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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Eckroth, Dove win two competitive positions in this year’s AS elections

AS VPS ZACH online
Associated Students Vice President for Academic Affairs-elect Zachary Dove // Photo by Jake Tull

AS VPS PATRICK online
Associated Students Vice President for Governmental Affairs-elect Patrick Eckroth // Photo by Jake Tull

AS VP for Governmental Affairs-elect Patrick Eckroth and AS VP for Academic Affairs-elect Zachary Dove won the two competitive seats in this year’s AS elections.

The sustainable action fund referenda also passed on Monday, May 4, which will replace the Green Energy Fee and increase it to $1.40 per academic credit per student up to $7 total, according to the referenda statement. This is up from the current rate of 70 cents per academic credit.

This year, 8.2 percent of the student body voted in the election, according to AS Communication director Josie Ellison.

“While we would like to see a much higher turnout, we are glad that this is an increase from last year–especially considering the decrease in candidates,” Ellison said in an email. “We are excited to work more over the next year to increase the number of candidates and number of voters in the next elections, and would love to work with as many students as possible in this process.”

Last year, between seven and eight percent of students voted.

Dove said he is looking forward to begin representing students within the administration and working in the footsteps of the past VP of Academic Affairs, Jaleesa Smiley.

Dove added he is most excited to start seeing improvements made in the academic advising section of the university and services provided for student success.

“We are really seeing a huge issue with students not feeling represented by the AS or not having any inclination to engage with the AS,” Dove said.

Dove said he is hoping some of these new ideas can go toward encouraging students to voice their opinions.

“I think right away I will be working on mechanisms to allow for student voices to make their way to me, there’s some additional mechanisms and avenues that can be made for that to happen,” Dove said.

Dove said once he gets a good idea of what students want on campus he will be able to represent the students better.

Eckroth said he is humbled about the election win and that is has been a great experience.

“I’m excited to get started on a lot of work soon so we can see changes that students need,” Eckroth said.

Eckroth said is he most excited to look at expanding lobbying in voter registration, saying that it is a really important factor in governmental affairs for students.

“I really want to see student involvement and engagement in our process,” Eckroth said.

Eckroth also said he wants to increase voter registration by creating more issue-specific lobby days for different communities on campus.

Eckroth said he wants students to come to his office next year and voice their opinions. He also wants to see progress toward making the information on how to get in touch with AS board members as accessible as possible.

Dove also said he felt very excited to begin in his new position, and that he’s happy campaign season is over.

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