Time to apply for CSUN A.S. senate seats is running out

Samantha Tata

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With an incomplete senate and less than a week until the filing period ends, A.S. election ballots are being compiled for next year’s administrative body.

All senate seats, including president and vice president positions, are available for students to run for, said Director of Elections Brittney Hoogervorst.  She added her office does not release candidate information or participant numbers until all applications have been filed.

Historically, A.S. seats go empty for months, particularly for the colleges of education, engineering and graduate seats due to the smaller size and increased rigor of these programs.

General Manager David Crandall said some legislation could not be passed if all seats were not full, even if all current senators were present.

In a separate interview, Crandall said amendments to finance committee proposals, any large financial initiatives or significant policy changes require two-thirds majority of the entire voting body and could not be approved without every seat filled and present.

“We only failed to meet (this requirement) once in the last three or four years,” said Crandall, who has worked with A.S. for ten years.  “At the end of 2008, we had to wait for senators to show in order to consider amending our annual budget that was sent back by President Koester.”

This year’s senate and elections committee has changed codes to invite more participation among students from all colleges.

Students are no longer required to post bonds of $40 for an individual ticket or $80 for a slate. Additionally, violations of elections code now result in withdrawal from the race rather than a hold on the student’s account.

“A.S. will interview and hire for positions if no one runs for a seat, a candidate is disqualified or someone drops from the seat during their term of office,” Hoogervorst said.

This semester’s ballot also includes an initiative that would change elections from twice yearly to once per year during the spring semester, Crandall said.

Not all senators are on the same term schedule, he said.  This initiative, if approved by the students, would allow elected officials to serve similar terms.

Upon election to the year-long term, A.S. senators receive priority registration to avoid conflicts with meeting times and a salary of $50 every two weeks, Hoogervorst said.  Senators appointed to serve as committee chairs receive an additional $50 bi-weekly.

The A.S. website states that senators also receive membership  tothe CSUN Fitness Center.

All applications are due either online or in person at the A.S. office in USU 100 by Tues. March 15.

Applications require students, among other things, to explain for what profession they are studying, why they are running and what they define as important issues or goals if elected.