New Beginnings Bring Big Numbers at ASU Elections
With an increase in student voters, ASU candidates put innovative strategies to use for campaigns.
Following last week's elections forum, Valley College students voted at Monarch Hall Monday and Tuesday for candidates wishing to fill all 15 positions of the Executive Council for the Associated Student Union.
Several members who are currently on the board did not opt to run for this election because they are preparing to transfer-including the ASU President, Norvan Berkezyan.
"It's a good election," said Berkezyan. "The candidates are very passionate and hospitable towards each other. Each candidate organized their own campaign and enlisted volunteers- it's a way for them to demonstrate their leadership skills."
Ballots closed Tuesday at 7 p.m. Monarch Square was occupied by representatives and volunteers for presidential candidates and general awareness. Four voting booths were arranged next to a single ballot box, and refreshments were provided for those in attendance.
Tables were arranged with ballots and an ASU election edition magazine. Situated at the tables were several hosts, including Ovanes Chobanian, the Election Committee president and commissioner of political affairs.
"Yesterday was a lot better than today," said Chobanian, "... because we had several rushes of students and a line to vote at times. Our goal is to beat last year's numbers."
Chobanian stated the elections were running smoothly with approximately 300 voters on the first day. He noted that the only complaints mentioned were between candidates on minor campaign tactics but that the issues were resolved.
A majority of those involved in the electoral process were impressed with the amount of students who came out to vote. However, several students found the turnout less than satisfactory- including Maheesha Guruge, an engineering major.
"I'm an international student," said Guruge. "I pay $200 per unit, and I am involved on campus. So, it really matters to me who becomes president. I announced the elections in class, but people gave a lot of excuses not to vote."
The ASU includes two branches: the Executive and Inter-Club Councils. Shawn Besharaty and Vahe Matevosayan, ASU's chief justice, ran for president. George Markarian, the current commissioner of athletics, and Lester B. Salvador, commissioner of campus/ environmental affairs, ran for vice president. Jin Ong and Sam Key ran for commissioner of political affairs, and all other positions consisted of one candidate.
Results will be announced by the end of the week. Look for updates at www.lavalleystar.com
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