The Associated Students Organization is currently accepting applications for the upcoming school government elections.
The ASO is a student government made up of two branches, a student senate and a club council, both of which are under the charge of an executive board.
The board consists of a president, vice president, treasurer and secretary, according to ASO Senator Fernando Aquino.
In order to run for a position with the ASO, students must meets some requirements.
“Basically a 2.0 GPA. You can’t have exceeded 90 units, and you have to be taking at least five units at Pierce,” Aquino said.
The ASO is trying to advertise the upcoming elections, according to Shane Mooney, president of the ASO.
Once a student applies, the application is evaluated and outside sources make sure that the applicant is eligible to run for the position for which he or she applied, according to Mooney.
“Once the applications are in, [it goes to the] district. They check over to make sure that the person is qualified to run, and once that happens they put it on the ballot,” Mooney said. “After that, we hire outside sources to take over the elections. So pretty much we are separate from that.”
After students are accepted as candidates, they are approached before the election by ASO Adviser Brad Saenz, who informs them what each positions consist of, according to Kanny Morgan, ASO treasurer.
“The ASO election process is fairly simple. You just decide what position you want to run for and you make a statement,” Morgan said. “The biggest thing you should do is to campaign, make posters, advertise with students, go to classrooms.”
The candidates campaign in classrooms and on campus, but there are some restrictions on campaigning on the day of the election.
“There is a deadline for when you can start campaigning and a radius where you can’t campaign near the booth,” Morgan said. “Outside of that little square, you see people handing out flyers and getting as many people as they can to vote for them.”
The elections might sound simple, but they amount to a two-day-long process.
“The elections are a two-day event in order for students to get an equal chance of voting,” said Aquino. “We usually have a good turnout. Last year we had about 700 students who voted.”
The student body can meet the candidates in a forum, which will take place in the Great Hall on April 15 from 2 to 4 p.m.
“We have a town hall for students—for the candidates—where they present themselves, where the moderator asks the candidates questions and then the students ask the candidates questions,” Aquino said.
Morgan said the forum is a good way for students to get to know each candidate and what makes one different from the other.
“It’s really good. It’s informative. It’s good for the students who want to know what makes you different from the other candidates and what you want to do,” Morgan said. “It is like a town hall for president where people ask you questions and give your opinion and that gains a lot of people that get to vote for you and find out what your personal views are.”
Elections, on the other hand, will take place on April 16 and 17.
Mooney said the ASO is a great way for students to get involved with campus life, students, teachers, and with what goes on behind the curtain.
“As president, I go to most of the sheer governors meetings and it is very interesting to see behind the veil of what goes on in school,” Mooney said. “And all of these teachers are really fighting for the students. I don’t think a lot of students know that.”
The ASO invites students to join them for the upcoming elections, even if they are not interested in running.
“Even if you don’t run for government [or] join ASO, it is a great way to get back to school,” Mooney said. “And it’s actually a lot of fun.”
Aquino feels the student elections are important because the school government is something students deal with, even if they are not aware of it.
“I want students to know that is really important for them to take notice of this because they are most likely paying the $7 ASO fee. So they need to know what goes on with that,” Aquino said. “If you want to start a club, that affects you because you have to deal with ASO. If you want to do fundraising you go through ASO as well.”
The ASO is accepting applications for the 2013-14 term for every position through March 18.
Applications, deadlines and more information on the upcoming elections can be found at pierceaso.webs.com.