CSUN students to vote on referendum and senate seats on Nov. 9, 10

A.S. will be holding elections Tuesday and Wednesday where students will have an opportunity to vote for senators as well as a referendum that would lower the GPA requirements for A.S. members.

The referendum will lower the GPA from 2.5 to 2.0.

In last year’s spring elections, students voted to raise the GPA requirement from 2.0 to 2.5.

The Senate decided to put it back on the ballot after voting on it, said Dan Monteleone, A.S. assistant director of elections.

He said some people had questions about the language as well as the pros and cons of the referendum.

“There was a belief that people weren’t sure what they were voting on,” Monteleone said.

He added that A.S. simplified the language and put it on the ballot for students to vote on again.

Senior Sheena Struble, 26, said she thinks the GPA should be even higher for senators.

“It (minimum GPA) should be 3.0,” the English major said.  “It’s so easy to get a 3.0.  There is no reason not to get it.”

Other students disagreed.

“The question is, who sets the standard,” said senior Jorge Moraga, 22, history and Central American studies major. “If they (senators) have a lower GPA, they may be focusing on their constituents. GPA is just one way to quantify a person’s ability to do their task at hand, but it’s not a full picture.”

Monteleone said he thinks people will vote in this semester’s election because of the referendum and the fact that the voting is online.

“I’m hoping for a big turnout,” Monteleone said. “Students’ desire to bring back change will hopefully motivate people to vote.”

He said he hopes the involvement on campus with the Gubernatorial Election and the March 4 “Day of Protests,” which was state-wide protest on budget cuts, will help bring people out to vote in the A.S. elections.

Sophomore Abdul Sine, finance major, said he is probably not going to vote.

“I’m probably not voting because I’m not familiar with what’s going on on campus,” said the 19-year-old.  “I can’t vote on what I don’t know.”

Last year’s turnout was the best since 2002- 2003, Monteleone said. In the spring elections, 2,007 students voted, while fall elections brought 1,608 people to the polls.

Spring turnout is usually larger because of the presidential elections, Monteleone said. He added that fall turnouts used to be the bigger turnout because students used to vote for the homecoming court.

Monteleone said the biggest turnout was in 1994-1995 when there was a referendum to increase student fees by $50. Originally in the fall, the referendum was an $80 fee increase, but it did not pass.  It was then changed to a $50 increase for the spring election, which passed.

New candidates are Steven Zavala for lower division senator and Klementina Pavlova for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Candidates who are up for re-election are Ashley Walker for upper division senator, Cynthia Medrano for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Jose Marin for lower division senator.

People will have a chance to see the candidates’ statements online today at csunas.org/elections.

Monteleone said there are eight seats with no candidates on the ballot. He encourages students to write in candidates or if they know of someone who would be good for the seat to encourage them to run for a write-in candidate.

Students will receive an e-mail on the morning of Election Day. It will have a personalized voting link in it, which will take them to their personalized voting ballot.

Each person can only vote for the specific college they are in and the division they are in.

Students will be able to vote online from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m on any computer or at one of the two polling stations on campus Nov. 9 and 10.  The stations are located at the USU Plaza del Sol and on the Matador Bookstore Lawn.

There will also be information booths by the Arbor Grill and the Oviatt Library with information on how to vote and where the polling places are.

Additional reporting by

Antoine Abou-Diwan

Staff Reporter