Student government candidates meet with students, release order of ballot

Christine Kittle

Candidates at Sacramento State’s Coffee and Candidates event expressed their desire for a record voter turn out this year for Associated Students Inc. elections.

Members of ASI set up a table in the lobby of the University Union with donuts, coffee, collectable coffee mugs and pins to give to students if they spoke to one of the candidates running for ASI this spring.

Coffee and Candidates was one of a series of events for the next couple weeks intended to draw attention to the election process and give students a chance to meet the students running for election. The focus of this event was to provide a space where students could connect with candidates on a personal level.

ASI is hoping that this year’s voter turnout and student participation will increase from last year.

“Last year we got 8.4 percent; the year before we got 14.3 percent, which was the highest voter turnout for some time,” said Reuben Greenwald, associate director of Student Engagement and Outreach. “Our hope is that we will beat 2013’s voter turnout and have the highest voter turnout in recent history. I think we can, because of our large amount of students running for office. We have more people running than we had in 2013 and we have a great campaign, which is the ‘Where Is Your Voice,’ and I think people will start to see that around campus.”

The 35 candidates arrived at 10 a.m. wearing their campaign shirts, talking with the students that were waiting for refreshments.

“It’s great to see students wanting to interact with their college and run for something, cause running for election isn’t an easy task to take up,“ said Angie Kagianas, junior business major. “I think it’s an awesome event getting to know some of the candidates, getting to know what your options are and getting to know who will be representing you and your campus.”

Coffee and Candidates was also a way for ASI to meet their election requirements by randomly choosing the order of candidate names on the ballot for the upcoming elections. The names were drawn and put in order onto a large ballot taped to the wall as students and candidates looked on.

“We use this as the opportunity to meet the requirement of the election code to do a random draw for the order of names on the ballot, and we need to do that in an open manner so this public event is the perfect opportunity to be able to do that,” said Pat Worley, executive director of ASI.

The event gave students a chance to meet with candidates on a personal setting and associate them with the election materials placed on the campus.

“I think it helps to meet the person individually,” said Maria Muganzo, fourth year sign language and deaf studies major. “I think it’s really cool that you get to meet the candidates cause if you don’t have an event like this, you only see posters go up, those big boards. So if you don’t know that person personally you are like ‘why is one person vision, why is one person unite?’ So I think this kind of gives you an idea; puts a face to the name.”