This year’s ASG Election Commission established stricter guidelines for campaigning strategies during a closed meeting Thursday night. Candidates are allowed to start campaigning April 4.
ASG Senate unanimously elected the seven-member committee on Wednesday night.
Elizabeth Broder, the committee chairperson and a Weinberg senior, said she wanted to be sure the potential candidates, who will petition to be on the ballot between March 28 and April 1, are aware of whom they can email and how in order to recruit people for their campaign staff without campaigning at the same time. Listservs are definitely off-limits, she said.
“Last year’s [election] was better than years past, but we can always improve,” she said.
Non-verbal campaigning, which includes flyers, stickers, emails, Facebook activity and tweets will begin on April 4. The election will take place on April 13.
“We recognize that people want to get an early start,” said committee member Reed Wilson, a Weinberg senior. He added that all candidates will be on the same playing field with the revised guidelines in place.
Issues from last year, like a Facebook invitation to a party unofficially endorsing a set of candidates and an e-mail to a fraternity president, were causes for concern that Broder and the group would like to avoid this time, she said during the meeting.
“My freshman year, the rules weren’t clear enough,” said Wilson Funkhouser, a Weinberg junior and two-time commission member. “Over the years, we’ve been making these guidelines more specific.”
Candidates cannot be penalized for finding any loopholes, so it important to tighten the guidelines, he said.
Wilson, along with other committee members, stressed high hopes for this coming election cycle. He said that unifying events this quarter like the snow day, the “brothel law” debate and now the after-class human sexuality presentation will lead to a high percentage of votes, since students have been so involved with campus events lately. Publicity about Senate restructuring will also help attract voters’ interest, he said.
“Students have seen collective action,” Wilson said. “I would say students view it as more possible to rally around a cause where people can find a common thing to get excited about and get civically engaged.”