August 18, 2019 | 83° F

Voting period for RUSA's fall elections will close Tuesday at midnight

Photo by Casey Ambrosio |

Students interested in voting for their representatives in the Rutgers University Student Assembly have until tonight at midnight to cast their ballots. After that, the polls will close and the results will be announced at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

Today is the last day to vote in the Rutgers University Student Assembly (RUSA) fall elections.

Tonight at 11:45 p.m. the final ballots will be sealed for the new student representatives. Over 40 students are in the running for positions as campus at-large representative and class representative, as the new first-year students have yet to elect their student leaders.

The results will be announced at 7 p.m. this Thursday prior to the start of the RUSA meeting.

Viktor Krapivin, RUSA’s Elections Committee chair and a School of Arts and Sciences senior, said that students should vote in this election in order to express their voice on who will represent them in New Brunswick.

“Student leaders contribute to making very important decisions at Rutgers University,” Krapivin said. “Due to Rutgers University's belief in shared governance and those contributions are legitimized through elections.”

He said that there is not sufficient information to speculate on the number of people who will vote in this election, but that in the past as few as 700 students to as many as 2,200 students voted in the fall elections.

The effectiveness of representation depends strongly on the ability of the candidates elected, he said. It is the student body's job to elect the best candidates.

“I think this election means what the candidates and the student body makes of it,” Krapivin said. “In my opinion, it is a way for students to play a critical role in electing those who will represent them. The candidates elected will represent students in RUSA and in other forums on campus.”

The goal of the Elections Committee is to raise voter turnout to 10 or 15 percent by creating less restrictive guidelines regulating campaign practices, he said.

“Fall elections always have depressed turnout — we usually have around 7 percent turnout,” Krapivin said.

There are 36 available positions open to contest for the current election, including two School of Arts and Sciences senators-at-large, a Class of 2021 representative for each campus and several at-large representatives for each campus, including off-campus, according to the Election Guidelines document.

A document, which includes campaign finance guidelines, as well as rules for contributing to campaigns, is available on the RUSA website.

“This year, we held the first elections committee meeting that was open to the public, where members of the public had the opportunity to contribute to the guidelines,” Krapivin said.

Adeel Ahmed, a School of Arts and Sciences junior, is running for the position of School of Arts and Sciences senator-at-large on behalf of the UnScrew RU ticket.

Ahmed said that Rutgers students should vote in this election because he believes it is very important to express their voices.

“RUSA is there to represent the students and so the more the turnout the more likely for us to have the right leaders,” he said.

People should care about this election because it is important to put the right people in RUSA’s leadership positions, Ahmed said. RUSA is more important than students think.

He said that the goal of his ticket is plain and simple — to the RU Screw by uniting the students to make a difference.

“We believe that the biggest way to solve the major issues is when RUSA sits down on the same table as the other student organizations like Rutgers One, USAS, Rutgers No More and discusses the major issues,” Ahmed said.

Ahmed was one of the primary organizers of last year’s No Ban No Wall march, which over 1,000 students took part in. He said the reason it was so successful was that he worked with UndocuRutgers, Rutgers One and many other organizations.

Currently, a member of RUSA, Ahmed is within his task force in this way — sitting with major University organizations and discussing how they can get students more involved in the political process.

“At the end of the day, the issues facing the student body shall always exist,” he said. “That's why I am running in a group of 16 passionate individuals. Because the vision of student unity will never die."

Stephen Weiss

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