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ASUNM, GPSA urge election turnout

The Associated Students of UNM as well as the Graduate and Professional Student Association both have their elections in early April, with the presidential seats in both governing bodies for the 2015-16 school year up for grabs.

GPSA elections will be held online. GPSA Elections Chair Moses Allen said it proves to be more convenient for graduate students and that most of the students who vote are those who are already involved in UNM organizations.

“GPSA always hopes to have a better turnout than they get, but many are working elsewhere and some are just trying to get through classes to their degree,” he said.

Allen said that the governing body will utilize a variety of methods to promote the election in the weeks leading up to it, including SUB event boards, e-mail lists and social media.

GPSA President Texanna Martin emphasized the accessibility of polling for graduate students, something that she said she hopes will lead to high voter turnout and wholesome representation for the University’s graduate student population.

“It is important to remember that the next president will chair the Student Fee Review Board, and will continue to advocate for students by being an advisor to the Regents,” Martin said. “I ask that everyone take the time to vote and shape the conversation for another great year.”

GPSA election polling will open online at 8 a.m. on April 6 and close at 5 p.m. on April 9. The GPSA website is http://gpsa.unm.edu.

Katherine Lichtie, the ASUNM Elections Commission executive director, said that there will be a multitude of polling locations around campus for ASUNM’s early voting on April 2 and the organization’s primary voting day on April 8.

The locations already determined are the SRC commons, Dane Smith Hall, Zimmerman Library, the SUB, Johnson Center and Mesa Vista Hall, while another will be determined soon, she said.

Lichtie said ASUNM will also rely on social media to a great extent to encourage voting, as well as depending on word of mouth. She said they hope to avoid what happened in the fall elections, when ASUNM had the lowest voter turnout for an election since 2007.

“I believe it is important to vote because these students are representing the whole undergraduate student body at UNM,” Lichtie said. “I wouldn’t say we have a specific numerical goal, but we definitely want to see an increase from last semester and get as many people aware of the election and voting.”

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While the deadline of candidacy submission for those planning to run for a GPSA position has passed, any undergraduate student who wants to run for the position of ASUNM president, vice president or senator has until Monday to submit their candidacy packets. The packet can be found on ASUNM’s website.

Both governing bodies will host opportunities for interested students to get informed about the platforms of presidential candidates. GPSA hopefuls will present their platform at the next GPSA Council meeting on March 28 at 9 a.m. in the SUB Lobo A & B room.

ASUNM plans to have its first-ever presidential debate on March 31. Further details are yet to be determined.

David Lynch is a staff reporter at The Daily Lobo. He can be reached at news@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @RealDavidLynch.

ASUNM and GPSA elections dates

ASUNM

March 23 — Candidacy packets due

April 1 – Endorsement Forum

Early Voting – April 2

Election Day – April 8

GPSA

March 28 – Presidential debate and platform speeches

March 30 – Public forum for all candidates

April 3 – Public forum for all candidates

April 6 – GPSA election online polls open at 8 a.m.

April 9 – GPSA Election online polls close at 5 p.m.

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