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Applications for positions were extended after low interest

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Students at Western Washington University will be able to vote for their favorite candidates May 20-25. Students can access their ballot on the Western Involvement Network. // Photo by Nicola Wasmuth

After a lack of students applied to run for the Associated Student’s Executive and Senate board elections, an extended deadline to apply was granted by the AS elections coordinator, Mario Alemi.

The deadline, which was extended to Tuesday, May 11, allowed for a bigger pool of applicants for the first ever spring quarter election.

With the deadline now closed, voting is currently taking place until May 25 at 4 p.m., according to Alemi. He added that the reasoning behind the extension was a low number of applicants.

“The deadline was extended because initially, we had so few students who filed to run for the AS Executive Board and AS Student Senate,” Alemi said. “There were many uncontested races, meaning only one person had filed for the position. After careful consideration, we decided to extend the filing deadline to do one last push to get more students to sign up to run for the elections.”

Alemi added that this year’s elections are happening in spring quarter because of a vote that took place in the winter.

“In order to get full representation for both the AS Executive Board and AS Student Senate yearlong, the elections were moved together for the spring,” Alemi said. “This decision was supported by both the AS Executive Board and AS Student Senate.”

After the decision passed through the Executive Board and the Student Senate, it was passed on to the student ballot where it received 88% of the vote to approve the  movement of elections to spring quarter. Students who voted for this also participated in a winter special election.

Among the candidates running in the election is Laura Wagner, a third-year environmental science and Chinese double-major who is running for VP for sustainability. She said that COVID-19 played a complicated role in her applying to the position.

“It was tiring at times, as I'm sure many students can relate to,” Wagner said in an email. “It was a lot of work to do activism online, have meetings online, do fully online schooling, connect with friends online, etc. Students are tired and ready to return to hybrid classes and gradually reopen.”

Alemi explained that COVID-19 and lack of student engagement on campus were main factors as to why there was a lack of students applying to student government positions. 

Western’s situation does not stand alone. Central Washington University’s AS president Mickael Candelaria said that CWU was also impacted by the lack of student engagement.

“[COVID-19] caused our normally in person election process to be online and we unfortunately lacked participation in voting,” Candelaria said. “Last year there were three other candidates running for president, … This year there was only one person who ran for President.” 

As Western students choose who they want to vote for this quarter, whoever is  elected for Executive Board will assume their positions over the summer and the Student Senators will start in late fall, according to Alemi. 

Students can access their ballot on the Western Involvement Network

Nicola Wasmuth is a second-year at Western and enjoys writing about social justice and the arts. When she is not reporting, Nicola enjoys making photos and plans to become a photojournalist through the Visual Journalism track at Western. You can reach her at wasmutn@wwu.edu.


Nicola Wasmuth

Nicola Wasmuth is a second-year at Western and enjoys writing about social justice and the arts. When she is not reporting, Nicola enjoys making photos and plans to become a photojournalist through the Visual Journalism track at Western. You can reach her at wasmutn@wwu.edu. 


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