Starting in mid-March, students with a C average, their general education finished and one completed semester at CSUN can begin to run for paid and perk-filled A.S. positions.
Whoever decides to run and wins the upcoming elections for A.S. president and vice president positions will receive a monthly stipend, a faculty parking pass, priority registration and their full tuition paid.
The president and vice president’s total yearly stipend, by the Sundial’s calculation, is $11,562 and $8,560, respectively.
Current A.S. President Adam Salgado said those two positions receive privileges because of the amount of time the individuals spend serving their CSUN constituency.
“I work close to 40 hours a week,” Salgado said at yesterday’s Senate meeting.
Other A.S. positions open in the election this spring are 13 senator seats. Senators are responsible for the decision making and planning processes currently brought to A.S.’s attention that affect students directly and indirectly.
A.S. Senators are required to be in their office three hours a week. They are also required to join a standing committee which meets once a week and also counts as one full office hour. There are also mandatory Senate meetings every Tuesday, and senators are allowed three unexcused absences before forfeiting their seat. There is no limit on excused absences. It is because of these stringent requirements that Senators and volunteer committee members are given priority registration, according to Kevin Mojaradi-Stenke, marketing director for A.S.
In addition to the stipends issued to Salgado and Jackson, senators are rewarded for their work as well.
“If a senator finishes their term without any problems, they get a small stipend at the end of the term,” Mojaradi-Stenke said. He said that “problems” could usually be defined as missing too many Senate sessions.
Specific information about what positions are available and the exact date of this coming election will be available after the Senate approves the year’s election calendar next Tuesday.
The election will likely be near the end of March or beginning of April, Mojaradi-Stenke said.
According to Mojaradi-Stenke, there could be close to 20 or 30 students running in the spring, and as with last year, he expects several slates of candidates. Usually, a presidential and vice presidential nominee duo will be the leaders of a political slate, he said. Potential senators campaign in this way as well.
“They don’t have to (run on a slate), but it increases the chances of winning,” he said.
If some seats go unfilled during the election, students can still apply once school reconvenes.
“A seat available in the middle of the semester can be filled if a student applies and goes through an interview process with the Senate,” Mojaradi-Stenke said.
Along with student government elections, this semester’s ballot may also include a referendum to begin construction of a new recreation center. The University Student Union and A.S. are working together to see if a new rec center is feasible on the land available. A.S. graduate student Bryanne Knight said the USU is sitting on the rec center idea until they can go over the latest report.
Unlike last semester’s two referendums to increase student fees, this semester Salgado said A.S. is working with the California State Student Association to prevent the possibility of a CSU tuition increase.
“Students come here for a good education at a low cost,” Salgado said. “That’s why the CSU system exists. This could make it difficult for some to attend.”
Salgado said he plans to lobby in Sacramento alongside other CSSA members to avoid the tuition increase.
Salgado, who said he tries to stay connected with the CSUN students he represents by “speaking from the heart,” said he thought a major achievement this year has been the work his administration has done in regard to instant-messaging academic advisement.
“The biggest perk (for A.S. leaders) is helping their fellow students,” Mojaradi-Stenke said.