A.S. retrieves election ads that lacked diversity

Sam Womack

Originally Published October 17, 2006

Kevin Mojaradi-Stenke, marketing coordinator, has already pulled the cards from campus circulation for the November elections. The Associated Students had distributed their first batch of cards advertising the slogan “I Vote I Won” to get students aware and interested, but they have recently gotten a complaint that the hands on the card do not do an adequate job of representing the diverse student population.

Kevin Mojaradi-Stenke, marketing coordinator, has already pulled the cards from campus circulation.

African Student Organization President Marvin Boateng was in his sociology class looking at the card handed out by his professor when he realized all the hands looked like the same skin color.

“All the hands on the card are white,” Boateng said. “This is what my A.S. fee is going to? Something that only represents one race of people?”

According to a 2005 study done by the Office of Institutional Research, white students at CSUN make up only 32.1 percent of the entire student population.

Boateng brought the card to the attention of A.S. President Adam Salgado.

“That was overlooked. We should be paying more attention to things like that,” Salgado said in a phone interview.

Salgado said that to his knowledge the hands were picked randomly.

A.S. Director of Elections Leonard Wong said, “It didn’t really register with me when I approved them.” He did admit that the hands do look like all white hands.

“We overlooked it and I take full responsibility,” Wong said.

According to Wong, A.S. was planning on ordering more, but since more than half of these cards have already been dispersed, changes will be made on this next batch.

Wong said that the cards have been in circulation for about three weeks and this is the first complaint he has heard. He said he believes the cards have been passed out at a clubs and organizations event and that his marketing team placed cards in all the clubs and organizations’ boxes.

The annual A.S. budget specifically for election marketing is $7,000 and Wong said the cards so far have cost “a couple hundred dollars.” The total allocation for A.S. elections is $20,000. The annual allocation for A.S. printing, advertising and promotion for A.S. government, programs and services is close to $45,000.

“I don’t think there were any bad intentions,” Wong said in reference to the cards. He also said he has already taken measures to change the new batch of cards and be more vigilant about the advertising put out by A.S.

Wong said that he didn’t know if this will affect the upcoming vote on the A.S. referendum.