Monday, February 25, 2008



The ASUSU Executive Council could be giving the annual officer election process a makeover within the month, ASUSU President Peter McChesney said.

McChesney, who authored the new student legislation, said it would make the election process "smoother" for both candidates and voters alike. In part because there would be fewer elected positions, and, if the proposed legislation is passed, elections would last only one week rather than two.

Other than these, the most notable changes would be the advent of a presidential/vice presidential ticket, where a presidential candidate would select a running mate before elections begin. The two would run and campaign together against other similarly paired opponents, and would win or lose together.

"The majority of other colleges and universities are doing it this way," McChesney said. "To be honest, Utah State's been stuck in the past and I think it's time for a change." Click here to see how other universities conduct their elections.

Another substantial change would be that the president would then weigh in to appoint other students to the Executive Council's positions. Currently each spot on the council is an elected position. Click here to see a listing of positions and a description of ASUSU's current structure.

But President McChesney's optimism for the legislation and confidence in its success is not shared by all of his ASUSU associates. While most are in favor of the proposal, including HASS Senator Nick West, Executive Vice President Ashley Johnson, and Service VP German Ellsworth, members like Kevin Abernathy, the academic senate president, are against it.

Referring to the presidential powers of appointing his entire cabinet, Abernathy said that it gives "too much power [to] one individual."

The real question, however, is what the students will think of all this. If the proposed changes were to be approved by the Executive Council and the Academic Senate, then the decision would be left up to the students: ticket, or no ticket? Change, or no change?

So far, students have remained somewhat apathetic to the issue. An article similar to this one was published in the Utah Statesman several weeks ago, but is still waiting to receive any feedback from students, positive or negative.

For now, the pending legislation has been put on the backburner as this year's election cycle is already in full swing, with primary voting starting tomorrow. McChesney said he plans to push the amendment through before his term of service expires in May.

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