Senate hopes to improve on successful online election

Kristopher A. Fortin

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 Associated Student (A.S.) director of finance, Shawn Hakim, expressed his personal feelings towards allocating more funding to one club or organization more than another. Katie Chavarin / Staff Photographer

Associated Student (A.S.) director of finance, Shawn Hakim, expressed his personal feelings towards allocating more funding to one club or organization more than another. Katie Chavarin / Staff Photographer

No problems were discovered with the Associated Students (A.S.) online election system. However, senators seek to further improve the election process in the future.

The election, A.S. Vice President Conor Lansdale said, went “flawlessly.”

“Happy we finally got a system that worked,” A.S. President Abel Pacheco said.

Critics agreed the election was a success, but noticed issues that still need to be resolved.

Advertising and lack of knowledge about the candidates, said A.S. Director of Elections Dan Monteleone after the meeting, were the biggest concerns he received.

Because in past years there was so much money on advertising, and the system failed, Monteleone said, he wanted to make sure the system worked before A.S. spent a large amount of funds on elections.

For the spring 2010 A.S. presidential and senate election, there will be a heavier focus on marketing the election, Pacheco said.

Monteleone compiled more than 250 comments students made at the end of the ballot. The voter turnout for the fall election was 1,600. Some of the comments said low advertisement was the reason why they didn’t know who the students were.

Even though the elections went well, said At Large Senator II Bobby Tofig, turnout was still at four percent.

“Sixteen hundred was good, but we can make it better,” Monteleone said.

An additional e-mail that describes the candidates should be sent to students prior to the election, said Gisselle Jaen, Social and Behavioral Science senator II.

The senate will vote to authenticate the results at the next senate meeting, said Monteleone after the meeting.

A resolution was passed in the senate opposing the University of California student fee increase. The next increase that is scheduled for a vote is on Nov. 17.

“Sucks when we have that around us,” Tofig said. “Hopefully we can prevent it from happening to us.”

The resolution supported “smaller inflation based increases” instead of a student fee increase, said John Barry Neilan, Science and Math Senator II and one of the resolution’s authors. A good alternative to a fee increase is AB 656, a resolution passed by the senate Nov. 3 that proposed a tax on oil companies in California, Neilan said.

Colin Donahue, associate vice president of Facilities Planning, wrote a letter to the senate in support of the water conservation resolution passed on Nov. 3. In the letter, Donahue wrote that the CSUN was in the process of purchasing 200 waterless urinals for the campus. Fifty-one million gallons of water would be saved as a result of the waterless urinals, Lansdale said.

“(It) bolsters the resolution (when) CSUN is working on what we’re asking the rest of California to follow,” said Neilan.

Boxes stacked behind the A.S. Senate at the meeting were for senators to take out on campus so students can donate food and clothing.

On Nov. 19 on the Oviatt Library stairs, the items collected from the drive will cover the stairs completely, said coordinator of the volunteer program Justin Weiss.