Elections For 2006 To Begin ThursdayBy Lauren E. LeBon
The Class of 2006 will elect their representatives for the Undergraduate Association beginning this Thursday.
Online voting will open at midnight on Thursday and will close at midnight on Monday. Paper balloting will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 1st, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Lobby 10.
Election winners will be announced on Tuesday, Oct. 2 at noon.
Candidates note low interest
So far, candidates have been disappointed with attendance at campaign events.
“At the [study break] on the 19th, there was almost nobody there,” said Tanzeer S. Khan ’06, candidate for 2006 President.
“More than anything, a lot of people are just trying to get the free food,” said candidate for 2006 Vice President Noelle J. Kanaga ’06.
Some candidates cited low publicity as a reason for the low turnout. “It wasn’t advertised very much,” said candidate for 2006 Treasurer Christopher A. Suarez ’06.
“Most [freshmen] are busy. Everyone is having their first round of tests, so their focus is on academics, not the election,” Kanaga said.
Campaigning to increase
This week, the candidates will begin the last leg of their campaigns.
“It’s going to become a lot more serious,” Kanaga said. “The actual campaigning will really start to pick up in the next day or two.”
Khan expects the UA to publicize the election more heavily this week. “The [study break on the] 25th ... will be much better,” Khan said.
“We’re getting the publicity machine rolling,” said the UA election commissioner Seth E. Dorfman ’05.
Dorfman said the UA will use posters, chalk ads, and mass e-mails to remind freshmen to vote. In addition, a bulletin board in the Infinite Corridor displays candidate platforms and voting information.
Despite poor turnout at campaign events so far, candidates are optimistic that freshmen will make it to the polls.
Khan believes the UA’s online voting system will significantly help voter turnout. “Freshmen would much rather vote online than use paper ballots,” he said.
Last year during the Class of 2005 elections, twice as many votes were cast online than on paper ballots.
On Wednesday night, freshmen will be able to meet their candidates at a study break on the first floor of the Student Center. The event will begin at 8 p.m.
UA hopes to reshape election
The UA made a number of changes to the UA Election Code and the Campaign Rules Document last May. Among them include clearer definitions of candidacy, more defined rules for write-in candidates, and a section on disqualification procedures.
The changes to the late petition policy became relevant in this year’s election, Dorfman said. The new policy states that if no candidate turns in a petition by the initial deadline, the deadline may be extended. The deadline was extended in the publicity chair race.
Also new this year was the requirement for freshmen interested in being a candidate to attend a meeting. “The whole [nomination] process was revamped,” Dorfman said. He said interested students last year signed up for candidacy at a booth at Activities Midway. This year, all interested freshmen attended a UA open house where they were introduced to current members of student government.
“The people who are running [this year] are making a more informed decision,” Dorfman said.
Twenty-six freshmen run
Candidates for 2006 President are Daniel R. Dale, Amir Hirsch, Jeffrey D. Hoff, Tanzeer S. Khan, Bella C. Liang, and Christina C. Royce.
Candidates for 2006 Vice President are Betsy R. Eames, Raphael Farzan-Kashani, Laura A. Hajj, and Noelle J. Kanaga.
Running unopposed for 2006 Secretary is Amy R. Lam.
Candidates for 2006 Treasurer are Timothy C. Davenport, Brendan J. Smith, and Christopher A. Suarez
Candidates for the two 2006 Publicity Chairs are Victoria Y. Chang and Cecilie Lin, Eiman Faramarzalian and Zachary M. Skolnik, and Karen E. Hunter and Moira K. Kessler.
Candidates for the two 2006 Social Chairs are Lauren B. Fishkin and Janet J. Yoo, Jameel S. Khalfan and Kim Wu, and Mahreen Khan and Lauren M. Nowierski.