ASW revamps the student election process

Student elections kick off this month, with candidates applications due on Feb. 29. This year, there are major shifts and changes to the candidate process. Students can log on to myasw.org and find more.  Photos by Rachel Robertson

Student elections kick off this month, with candidates applications due on Feb. 29. This year, there are major shifts and changes to the candidate process. Students can log on to myasw.org and find more.  Photos by Rachel Robertson

ASW received a facelift this year with a rebrand, but it’s not stopping there. It’s restructured the election process for future student positions, as well.

The election restructure has a major component shift—now, there are no longer team platforms. Instead, students will be running on individual campaign platforms.

Jane Jerman, ASW vice president and member of the elections committee, said that ASW transitioned from teams to individuals to include more students.

“The main change from last year to this year is the candidates running for office or either student board or senate cannot run in teams,” Jerman said. “So, that also means that there are no endorsements either through social media or on campaign posters, but word of mouth is okay.”

Jerman said the election committee decided to move away from the team dynamic so that the best individuals would be elected rather than the best teams.

“This way, there wouldn’t be like a team against a team and every position would be open to the best person with the skill set for it and also who had the best platform,” Jerman said. “So rather than electing a whole team, you would elect person by person, depending on who had the best qualifications for each positions.”

Social media regulations have been tweaked this year, too. The ASW Official Elections Handbook said: “The Elections Committee has jurisdiction over the Internet and all social media. Website and/or social media pages must be submitted to the Elections Committee prior to being posted online. Candidates may not send out campus wide e-mails promoting their campaign.”

Students who run cannot post through Dear John or Career in the Loo, and they also can’t exceed more than one banner on campus. Candidates must pay attention to posting their signs, too, because there’s a limited amount that candidates can post.

A poster advertises ASW's elections in the Bassis Student Center. This year, students running for student government will have to run as individuals rather than as teams. 

A poster advertises ASW's elections in the Bassis Student Center. This year, students running for student government will have to run as individuals rather than as teams. 

Aside from the new running dynamics and campaign tweaks, students are also being paid differently. Student positions will now be compensated by scholarship rather than a stipend or hourly wage.

ASW President Costa Lasiy, physics major and international student, said he encourages as many people to get involved as possible.

“My biggest regret is not having run for a student board position a year earlier,” Lasiy said. “I think you can do the most and accomplish the most when you’re on the board for a couple years. The earlier students run, the more they will get out of it and contribute because it takes time actually getting into the role and you become really efficient.”

Lasiy, a self-described “people person,” said student government positions are places of growth and giving back.

“Every student government position is a position where you can grow a lot and you can apply your skills to better the campus and the community, where you can make a change and you should make a change,” Lasiy said.

Lasiy has implemented change through the ASW rebranding this year, including his Westminster Ideas program and his project fixing the student email communication conundrum.

Lasiy said he has a passion for representing the students and said it is crucial to want to represent your peers.

“I think it is awesome to represent students,” Lasiy said. “To be able to engage with  students, the campus, the community and to talk and represent the students’ interests.”

For more information on all student position outlines or to apply, visit myasw.org. Applications are due Feb. 29 by 5 p.m. Students who have questions or confusion on eligibility can contact committee election members Rodney Glore, Jane Jerman or Ian Troost.

The election campaigning craze launches March 9 on social media.