Friday, March 16, 2012

ASPLU elections underway

Incumbents battle RHA newcomers

By Jack Sorensen, Focus Editor

The University Center is choked with banners made of butcher paper and dining tables are cluttered with candy taped to campaign material.

Voting for ASPLU executive elections opened yesterday and continues today until polls close at 5 p.m. Students will choose between two tickets: juniors Ian Metz and Taylor Astel and juniors Matt Peters and Jessica Lavigne.

The candidates had their last chance to actively campaign Tuesday in an open forum and debate in the lower level of the UC. Metz and Astel, current ASPLU senator and vice president respectively, both highlighted their experience in ASPLU throughout the debate, drawing contrasts between themselves and their opponents.

Peters and Lavinge capitalized on the experience distinction as well, arguing that their lack of inside experience within ASPLU would benefit the university. Both candidates currently work in Residence Hall Association — Peters as RHA president and Lavigne as RHA activities director.

All candidates were unanimous in calling for interior ASPLU reform, however.

“ASPLU has struggled to fulfill its purpose,” Peters said, arguing that ASPLU failed to represent student voices during the ongoing debate regarding the tobacco ban.

Metz also cited the tobacco ban as an example of ASPLU’s shortcomings. ASPLU is a “flawed model,” Metz said, in need of more active student representation.

“We had no say in it,” Metz said of the tobacco ban.