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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

ASUA prepares for elections

Heading into the thick of the fall semester, most students are barely thinking ahead to midterms, but not ASUA Elections Commissioner Michael Colletti.

Colletti is thinking all the way through to March of next year.

As elections commissioner for the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, his job is to think ahead — way ahead — to help the process run smoothly.

“”I think the best thing that we did last year … was starting early,”” Colletti said. “”Just spreading the word now and start having candidates thinking about running right now. If we start as soon as possible, that will help kind of ease candidates into running.””

“”It is typical to start the elections process early in the fall in order to plan the commission and get marketing strategies and elections code set before spring semester when the rush begins,”” ASUA President Emily Fritze said. Fritze ran unopposed last spring.

“”We are looking to encourage a variety of students, and we are exploring ideas of how to get more students involved,”” Fritze said, adding she and Colletti are forming the elections commission within three weeks in order to get code changes made throughout October and November.

Colletti stressed creating an “”atmosphere of elections”” on campus by hopefully coordinating the Graduate and Professional Student Council and Faculty Senate’s elections all within a certain period to streamline the system for students who want to go out and vote.

“”(If) we were to coordinate elections together in the sense of the same week, in the same general timetable, it would help,”” he said. “”We all kind of do it at different time periods.””

Getting started works to promote Colletti’s other idea, the “”period of intent,”” which allows students interested to learn more about their desired position without undue pressure. The stress of garnering as many as 500 required signatures for ASUA’s student body president amongst the hectic nature of campaigning can turn students away, a problem Colletti and Fritze hope to resolve.

A less intimidating process, Colletti hopes, can lead to a greater and more diverse group of candidates.

“”I was fortunate because I had older friends and mentors that saw potential in me and encouraged me to run as a freshman,”” Fritze said, noting this extra educational period should make running easier for students from different areas around campus. “”If they have passion and dedication, (students) can and should still run for elected office.””

Colletti, who served as a member of the elections commission last year, thought initiatives like getting the word out early and holding debates with campus-wide student leaders worked well to bolster discussion during election time. He hopes to only widen the spectrum come elections in spring of 2011.

 

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