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ASG elections coercion at its best

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By Kelli Kavinsky

ka.kavinsky@colostate-pueblo.edu

CSU-Pueblo ASG elections happen every year for important reasons, to some random and not so important reasons. The expectations of these elections have not changed any either. There are still people who are desperate in their goal to become a winner that they will stop at nothing to get that.

So it came to no surprise to me that last week during the ASG elections, I felt as if I was being forced into voting, yet again. It reminded me of the campaign of that crazy prom queen, who would stop at nothing to win. You know the type, they did movies in the 90s with a few of them, where you had the popular girl giving out cupcakes for votes.

Well for these elections, as I hold a job in the OUC where the majority of the incessant campaigning took place. I had the same people asking me multiple times to vote and those same people asking anyone who happened to walk by the same thing. “Vote for me!”

Photo courtesy of the CSU-Pueblo ASG website.

My answer: No, I won’t vote at all.  I’ll pause while the shock of my answer wears off.

But I must surely be crazy.  Why wouldn’t I want to vote? To let my voice be heard? Well yes, but I want it heard for my beliefs through another person, not just their wish to win. Or because like MTV always says your voice matters. My reasons for not voting are to me what matter in this instance.

I have no direct issue with either group. That is not my problem here.

But why should I vote for you when a) I have no idea who you are or whom you’re running with, b) I’m not aware of what you stand for or want to do differently, and c) you badger me repeatedly, while I’m working, now that is just annoying.

Sadly, I wasn’t the only one who was forced or felt forced into voting. One party, the Project-A-New, knocked on doors in the dorms coercing students to vote for members of their respective parties.

The ASG Election Code states that bribery and coercion will not be tolerated and yet, it seems to have happened.

I’m glad to see the future people who will be helping out our student body have so much faith in our own minds that they tell us who to vote for. Now I know what most of you are going to say, “Well the last ASG president did the same thing, he bent rules and did all he could to win the election”. My response, good for him, but does that make you any better than he is?

Should I have wasted my vote, on someone who is doing the same exact thing as the last guy? I say no yet again. I didn’t agree with what the last guy did and so I sincerely doubt that I will agree with what this new guy will do because you are following his lead.

 The conduct of these groups registers as a direct reflection of their ability and ethics to hold a position representing us students. The main problem here is that they relied on coercion rather than actual party strength to win.

The only issue I had was the execution of how they approached students and their lack of what I consider to be ethical treatment of each other.

In Project-A-New’s case it seemed more like an act of revenge than an actual desire to make a difference for the student body. With hate filled posters and accusations strewn across campus it was hard for students to miss the unhappiness between the two candidates.

Also, ASG candidates: Don’t expect a Facebook page to speak for you. Sure writing your ideas down on a page is easy, but I want to hear what you really have to say. I want to know and see how passionate or not you are about the issues you feel need to be fixed.

Take these elections seriously and make yourselves and your people, ideas, wants, and needs known. Don’t expect because you wear a t-shirt saying that you’re supporting whoever and a table in the OUC will make any real person who cares vote for you. All the votes acquired this election were bogus.

Clearly there are many factors that our ASG students need to work out. Let’s have some class and keep our hateful issues to ourselves when running, and try to keep the coercion out of the next election. Have faith in the student body that they’ll choose the right candidates. Winning, is important but shouldn’t winning be something more as well?