ideally, senators will be more involved with their clubs, visiting them and helping them to manage their budget, and rooting for them, so that when budget time comes around they have someone in their corner.”
Senators often express the most interest in campus events right around elections, which is something that Vallance hopes will change in the next year. She is hopeful that ASUPS will also be more visible on campus in the coming year.
“I want us to be proactive, not reactive—hopefully with more visible Café hours and advertising open forums more we can do that,” Vallance said.
According to the ASUPS bylaws, one must be a full-time student and have a GPA of 2.00 or higher, unless they are a first-semester first year, to run for Senate. They also must fill out “vote of confidence” forms and have them signed by other students to have their candidacy recognized. In addition, candidates may only spend $50 while campaigning. A violation of those guidelines may result in the candidate’s removal from elections.
Editor’s note: The original article stated the wrong date for the conclusion of ASUPS Fall Senate elections. This has been corrected.