Campus LifeNews

ASUWT releases election calendar in preparation for election season

In preparation for the start of the UW Tacoma student election sea­son, the Associated Students of UWT has approved and released this year’s election calendar. Some notable changes from last year’s schedule in­cludes more time for students to sub­mit their applications, as well as more time for open campaigning.

Candidate and ballot measure elec­tion packets will be available starting March 6. With packets being due by April 12 at 5 p.m., students will notice that they now have an extra week to submit their paperwork in addition to the month they already have. After attending a mandatory meeting, can­didates will have five days to prepare and rework any material to ensure everything follows election code guidelines. Students will then have the next two and a half weeks to publicly campaign — a change from last year where candidates were given one and a half weeks for open campaigning.

This year’s Election Administra­tion Chair, Teresa Dennerlein, elab­orated further on these changes.

“The practical reason why we are doing this is [because] we heard from feedback from those who have run in the past,” Dennerlein said. “The thought process is that if we have more time to get the word out about the fact that they can run, then we can get more candidates and a more com­petitive process, which is the goal.”

Last year, voter turnout reached 15 percent, with 454 students of the 3,021 who were members of ASUWT having voted — an increase from the 2017’s voter turnout of 13 percent, with 363 voters. The 2018 ballot had some po­sitions with only one person running, and some senator seats had no one running for them at all. One of the current sitting senators won their po­sition as a write-in candidate, with a total of two votes to their name.

In addition to the extra time being allotted to candidates, ASUWT plans to spread awareness of the elections with signs and banners around cam­pus. They also plan to put more em­phasis on making sure students are signed up as ASUWT members, which is required to vote in the elections or run as a candidate. Membership is free, and changes to student member­ship can be made by going through your tuition statement on your MyUW page and clicking on the tab labeled “Insurance/Optional charges.”

Elizabeth Hansen, assistant direc­tor of Student Engagement, hopes that all of these plans and changes will increase the candidate turnout for the elections.

“I would love to just see a full slate, [with] at least one person run­ning for every position from the be­ginning,” Hansen said. “We’ve had some amazing people who have won on a write-in and have been great parts of the team. However, to be able to have someone running for each position — and have them come in so we have the full team at the begin­ning of the year so they can go through their trainings together — would be great.”

March 6

Candidate Election packets and ballot measure elections packets available online

April 12
Candidate Election packets and ballot measure election packets must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. to UWY 107
April 18Mandatory Candidate Meeting; 12:30 p.m. or 2:00 p.m., UWY 103
April 19Mandatory Candidate Meeting: 12:30 p.m. or 2:00 p.m., UWY 103
April 24Open campaigning begins
May 7Candidates’ Public Election Forum; 12:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., TPS Atrium. (All candidates encouraged to attend)
May 8Candidates’ Public Election Forum; 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., TPS Atrium. (All candidates are encouraged to attend)
May 10Last day to withdraw from the elections. Candidates must submit in writing a signed and dated withdrawal statement to the Center
for Student Involvement, UWY 107, by 5:00 p.m.
May 13the Election Voting Period begins at 12:01 a.m.
May 17The Election voting period ends at 11:59 p.m.
May 20All Campaign materials (signs, fliers, etc.) must be removed from campus by 5:00 p.m. Expense declaration forms due to UWY 107 by 5:00 p.m.
Any and all election code complaints due in UWY 107 by 5:00 p.m.
May 22Vote Verification will be held in UWY 107. Applicants may be in UWY 107 at 12:30 p.m., at which time results will be announced
May 29Any and all appeals to Election Code complaint determinations are due to the Senate by 5:00 p.m.
May 31 Mandatory Luncheon at 12:30 p.m. Location TBD, to introduce new Executive Board and Senate team to current ASUWT Officials
June 19-21Mandatory training, 10:00 am to 3:00 p.m.