Associated Students Voting Party encourages student participation

In Campus News, News
Students line-up for free food and to discuss with ASI election candidates.
(Daily Titan / Miguel Hidalgo)

Cal State Fullerton’s Associated Students hosted a voting party on Wednesday in the Becker Amphitheater, providing free food for students who had  voted and assisting those who had not.

Voters were given the choice of a burger or hotdog and a bag of chips and encouraged to interact at one of the many tables set up, even if they voted prior to attending the event.

“We’re here just letting people know how to vote, so they can go to and vote for their representatives,” said MacKenzie Sheppard, ASI’s elections director.

Following ASI’s three meet and greets held last week, the voting party was the first to feature a food truck.

“Last week we had three different events on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday so students could meet all the different candidates that were running for positions and have lots of different food,” Sheppard said.

The voting party was held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and allowed candidates to interact directly with voters without a moderator present to control conversations.

Originally the event was laid out to have voters approach candidates at tables labeled with their specific college; however, they instead met with candidates to the right side of the amphitheater’s stage.

Aaron Aguilar, a candidate for ASI president, said he enjoyed the experience and was encouraged by the participation he saw from students in the election.

“We have a lot of people coming through and saying they voted and that alone is a really awesome thing to see because in the past, not a lot of students normally vote or know that an election is happening,” Aguilar said.

The loose format of the voting party allowed students and candidates to casually converse and hear campaign pitches. 

Esteban Hamilton, a write-in candidate for the board of trustees, expressed his desire for a moderator or assistant to coordinate conversations between candidates and voters.

“You have people on the sides, so if the students are not interested, they can just pass on by, but here, it’s just crowding the front entrance,” Hamilton said. “If you can look to your side, all of these tables are empty.”

Salvador Oliva, a senior at CSUF, first heard about the event in his email. Although only stopping by briefly, he noted a couple areas that could be improved for future events.

“Definitely more coverage so they can get some more turnout and probably some music and some activities that people can do,” Oliva said.

Despite these minor issues, the voting party helped connect candidates with students and incentivizing  them to vote in order to receive rewards. The election voting ended Wednesday at 8 p.m.

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