CSUN hopefuls seek seats after initial race ruled invalid by council
CSUN undergraduate student government senate candidates spent the first day of the election campaigning around campus on Wednesday, some with more experience than others.
This is the second senate election held this semester after the first was invalidated by the CSUN Judicial Council on Oct. 10, after it was ruled to have been improperly conducted.
The CSUN Elections Board decided to reopen the election to new candidates during a meeting on Oct. 31, so students like Jordan Perlstein, from the college of urban affairs, would be able to run for the first time.
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“I ran for [the CSUN senate] because I think I can make a difference,” he said. “By listening to the people around, in my college, not in my college, whatever — I can actually represent their voice and I can actually make a difference. We all can.”
Perlstein decided to run after he was invited by Diana Fung, who is running for a liberal arts seat. She told him that she was looking for someone with the same ideals to run for the seat on the Rebels United ticket.
“We need to voice a strong opinion on the senate, especially in the college of urban affairs,” he said.
Other candidates found themselves campaigning for a second time and competing against a different set of opponents.
“It was very disappointing at first,” said Thomas McAllister, who is running for a liberal arts seat on the Rebels United ticket. “I would say bittersweet was almost the word for it.”
The Rebels United ticket won 20 out of the 23 available seats during the last election. McAllister said that it was possible that the results will be different this time, because there are new candidates running on the other major ticket, Rebels Rising, who did more campaigning.
McAllister has participated in five CSUN senate elections and has also been involved in other areas of the organization such as the scholarships committee, which he said could still be improved.
“I think that’s the biggest area where we can help students — it’s giving them back the money that they’ve given to us.”
He also said that CSUN could work to prevent individuals who are not UNLV students from using the resources offered to students on campus, such as computer labs and the library.
This would free up computers and study space for students, who might also feel safer if there were less of these individuals on campus, according to McAllister.
Candidates outside of the Student Union spoke to students about the issues within their colleges and around UNLV.
English major Winta Araya met with candidates from both Rebels Rising and Rebels United and based her decisions on their platforms.
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Araya said that listening to the candidates speak about issues within her college made it easier to decide who she wanted to vote for.
“I actually liked that I had two opposing sides talking to me,” she said. “They were basically debating their standpoint.”
The Rebels Rising ticket, whose campaign centers on advocating for mentorship and networking, is what Araya said led her to vote mostly for its candidates.
Senior political science majors Calder Gabroy and Whitney Maderos also voted for Rebels Rising candidates, though their support has changed since the last election.
“We made different decisions,” Maderos said. “We definitely did.”
Maderos and Gabroy voted for Katie Linfield, who is seeking re-election, the first time around because Linfield was in their respective sorority and co-ed fraternity.
The pair said that they voted for Nathaniel Phillips, Allie Moffat and Verise Johnson this time around because the invalidation made them question CSUN’s current leadership and the motives of the senate candidates.
“I’m really glad that Rebels Rising came out against Rebels United, because before it didn’t seem like there was much of a choice,” Gabroy said. “I would think that some other people did that when they realized that there were problems going on with CSUN elections.”
Gabroy said that under better leadership, CSUN might not make the same mistakes based on technicalities.
“Students always deserve to have a student government,” he said. “They always deserve to be represented by students, but we just want to get the right people in office to do it.”