Students hoping to run for position in the Associated Student Government will no longer be able to run on tickets, leaving the duty of campaigning in the hands of the individual candidates.
After last year’s candidates for president and vice president ran unopposed, members of the Election Commission implemented changes to the system, said ASG president Vanessa Cortez. Prior elections allowed potential senators to run on a presidential and vice presidential ticket. The filing deadline for those running for ASG president, vice president, senator or graduate house representative is March 21.
Cortez said as a result of the changes, candidates will not be able to rely on a ticket’s staff to do their marketing for them, which has occurred in the past.
“The T-shirts, social media and any promotional items is all done by the campaign staff,” Cortez said. “Now it’s kind of up to everyone to campaign for themselves.”
In addition to recommendations from ASG’s members and advisors, the student organization enlisted the help of W .H. “Butch” Oxendine Jr., managing partner of the SG Consulting Group and executive director of the American Student Government Association.
With only three percent of the student body voting in last year’s student government election, the change might engage the student body to vote at a higher rate, according to Oxendine’s recommendations. Student body elections will take place April 1 and 2.
From October 21 to October 23, Oxendine evaluated the structure, strengths and weaknesses of ASG. According to Oxendine’s report, Texas State’s large student enrollment should allow for contested races in all positions for future ASG elections.
Martin Gutierrez, business marketing freshman, said he hopes the modifications will lead more students who are active in clubs and organizations to run in elections.
“It will also allow a more diverse group of voters to come out due to the necessary contact with the entire student body, not just a select few,” Gutierrez said.
Cortez said she believes by changing the election process, more students will want to run for senate positions, and it will encourage the student body to vote in favor of their desired candidate.
“I think this will help the underdogs,” Cortez said. “Those who maybe didn’t want to run because they didn’t have the ticket to support them.”
Cortez said she will continue to work toward perfecting the student government’s structure and weaknesses.
“The new elections will bring out the best of the best,” said ASG senator Damien Chavero. “You have to be passionate about student government so you can be a change in the university.”