Voting time is here. | Courtesy of ASI | Mustang News

“Make your Mark” is the 2016 election theme for Associated Students, Inc. (ASI).

The first deadline is coming up this week. All students must submit applications for candidacy, or candidate packets for either ASI President or ASI Board of Directors by Friday, Feb. 26 at 4 p.m.

Candidate packets include the Candidate Filing Form (Form A), Candidate Statement of Honesty and Campaign Integrity (Form B), Campaign Team Declaration and Statement of Integrity (Form C), ASI Presidential Petition Form (Form D — not required for Board of Directors candidates), Candidate Campaign Close-Out Statement (Form E) and Candidate Statement (submitted electronically to Candidate Statements), all of which can be found on the ASI website.

ASI President

According to ASI President and agricultural business senior Owen Schwaegerle, students who are filing a presidential candidacy should be ready to represent the entire student population.

“The best qualities of ASI (presidential) candidates (need) to be someone who really loves Cal Poly and wants to give back to students here and to our campus,” Schwaegerle said. “It has to be someone who is in it for the right reasons, and also someone who will be a good advocate for students and their needs.”

Next year, there are a few important topics the president will need to focus on, including community relations, diversity initiatives and student representation, Schwaegerle said.

“Community relations (are) always a pressing concern because we need to improve our relationship with the city of San Luis Obispo,” Schwaegerle said. “Another one is diversity initiatives so we would make sure that our student government members are trained on topics of diversity and inclusivity. When it comes to the future development of campus, it is important that we have a strong voice representing the students and allowing their voices to be heard.”

ASI Board of Directors

While the next ASI president will be elected into office through a majority of student votes, the seats on the Board of Directors will be elected in a slightly different manner, ASI Recruitment and Development Committee Chair Seth Borges said.

“Every year, each seat on the Board of Directors is up for grabs,” said Borges, an agricultural business senior. “Instead of a majority of the student body vote, the Board of Directors seats are chosen by a majority of students in each college.”

There are currently five seats for every college on the Board of Directors, with the exception of the Orfalea College of Business having four seats and the College of Architecture and Design having three seats. Through their portal, students will have the opportunity to choose up to five students to represent their college.

In order to become Chair of the Board and the Chair of the University Union Advisory Board (UUAB), students must already have a seat on the Board of Directors. The Chair of Board is elected by a majority vote of the current Board of Directors. The chair of the UUAB for the upcoming year is elected by a majority vote of the UUAB student members.

There will be a mandatory candidates’ meeting on Thursday, March 3 at 11 a.m. Candidate Media Day will take place on Tuesday, April 5, from 6-8 p.m. at the MultiActivity Center.

“Everyone that applies is considered a pre-candidate after the mandatory candidate meeting until the active campaigning period because we will be doing eligibility checks through the Dean of Students office,” Borges said.

According to the Dean of Students representative Bernard Anderson, eligibility checks will be done in two waves.

“Generally, it takes a couple of days because it requires me to work with the registrar’s office and then also the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities to also perform disciplinary checks,” Anderson said. “The first wave will be to check if pre-candidates have a 2.0 Cal Poly GPA (grade point average) and once winter grades are in at the end of the quarter, I have to do a secondary check to see that candidates have a 2.3 quarterly GPA for winter term.”

As for the election events, there will be an open forum on Tuesday, April 12 at 11 a.m. on the Julian A. McPhee University Union (UU) Plaza Stage. The election begins on Wednesday, April 20 at 9 a.m. and will end Thursday, April 21 at 9 a.m. The election announcement will follow at 11 a.m. The campaign close-out statements will be due Monday, April 25 at 4 p.m.

Borges said students should go beyond putting up posters when active campaigning begins on Sunday, April 10 at 5 p.m.

“Get your name out. Go talk to clubs and student organizations,” Borges said. “A lot of people think that plastering the campus is one way to get it done, but honestly the more students you can have a face-to-face interaction with helps a lot more.”

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