New visionary statements help clearly interpret the rules

AS will be changing the elections process this coming year.


Ashleigh Fox/THE CHIMES

Rachel Snyder, Writer

Associated Students has revised the elections process, resulting in clarified guidelines and elections happening a full month earlier, Richie Gowin, vice president of Associated Students marketing and communications, said at the 2013 AS and Student Missionary Union elections meeting on Tuesday night.

Unlike previous years with campaigns and elections in mid-March, the process will be held a month earlier. With elections on Feb. 20, current leaders hope there will be more time for the training process. 

“We wanted to try and coincide with other student leadership hirings on campus,” Igram-Edwards said, referring to resident assistant and Student Orientation Services leadership positions.

Clarity after last year's controversy

Additionally, AS leaders wanted to create more time for the hiring and interviewing process in the spring. Igram-Edwards explained that hiring takes place after the election, when the AS president and vice president hire the rest of the AS staff.

Not only will elections be earlier, but the rules surrounding campaigning will be more clear this year. These decisions follow after two presidential candidate teams were disqualified last year after what was deemed early public campaigning.

“We had some issues last year with lack of clarification and campaign teams … breaking rules by publicly announcing [their candidacy] before campaign week,” Igram-Edwards said.

Candidates may not publicly announce that they are running until the beginning of campaign week. Though they may speak to their campaign team over email, the actual campaigning — public announcements via social media, websites, street teams and other media — must only take place within campaign week, between Feb. 13 and 19, according to Igram-Edwards.

New vision statements to help guide and interpret law

Campaign week will no longer kick off with an elections chapel as it has in years past. Instead, candidates will announce their campaigns via elections videos.

In addition to these logistical changes, Associated Students has created three new core values to help describe the guidelines for new rules for the 2013 AS and Student Missionary Union elections. The campaigning rules have been changed to align with the vision statements, Gowin said.

“I think these visions will help us guide and interpret the law,” he said. These values will be used as a standard from which to determine campaign rule violations.

Goal is to empower people

In the first visionary statement, AS gives guidelines to prevent students from becoming overstimulated with election campaigning.

“There [are] already so many posters around campus,” Gowin said. Biola is already saturated with information and AS does not want to overwhelm the students.

The second vision is advantage. AS does not want any candidate to have an unfair advantage over the others by getting a headstart on campaigning, Gowin said.

The third vision is excitement; Gowin stated that students should be able to have fun without becoming overwhelmed by the campaign materials.

“The goal this year with the changes [is] to empower people that run but clarify things as much as we could. We don't want … candidates to be fearful at every turn if they are breaking a rule,” Igram-Edwards said.

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