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Class of 2001 Shows Lack Of Interest in UA Offices

By Karen E. Robinson
ASSOCIATE NEWS EDITOR

Undergraduate Association elections will take place next month, from March 10-15.

Before then there will be at least three candidate study breaks, said Ryan K. Pierce '99, UA floor leader. The first will take place at East Campus this Wednesday, and two others will be scheduled in West Campus dorms, most likely Burton-Conner and Baker.

In addition, there will be debates between the two presidential-vice presidential tickets just before the election, said Elections Commissioner Gong K. Shen, '99. "The teams are pretty well-matched," Shen said. "It should be an exciting debate."

Candidates sparse in '01

No candidates have registered for the offices of class of 2001 secretary, social chair, or publicity chair. There are also no candidates yet running to be publicity chairs for the class of 2000. The UA will be accepting petitions for these positions until next Friday, according to Shen.

"If there are any open slots then we'll decide what to do from there," said Pierce.

There is one person running for each of the remaining positions for class of 2001, Shen said. Traditionally the class of 2001 has been "one of the more involved class councils," but "a lot of people who have held offices aren't running for reelection," said Pierce.

This year is similar to most years, however, in that the lowest interest is in junior offices, and highest for sophomore positions, said Pierce. "There are a lot of freshmen running for reelection," said Pierce. "It's good to see so many freshmen interested," said Pierce.

Policy clarifications

Several changes were made this year in the election code to avoid the ambiguities which encumbered last year's UA elections.

This is the first year email campaigning is not restricted. "It's hard to define what's an appropriate email or not," said Pierce. Candidates are therefore allowed to do "anything they wish within Athena rules of useif candidates want to email an entire dorm without necessarily knowing everyone in the dorm they will do so," said Pierce.

"I expect candidates to be pretty careful about what they're sending out," said Pierce, although he "can see toward the end of the campaign, candidates sending wide emails."

The number of signatures a candidate may receive is limited to 110 percent of the required number. "The idea is that receiving several multiples of the number is viewed as campaigning," which is not allowed while getting signatures, Pierce said. Eventually the UA may allow people to campaign as early as they wish, but this year early campaigning is still a direct violation of the election code.

Pierce added that this year candidates were given a signature form, so they could not "write their platform at the top of the form" or ask for email addresses to compile a campaign list.

Paper ballots to complement web

The web-based voting system that the UA has used in the past two elections will be complemented by paper ballots the following Monday, Pierce and Shen said.

Web based voting will last from Wednesday, March 10 to Sunday, March 14; five booths with paper ballots will be set up around campus from about 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on March 15.

"We've worked on the online voting we worked on it for the freshman elections in the fall but there were still a few bugs to work out," said Pierce. The same system will be used for this election, so students will have to type add ua' and vote' at the athena prompt to bring up the correct version of netscape, he said.