Adan Torres, a freshman running for representative at large, signs the attendance sheet next to Jared LaBlue, a freshman running for representative at large, and Brian Banitaten, a freshman also running for representative at large at an ASI meeting meant to prep the candidates for their campaigns in the Cesar Chavez building Monday, March 3. Photo by Rachel Aston / Xpress
A record number of candidates have been approved to run for positions in this year’s Associated Students, Inc. elections, the largest amount in 17 years according to ASI officials.
ASI approved 48 candidates to run for the 18 different positions within the organization. While the ASI declined to offer the exact numbers, multiple candidates are running for all executive positions.
The position for ASI president is available, in addition to the vice presidential offices of internal affairs, external affairs, finance, and university affairs.
According to Horace Montgomery, ASI director of programs and services, greater competition may get more students interested in the election this year.
“I hope that we can double the election turnout this year,” Montgomery said.
The average voter turnout for an ASI election is around 1,500 to 2,000, but last year’s election garnered only 798 votes, or about three percent of the total student body.
Elections typically get a lower voter turnout when candidates are running for positions unopposed, as was the case last year.
“Anytime you have folks fighting for something, it lets everyone else know that it’s possibly important and it brings their attention to it.” Montgomery said.
ASI will be holding events this month to educate students on what ASI does with the hopes of getting them interested in this year’s elections.
“We’ve really ramped up our publicity,” said Kenneth Collins, representative at large for ASI.
Collins said that ASI interns have proposed an event where students would be able to meet their representatives in person and get to have discussions with them. The “meet your rep” event would be devoted to answering students questions and letting the ASI body hear their concerns.
Collins, who is running for ASI president in this year’s election, described the event as a town hall meeting rather than the usual public comment section of an ASI board meeting.
“As a student here at San Francisco State, you already pay fees to Associated Students,” Collins said. “With that in mind, you should want to know where your money is going.”
Collins noted that everyone who is a student at SF State is eligible to vote in the election. He stressed that students have the power to choose who gets to represent them in the student body.
“They have the power to say who is going to be their representatives,” said Jennifer Yuen, ASI elections commissioner. “Students will be the ones who elect in this board of directors that will have a say in the future that we’re heading toward.”
Candidates will meet for the first time March 3.
Students will be able to vote in the elections this April.