New faces dominate A.S. races

A host of unfamiliar names and an unprecedented interest in the seat that oversees A.S. facilities are adding a twist to this year’s student body elections at Chico State University.

Officially, the race for Associated Students positions was on as of a March 20 candidates’ orientation meeting. But campaigning will likely begin in earnest after students return from spring break next week. Only three of the names on the April 17-18 ballot, which lists 11 positions, are of people who currently hold posts on the A.S.

“A lot of people are graduating,” commented Kiran Kumar, the A.S. elections council chair, in reference to the small number of officers bidding to return.

Vying for president are Jimmy Reed, the executive vice president who chairs the Governmental Affairs Commission meetings, and Ben Kovar, a newcomer to the A.S. scene.

A whopping eight students declared their candidacy for vice president of facilities and services. Current A.S. President Amber Johnsen, who is graduating, said she suspects their interest has been piqued by the problems with the construction of the new Bell Memorial Union. Since the winning candidate must garner more than 50 percent of all votes, Kumar said a runoff is likely.

Michael Dailey and Katie Krebs have filed to run for executive vice president. And the incumbent vice president of business and finance, Tiffany Yost, will take on challengers Brian Davis and Brian Anthony Lee.

In three positions, the candidates are running unopposed, including the occasionally contentious post of director of legislative affairs.

Kumar said he expects student turnout will rise beyond last year’s 23 percent, largely because voting will take place online.