ASUOP Elections: What Went Right and What Went Wrong

This year’s ASUOP elections took on a new meaning to students in the wake of student advocacy movements in support of greater transparency within university administration. Similarly, voter turnout for the 2019 election was almost twice as high as it was last year with a turnout of 16.06% and the number of presidential candidates increased from one to three.

All three of the presidential candidates also seemed to have taken more radical stances on typical issues around campus to reflect this attitude of change and improvement at Pacific. However, some believe that some foul play may have been the product of the high stakes with which the elections were regarded.

Throughout the race, those running for President and Vice President used many modes of advertising their candidacy, one being the painting of the spirit rocks. However, one morning, candidates Randi Holguin and Mark Carganilla, woke up to find their work ruined by an  unidentified person who chose to cover it up with more paint.

“I have no idea who threw paint on Randi and Mark’s message on the rocks but for those individuals who did it, just know you’re against true equity and representation on this campus,” says Luis Mendez, Business Law ‘19. “Its gone on for too long, that ideas like those shared by [Randi and Mark] have been suppressed and not listened to on this campus.”

The ruined campaign advertisement was not the only obstacle Holguin and Carganilla faced during the elections. Due to a glitch in the elections software, important information describing the background, experience, and presidential priorities was not visible to students for the two running mates during one day of the voting process. In an attempt to level the playing field, the ASUOP elections committee chose to extend the voting period for another day after fixing the issue, however, some students still believe that the damage already done to Holguin and Carganilla’s campaign was irreversible.

The elections committee worked hard to fix the issue as soon as it came up, along with other bugs affecting the voting process. Voting software can be very expensive and takes a team of skilled people to manage. The process was made especially difficult this year with the impromptu resignation of the previous elections coordinator just a short time before the campaigning period began.

However, the running mates kept their poise throughout the election and still put their best efforts forward. “Thank you to everyone who voted as well as supported us,” say Holguin, Business Administration 21 in the final social media post of their campaign. “Just know it doesn’t end here. We will continue to fight for our mission. Congratulations to Emily and John!”

Despite the bumps in the road, it was clear that the 2019 ASUOP elections brought unity to the Pacific community as students came together to choose our next representatives in office. It was clear that each candidate was passionate about the issues they advocated for, which seemed to boost student morale and ensure that few felt as though their votes had been wasted. Let us all keep up the participatory spirit as this school year comes to a close and we usher in a new one!

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