Photo Credits: Memorial Union at UC Davis during an afternoon in Fall Quarter 2020. (Quinn Spooner / Aggie)
Pandemic influences marketing campaign for election
Voting for the Fall Quarter 2020 ASUCD elections began at 12 p.m. PST on Nov. 16, and will end at 12 p.m. PST on Nov. 19.
Fifteen candidates are running for six open seats on the senate table, and one candidate is seeking re-election for the External Affairs Vice President position.
On Oct. 8, ASUCD Senate Bill #5, authored by Karolina Rodriguez and co-authored by Samantha Boudaie, was passed by a 11-0-1 roll call vote.
This bill “temporarily changes the amount of signatures needed for declaring candidacy as defined in Chapter Four (4) of the Bylaws to 75 for the Fall Quarter 2020 elections,” according to the bill itself.
This bill was introduced “due to our current health crisis,” since some students may have difficulty with finding the normal 125 signatories, according to the bill.
After amassing 75 signatures from undergraduate students via Kerberos and attending a mandatory candidate workshop, candidates were considered officially running and were expected to write their platforms and develop their campaigns.
“Because voting has traditionally been online via the elections website anyway, I don’t foresee any changes on that front,” said Senator Samantha Boudaie via email. “However, campaigning will look significantly different as candidates will have to rely heavily on social media and other virtual platforms to get their votes.”
The Elections Committee “ensures the smooth and fair administration of ASUCD elections […] coordinates publicity to encourage students to vote, and puts on candidate and ballot measure forums to better inform students of election issues,” according to the UC Davis elections website.
ASUCD Vice President Emily Barneond said that the Elections Committee chair has “been really active in planning early-on.”
“[The Elections Committee chair has planned to] implement a comprehensive marketing plan so that students see not only Facebook timelines, but also Instagram [posts], at least just the faces, through some kind of spotlight post of all the candidates running,” Barneond said.
Elections Committee Chair Karolina Rodriguez said via email that ASUCD Creative Media has been working on a completely digital marketing campaign. Creative Media is “an on-campus student design firm,” according to their website.
Some components of the digital marketing campaign include an elections video made by Aggie Studios, an Instagram story takeover on the official UC Davis account, LCD screens in student housing, and social media posts on the ASUCD Instagram account, according to Rodriguez.
“We are in charge of hosting the mandatory candidate workshop that is required for candidates to officially run for a seat, we organize the candidate debate, we work with Creative Media and Aggie Studios to promote elections, we handle any election complaints and issue violation points as necessary,” Rodriguez said.
To vote, students can visit https://elections.ucdavis.edu/vote/, log in with their Kerberos account and then make decisions on ballot measures and Senator candidates.
“Elected officials represent all 35,000 undergraduate students on campus — we typically see about 3,000 voting students in a good fall election cycle,” Boudaie said. “Barely making 10% of the student population to represent the entire student voice is a pretty significant discrepancy. This is why it is incredibly important to have high voter turnout so we can have not only more accurate representation in our student government, but also so that we can truly engage with the campus.”
Rodriguez also echoed these sentiments.
“It is important to vote because ASUCD Senators are advocates in our campus community,” Rodriguez said. “Senators act as a liaison between campus officials and students, allocate budgets to ASUCD’s units and committee chairs and members […], write legislation to guide ASCUD’s operations and appoint commission and committee chairs and members who advocate for the issues you care about.”
Written by: Aarya Gupta — firstname.lastname@example.org