Campus-wide campaigning begins with announcement of candidates for various posts

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Illustration by Dannielle LaMonte.

With campus-wide elections only two weeks away, students can expect to see flyers, campaigning tables and events on campus for various contested positions.

Campaigning begins today for Student Government, Texas Student Media, University Unions Board & Student Events Center, the University Co-op and Graduate Student Assembly. Students can vote online for campus elections from 8 a.m. on Feb. 27 to 5 p.m. on Feb. 28, and the results will be announced on the Main Mall at 6:30 p.m. on the final day of voting.

Candidates are allowed to register their campaign as a student organization and can provide platform information at tables on the West Mall or Gregory Plaza until elections.

Ryan Lutz, aerospace engineering senior and Election Supervisory Board vice-chairman, said with the several campaigns trying to interest voters, students should look to news sources and the candidate debate to clarify candidate platforms.

“The average student should really be looking for outlets that streamline the crazy amount of information that will be coming at them the next couple weeks,” Lutz said. “When it comes to the executive alliance, they run full campaigns. This includes gathering supporters and really trying to reach out to as many people as possible. You’ll see that the executive alliances will have events where passersby can stop by to see what their platform is.”

The five pairs of candidates for Student Government Executive Alliance are Horacio Villarreal and Michael Ugeo Williams, Ryan Shingledecker and Maddie Fogel, Connie Tao and Ryan Upchurch, Chris Gilman and Alison Stoos and Sandra Kemunto Ogenche and Justin Shank. 

Executive alliance candidates have a fixed campaign expense limit of $1,000 and are required to disclose their expenses twice before elections. 

Wills Brown, Student Government vice-president, said students should consider what the candidates want to accomplish during their term. Previous student government initiatives include the addition of pools to Gregory Gym, implementing dead days before final exams, creating an E-Bus campus shuttle service and offering 24-hour access to the Perry-Castaneda Library on weekdays.

“During campaigning it’s important to get to know the candidates and the issues they support,” Brown said. “Make sure you take a look at all the platforms and take into consideration what initiatives will help the student body as a whole and move this university in the right direction.”

Soncia Reagins-Lilly, senior associate vice president and dean of students, said students should take campus elections seriously because those elected will have the power to impact the University over the next year.

“This is the students’ opportunity to have a voice because the student government on campus has the power to influence policy, programs and the real core issues on the 40 Acres,” Reagins-Lilly said. “They play a pivotal role and that should matter to the students they serve. They are there to serve the students and better their educational experience.”

Published on February 13, 2013 as "Candidates gear up".

This article was clarified after its original posting to say that it is executive alliance candidates that have $1,000 campaign limits.