This year, for the first time in years, there are six tickets running for ASUP president and vice president - a huge change from last year's single ticket.
Despite the fact the president and vice president ran unopposed, this year's ASUP Executive Board has taken its role seriously, with the recent string of resolutions the Senate has passed.
We hope that, with the sudden spike of interest in leadership within student government, ASUP will continue, and even increase, its productive role in the student community. And this all starts with the student vote.
This semester, ASUP passed a resolution to start a conversation hour, which awaits administration approval. This resolution would give students an hour every week with no core or major required classes, a time they could schedule club meetings and activities.
They passed a resolution to start a personal finance class, which will teach students practical life skills and will be offered this fall.
They also passed a resolution to install a water fountain in St. Mary's Student Center, and now there is one.
ASUP has been proposing and passing resolutions that have a real impact on student lives.
And if the great increase in student government candidates is any indicator, these meaingful changes should continue.
As far back as 2005, there have not been more than three tickets running for ASUP president and vice president.
The fact that there are six tickets running this year shows that students are starting to care about student government. They are beginning to see that ASUP can really affect and change things at UP.
Not only does the ASUP executive board have a responsibility to effect change on campus that reflects the interests of the student body, but they each make $6,000 a year, making them among the highest paid student workers on campus.
These students are not being paid to answer phones or do office tasks. They are being paid to represent you.
This year, your vote matters, probably more than ever.
This year, go to the ASUP speech night Tuesday March 19 at 7:30 p.m. in The Commons to hear the candidates present their platforms and field questions.
Take the time to read the platforms of each candidate, which will be printed in our March 21 issue.
Take the time to consider what changes you want to see on campus and which ticket would best represent you as a student.
Which candidates will make it their mission to serve the interests of the student body, not of themselves? Which candidates will continue in the recent tradition of making real changes on campus?
We hope that whoever is elected will recognize how important their role is and live up to their mandate to serve student interests and needs.
And we hope that you, as students, will recognize that since they serve you, it is your responsibility to tell ASUP what you want, and hold them to it. And this all starts with your vote.
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