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The Daily Northwestern

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Campaigning for ASG Executive Board kicks off

Evanston’s aldermanic candidates aren’t the only ones running for office next week.

The election period for Associated Student Government’s four elected executive board positions kicks off at 5 p.m. today, when candidates file petitions to run. At 7 p.m., all candidates and campaign managers will officially announce their candidacy at a press conference.

The campaign lasts until April 10, when students will vote online.

The positions up for grabs are president, executive vice president, student services vice president and academic vice president. Each candidate needs a majority of the student vote to win. Runoff elections will take place on April 12 for any position for which a candidate did not receive more than 50 percent of the vote.

Until the elections, candidates and campaign managers will work to gather student support and promote platforms. Candidates attempt to get their messages across through ASG-sponsored debates, catchy flyers and slogans, and meeting as many students as possible.

Jada Black, a candidate for student services vice president, said her goal is to come “face-to-face with as many students as possible in the coming week.”

In order to be eligible to run in the elections, candidates were required to get 200 signatures on their petitions. Black said she thought asking people for their signatures was helpful to begin her campaign.

“Getting signatures was a great way to talk to students,” said Black, a Medill sophomore. “Being able to talk to the students about my ideas, and see their responses to (the ideas), was a great preview for the next week and a half.”

Each candidate has a campaign manager and staff who assist him or her during the campaign. Kate Duffy will serve as campaign manager for presidential candidate Jordan Heinz for the second time. Duffy, a Speech junior, said managing Heinz’s successful executive vice presidential campaign last year makes her job easier now.

“Last year it was the first time around managing a campaign for me, but this year I know more of what to do and when it should be done by,” she said. “The campaign week is very stressful but exciting as well. If the end result comes out how you want it, it’s great to see everything you have worked towards occur.”

While Duffy works on organizing her candidate’s schedule for the week, she said most of Heinz’s platform will come from his own ideas.

First-time campaign manager Joel Richlin, working for executive vice presidential candidate Art Janik, said he agrees the campaign manager should play more of an organizational role.

“I’ve been giving Art ideas for his platform, but that’s more of his thing because he knows what objectives he’d push for if elected,” said Richlin, a Weinberg sophomore. “I’ve done more of going to the election commission with questions, trying to figure out the rules.”

Candidates said they also are looking forward to the election week debates. On Tuesday night, candidates for student services vice president will debate, along with those running for academic vice president. Debates for executive vice president and president will take place Thursday.

Presidential candidate Jay Goyal, a McCormick sophomore, said he is excited to debate.

“The debates are a great way for students to learn about the candidates and what they stand for,” Goyal said. “I’m looking forward to revealing my platform to the students.”

While candidates and their staffs will be receiving most of the attention during the campaign, other students are involved in making sure the election runs smoothly and according to the rules. The seven-student election commission, chaired by Mandy Stilmock, is in charge of setting up the election process and making sure the candidates fulfill all of the responsibilities that go along with running for office, including staying within their $100 budgets.

If any candidate breaks the guidelines, the commission will investigate and punishment will then be handed down by ASG’s Judicial Board.

Members of the election commission also hold office hours throughout the week for approving all campaign literature and answering any questions about the election process.

Stilmock, a Weinberg sophomore, said the commission’s job will be harder than last year because so many candidates are expected to run.

“The competition makes our jobs harder because a lot more complaints will be filed,” she said. “However, having a strong choice of candidates makes for a better ASG next year.”

Academic vice presidential candidate Mike Fong said he also agreed that the strong level of competition will be beneficial for the campus – and for the candidates.

“The competition has forced me to go out and research all of the academic issues,” said Fong, a Weinberg freshman. “It makes you have to do more as a candidate, but in the end, you have better ideas and a better understanding of what students want.”

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Campaigning for ASG Executive Board kicks off