Spring quarter means the end of the academic year for most students, and as such, a number of critical events take place during this quarter to ensure the campuses’ readiness for the next school year. With the quarter continuing remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, this has meant adjustments to the way that many events are typically held. One event which has been totally reimagined in light of these circumstances is the student government elections.
The Associated Students of the University of Washington Tacoma serves as the voice of the student population on campus. They also serve as representatives at the community, university, regional and national levels too. As per their own mission statement, as their personal page puts it, they are responsible for promoting the welfare, interests, and needs with the powers which they hold.
With this in mind, this year’s nominations, campaigns and elections will be held entirely online. In an effort to not lose the voices of students in the process, ASUWT has several strategies they will administer to ensure the modified election process will be fair and successful.
“At the Senate meeting on April 17, they voted to postpone Senate elections until Autumn Quarter 2020,” said Elizabeth Hansen, Assistant Director of Student Engagement. “This allows more time to recruit candidates — the number of Senators is growing next year due to increased enrollment in some schools — and puts the focus on the Executive Board elections right now.”
While there was some flexibility with the Senate seats, the Executive Board could not be postponed until the fall quarter.
The timeline for the Executive Board elections has been announced, though it is subject to change under extenuating circumstances. The schedule was created by both Hansen and this year’s Election Administrative Chair Ruby Sandhu. As the Election Administrative Chair, Sandhu is responsible for overseeing the election, ensuring that it is a fair process and enforcing the rules of the election.
The first upcoming date to keep in mind is May 8 where Candidate Election Packets and Ballot Measures must be submitted. Election Packets must be submitted by 5 p.m. on this date to be considered for voting. Following that, May 14 is when open campaigning begins.
Next, on May 19 there will be a Candidates’ Public Election Forum at 12:30 p.m., moderated over Zoom. All candidates are encouraged, but not required, to attend. Finally, the Election Voting Period begins at 12:01 a.m. on May 25 and concludes at 11:59 p.m. on May 29. All of this information and more is available on ASUWT’s website under the ASUWT Elections tab.