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

Got a tip? Have something you need to tell us? Contact us

Loading Recent Classifieds...

Campaign strategies of the A.S. election

There is a lot of rhetoric thrown around during the Associated Students presidential election.’ Four sets of presidential/vice presidential pairs are campaigning for the highest elective office at CSUN.’ A position that includes a $1,200 a month stipend, free tuition, a free faculty parking pass, an extensive executive travel budget and probably the most important, access to the most exclusive university officials and the ability to have your personal opinion heard by the University President, Jolene Koester.

So how does one go about winning the A.S. presidential election?’ Well, the truth is that campaign strategies vary from year to year, but there a few major pieces that are important.

The Constituencies

In the CSUN high-propensity voting population (the 2,000 or so students expected to vote) there are three basic constituencies:’ The Greeks, the student athletes and the student organizations.’ Each of these can be further subdivided.’

The Greeks consist of the Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Sorority Council, comprising of the ‘traditional’ fraternities and sororities, all of which are National or International Organizations, and the United Sorority and Fraternity Council, comprising of the Latino and multicultural Greek organizations.’ In general, Greeks will vote for a Greek.’ In this election two of the four presidential candidates are Greek, meaning the 1,200 or so Greek voters will probably be split between the two.

The student athletes are the second largest voting block in the election.’ There are over 400 student athletes on campus and the CSUN athletics department encourages their student athletes to be civically engaged (so much that they sometimes delay or cancel practice on election day to allow the student athletes time to vote.’ That being the case, these 400 voters can be counted on to show up on election day in large numbers.’ Today A.S. plays a less direct role in Intercollegiate Athletics on campus (A.S. used to fund most student athlete scholarships), but student government support for athletics is always desirable.’ All of the presidential candidates have claimed their utmost support for athletics, so it is hard to see where student athletes might lean toward.

The student organizations include all of the groups not included in the other two.’ Fraternities and sororities not part of the three major Greek councils (and having smaller membership) and cultural clubs make up the bulk of these students.’ The total number of voters in this category is hard to tally because a single student can join 10 clubs and rosters are infrequently updated.’ These are also lower propensity voters than the first two categories.’ The majority of these voters will choose a slate with more inclusive or multicultural emphasis, and the group that pledges the most money for these student organizations.

The other major group of voters is the commuters.’ These students are impossible to track down and unlikely to vote, making them a huge wildcard.’ Long-shot candidates tend to appeal to commuters, but without the ability to organize them they remain a silent majority.

So who will win the election?

The winner of the A.S. election will be the candidate that appeals to the greatest number of these voters.’ A vast majority of the recent presidents and vice presidents have been Greeks who supported athletics, but every few years the students elect a candidate who is a major player from one of the campus’s cultural organizations.’ This election follows the largest influx of young political participation in recent history with the election of President Barack Obama.’ Will that be a factor that pulls the commuters out to vote?’ We will know March 24 and 25.

Adam Haverstock served in Associated Students from spring 2005 to spring 2008 and in the University Student Union from Fall 2007 to the present.’ He was A.S. Director of Finance in 2006-2007 and A.S. President in 2007-2008.’ He ran two election campaigns for A.S. President.’ He is a graduate student majoring in recreation and tourism management.

More to Discover