Editor’s Note: Updated as of April 14, 2020. Voting closes at 8 a.m. on Friday, April 17 instead of Thursday, April 16. Election results will now be shared via Zoom on Friday, April 17, starting at 12 p.m.
Casting a ballot for the newest Associated Student (A.S.) representatives is a spring tradition at SJSU, and because most students are away from campus because of COVID-19, it is going virtual for the first time.
On Monday, April 13, from 5-7 p.m., students can watch candidate debates via Zoom. Information on how to watch the debate is available on the A.S. website.
Immediately after the debate ends, SJSU students can cast their vote for 12 A.S. Board of Directors positions. Voting closes at 8 a.m. on Thursday, April 16. The election results will be shared via Zoom on Thursday, April 16, starting at 12 p.m.
Cynthia Fernandez-Rios, ’21 Business Administration, serves as the Chief Elections Officer and led the charge in transitioning the A.S. election to a virtual format alongside Student Elections Commission (SEC) Advisor and A.S. Leadership and Government Coordinator, Samantha Quiambao.
“In order to help normalize the situation, we constantly communicate and update all candidates via email,” Fernandez-Rios said. “In the past A.S. has not publicized candidates, however, this year, we have made a tremendous effort to promote all candidates running for all positions.”
Fernandez-Rios said the hardest part about the transition to a virtual election was altering the A.S. Election requirement of attending pre-election events. The SEC team used social media to share candidates’ responses to the question “What is the biggest change you want to see at SJSU?” The candidates also submitted a video discussing their platform and what they would do if they were elected.
“Using social media as much as we have has been very exciting,” Fernandez-Rios said. “The videos created by each candidate were a great idea and will be a continued expectation fornext year.”
Students who vote are automatically entered into a random drawing, with A.S. swag bags and major and minor prizes up for grabs. The prizes will be mailed to the students or shipped to the closest Amazon lockbox.
“Cynthia and her team worked so hard to get students interested in running for positions, and it was difficult to deal with the current situation knowing that they needed to cancel all their plans,” said A.S. Executive Director Carole Dowell. “I hope for a great voter turnout as a recognition of their efforts and motivation.”