ASG takes money out of politics

    America's electoral system may be fraught with super PACs and wealthy donors buying over politicians, but at least Northwestern's isn't.

    "This is much stricter than the US election," said election commissioner Lauren Thomas after another senator noted Northwestern doesn't have super PACs.  "There are a lot of rules."

    Thomas and the election commission unveiled the new guidelines for April's presidential election, and they explicitly take money out of Wildcat politics. This year, for the first time, the rules officially stipulate that all candidates will be reimbursed up to $174 for campaign materials like pins, stickers, candy or even audio equipment. Previously students had to find their own money. Last year ASG started funding candidates, but it wasn't added into the rules until this year. They can't spend their own money and they can't solicit donations. Sorry J.B. Pritzker.

    Included in the new rules is an odd line that "candidates shall not interfere with the normal distribution of established periodicals." In her announcement, Thomas said simply "there was an incident last year"

    ASG president Noah Star explained afterwards:

    "One campaign team was distributing Dailys that said vote for them on it cause they were endorsed by the Daily, the Daily got mad at both campaign teams for defacing their property," Star said. "No punishment was doled out, no one really wanted punishment."

    Star added that he looked forward to a new rule where campaign violations are published on the ASG website because it will increase transparency. 

    After the new election rules were announced, ASG formally voted to endorse the proposal to create an Asian American studies major. At the January Weinberg faculty meeting on Jan. 13th, Dean Mary Finn submitted the first proposal for the major. Weinberg will formally vote on it in March. 

    The results from the ASG Campus Climate survey came in and will be presented to faculty within the next two weeks, Star said. Although he has yet to personally parse through the data, he said he was personally  intrigued by the data on textbook affordability, sustainability and how students relate to their advisor. He said the data shows people don't have a high opinion of their advisor, but they're not actually going to their advisor. 

    "A lot of time the advising model… gets a lot of flack," Star said, "but from a first glance students who go to their advisor are very satisfied."


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