Ryan Chartrand

Students who want to make a difference on campus will have an opportunity tonight to learn more about one of the most direct ways to bring about change.

Associated Students Inc. will host prospective candidate meetings for the ASI general election tonight and tomorrow from 6 to 7 p.m. in the University Union, in rooms 218 and 219, respectively. The meetings will cover the details of campaigning on campus and the responsibilities of elected officials for any interested students.

“ASI is one of many vehicles for change on campus, but it is one of the better ways,” said mechanical engineering senior and chair of the ASI Board of Directors Tony Guntermann.

There are 26 available board positions made up of representatives from the colleges of liberal arts, engineering, agriculture, business, architecture, science and math.

The president is the student representative to the top administrators on campus, and the board focuses on issues that affect students, such as making the campus safer and more sustainable.

Guntermann also noted that it was a great way to develop leadership and build personal relationships.

With only a “handful of incumbents” returning next year, there are plenty of open positions. Any student can run regardless of their year, experience or current involvement.

“There are lots of graduating seniors, so there is room for fresh ideas from excited students who want change,” said Angela Kramer, a political science junior and a member of the board from theCollege of Liberal Arts.

To run, students must return the application packet that can be picked up in the ASI offices in the UU, as well as pay a $50 and $100 filling fee for the board and president positions, respectively, to make sure candidates are serious. Applications are due by March 7 and the election will be held May 7 and 8.

The general election, along with the Rec Center referendum next week, will be held electronically for the second year, but a change of format will allow students to vote from any location with Internet access.

To vote, students will have to log into their my.calpoly.edu portal to access the voting channel. Using my.calpoly.edu assures that only Cal Poly students are voting, but casting a ballot will still be anonymous.

Without the outsourced public polling places used last year, ASI was able to save money while also increasing the convenience for students, in the hopes that voter turnout will increase.

Only 22.5 percent of students voted in last year’s presidential election when ASI contracted Information Technology Services to set up six polling locations on campus.

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