The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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At Large Senators are what we need

Starting on Oct. 25 and ending Oct. 26, students at CSUN will have the chance to vote on three referendums. The third referendum, which would create four new Senate seats, has the potential to make student elections more interesting and increase student involvement in A.S.

The third referendum proposes to create a new category of student representatives in the A.S. Senate. Currently, the Senate consists of four lower division, four upper division, two Graduate senators and two representatives from each academic college.

If passed, the third referendum would eliminate two seats each from the lower and upper division blocs and create four new “At Large” senate seats. These senators would be elected by the student body as a whole, and would represent all students.

This is a welcome development from the current system. In the “off year” elections in the fall semester, when there are no cabinet positions on the ballot, students have a narrow choice of candidates they can vote for. Freshmen and sophomores can only vote for lower division senators and juniors and seniors can only vote for the upper division senators. Both groups can also vote for their college representative.

A ballot the size of an 8×11 sheet of paper makes for only one or two sections that any given student can vote on. It is hardly surprising then that students are less than enthusiastic about voting for such an anemic selection of candidates.

Where’s the excitement of voting for a few candidates, none of whom are even competing against each other? And that’s assuming that there are even candidates to vote for. The whistling sound that you’re hearing right now is the wind blowing through empty Senate offices. Student participation in A.S. has been less than stellar, as evidenced by the dearth of senators.

If passed, the At Large senator referendum could reverse this sad state of affairs. By giving students more choices at the ballot box, it could make elections more exciting. Having a few more candidates on the ballot might make the voting process worth the time and effort.

Plus, instead of restricting applicants to certain narrow categories, the new seats would widen the pool of students that could run for A.S. seats. This would definitely make for more exciting elections. It would increase the likelihood that competing parties would form and do battle for the few seats available. Flyers would be printed, slogans would be made and insinuations whispered about the mental acuity of the competing parties. Yes, there’s nothing more entertaining than seeing people fight to the death for the opportunity to hand out money.

There is a lot that A.S. needs to do to increase student involvement at CSUN. Charton’s cabinet seems to be focused on this problem, with its emphasis on Matador pride and vacancies in the A.S. Senate. This referendum is another indication that they’re taking the problem of student involvement seriously. Everyone voting in tomorrow’s election should vote “yes” on the third referendum.

Sean Paroski can be reached at

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