University of Wisconsin students will have the chance to vote for their student representatives and a referendum on a new constitution in the Associated Students of Madison elections this week.
ASM will be holding their elections beginning today to fill 29 Student Council seats, five Student Services Finance Committee seats and senior class officer positions, according to ASM’s website. The government’s new constitution will also be up for a campuswide vote.
ASM spokesperson David Gardner, who is also running for a seat in Student Council, said ASM is hoping to surpass last year’s 11 percent voter turnout with a goal of 15 percent turnout.
Student Election Commission Chair Mickey Stevens said interest in Student Council is imperative because it determines the future of students’ respective colleges.
“If students want to ensure that their student government provides services that matter to them and to the campus as a whole, then students need to elect student government representatives that are going to work towards making that happen,” Stevens said.
Voting can help benefit students’ academic positions whether they are in the College of Letters and Sciences or the School of Business or even Graduate School, he said.
ASM Chair Andrew Bulovsky said this goal for turnout is better than most Big Ten Universities.
All students can vote for Student Council representatives based on what academic college they are in, Bulovsky said, and students can also vote for five new SSFC members regardless of their school.
Students with senior academic standing can also vote for senior class president, vice president, treasurer and secretary.
Gardner said all of the contenders, along with their biographies and issues stances, are featured on ASM’s website. He added it is important for students voting to understand the candidates’ plans for the future of Student Council.
Students’ votes also decide who they want to lead their student government and this can help prioritize certain programs for their benefit, because through voting, students decide where they want their leadership to go, he said.
Garder also noted a crucial element on this year’s ballot is the vote for ASM’s newly proposed constitution.
ASM will announce the elections results and the new representatives on the evening of March 13, Bulovsky said. Winners of the election will serve one-year terms starting May 1, except for SSFC winners, who will serve two-year terms, he added.
“Voting is important because ASM controls about $1,100 of students’ money every single year,” Bulovsky said. “Their votes will also determine if the constitution is passed, which would result in a more efficient ASM.”
Those voting will need to provide their UW netID and password to verify they are students, Stevens said. Computer kiosks around campus will also have a link to vote after students log in, he added.
The elections will take place at asm.uwsc.wisc.edu from March 11-13, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.