This year’s Associated Student Government (ASG) student body elections will see more competition amongst a group of candidates that is more diverse than in recent years.
Five slates of candidates – including four females and a sophomore – are running for president and vice president in the March election, according to Matt Frazier, student body vice president.
“The five sets of candidates are really great, we have a diverse group of candidates with diverse majors and interests,” Frazier said.
The number of candidates running this year is the most in recent memory, said Frazier. He said he hopes this is due, at least in part, to the work of himself and Student Body President Nick Huber to make ASG more visible.
The diversity and relative youth of the group is also surprising, Frazier said.
“I was a little surprised when I saw sophomores were running,” Frazier said. “But, the sophomores who are running seem well versed on the issues and really seemed to have a handle on this.”
This year’s election will mark a watershed year for women. Two females are running for president and two are running for vice president. All but one of the five tickets have at least one female.
“That’s awesome in my opinion,” Frazier said. “We have had a female run for president before but she didn’t make it past the primary.”
The wider range of candidates will hopefully mean a greater number of students will be reached out to during the course of the election, said Frazier. Last year a record high of nearly 5,000 students voted in the elections, a record Frazier said he hopes is broken this year.
ASG advisor and Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Scott Walter said he too hopes the number of students who vote in this year’s election breaks last year’s record.
“Last year we had the most people vote since we’ve kept track and I won’t be surprised if we have a record number of votes this year too,” Walter said.
The voting will take place on the Hub digital or real? this year, which will hopefully make the process more convenient for students, Walter said.
ASG recently amended its elections by-laws to change the primary and general elections process. Now, if a candidate receives over 50 percent of the vote in the primary, they will automatically win and no general election will be held. However, both Frazier and Walter said with the wide range of candidates running this year they doubt one will garner more than 50 percent of the vote.
“I’ll be surprised if we don’t have the second part of the election,” Walter said.
First-year ASG senator Cole Tyman said he’s never seen the election process before but he expects there will be a lot of competition this year.
“I think it’s good to give the Miami students the chance to choose someone who represents them, but I really just hope that, man or woman, sophomore or junior, whoever the best candidate is will come out on top,” Tyman said. “I trust the student body to do that.”
While Tyman didn’t say whom he plans on voting for, he did say he is looking for qualities in a candidate both as a student and as a member of ASG.
“As a student I’m looking for someone who gets Miami on the map, I know that’s been a big initiative the past two years with ASG presidents,” Tyman said. “I also think they should make the changes that are obvious to students, there’s a lot of complaints about different programs on campus that students want changed and I think that if we get a candidate who is willing to institute those changes, that’s important.”
Within ASG, Tyman said he’s looking for someone who is willing to work with the organization.
“As a member of ASG, I’m looking for someone who’s willing to hear all perspectives, who’s a uniter not a divider and who will really rely on their cabinet and the senators to have initiatives and push what they see as problems because one single student or a pair of students can’t identify all the problems that students have on campus,” Tyman said.
The primary election will take place March 22 and the general election, if necessary, will take place March 29.