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Bellingham
Wednesday, May 12, 2021

AS urges students to go vote

The Associated Students elections kick off with a bang: a concert party at Viking Union, with anyone and everyone invited.

Even as the band practiced at the stroke of 5 p.m., small groups of students were present for the dance and vote. Students got to enjoy music while they voted for their desired AS candidates.

The Western Front estimates about 25 students attended the voting party.

In a veil of festivities, this event could very well change the outcome of the year’s election.

“I think [student government elections] are really important,” Silas Maclachlan said. He said he will be attending Western this coming fall.

“Getting input from students is vital to the college’s success. If the faculty is running on its own accord without communicating with students, I feel like there’s going to be issues,” he said.

Indeed, candidates have done extensive work in outreach toward the student body. Last February, AS board members held a Q&A with students about how to run for office, which AS presidential candidate Mary Moeller was a part of.

Although it wasn’t tied directly to the election, this event goes to show that the AS are open and transparent in their endeavors.

“I’ve actually been meeting voters this whole election cycle,” Moeller said. “I’ve visited almost thirty clubs and spoken to more than a thousand students.”

Among the candidates present at the voting party were Mary Moeller and Simrun Chhabra running for president, Julianna Jackson for vice president for academic affairs, Leanna Sauerlender for vice president for governmental affairs, Marquis Mason for vice president of diversity and Annie Gordon for vice president for student life.

“I think [the AS elections] are running fairly well. The advertising is great, we have the Multi-Purpose Room open, it’s good to get young people involved in government,” junior Kyle Kelley said.

The night’s first musical performance, Bellingham’s The Dawn Bombs, put on a mid-century styled rock ’n’ roll sound which pounded in the chests of all those in the room.

Attendees danced to the beat of the guitars while the disco ball shined an array of circle lights, spinning to their own beat.

Some students who came back from dancing went to vote via laptops the AS provided.

“We have done this kind of event for voter registration for local, state and federal elections,” representation and engagement programs director Henry Pollet said. “I don’t believe we’ve done this for an AS election before.”

The bands played seemed to garner critical praise from all those attended.

“I’m really excited to hear these bands play,” Moeller said. “I go out to house shows sometimes but I’ve never quite got the hear The Dawn Bombs in person, so I’m excited to hear them tonight.”

After The Dawn Bombs, Major Treble, western’s women’s a’capella ensemble came on. Then after an hour, rock group Club Mage came to give their performance.

“It’s really fun to talk to people at a fun event instead of talking to them at Red Square, because it can feel like there’s a lot of pressure,” Moller said.

The students attending the party were all-around pleased with the proceedings.

“I like how there’s legit music, people performing, and it’s a really cool atmosphere,” Kelley said.

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