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A student chalking the words "Vote Today" on a Northrop mall sidewalk

Sidewalk chalking is one of the many methods that students have used to attempt to get out the vote for this year's elections.

Getting out the vote

All-campus elections feature rallies, online voting

By Kristi Goldade

April 17, 2007

Yesterday, April 16, marked the official start of this year's student government elections. Although Monday's voting had some major technological glitches, electronic vote-casting is now up and running smoothly. Today and tomorrow, students can log on with their campus I.D.s to a one-stop voting shop to pick the officers and members of many of the student groups who assert their influence on the U's campuses.

The All-Campus Elections Commission is hosting the site and is a student group itself. Formed to help other groups participate in the election process, it also sets up debates that tackle issues like tuition, textbook prices, the "party patrol," and professor evaluations.

Any registered student group can have a presence on the voting site (see below for some of this year's groups) and it may be one of the few times it will have its name and message made public for the entire University community, says Ed Kim, Student Activities Advisor. "When students groups participate in all-campus elections, they experience so much more excitement and support than had they independently held an election," says Ed Kim.

To get the U out and voting, the committee has posted fliers on Facebook, MySpace, and the U's MyU portal, as well as chalked its message on sidewalks across campus. "Get out the vote" rallies on Tuesday (in front of Coffman Union) and Wednesday (at the student center on the St. Paul campus) will feature prizes, food--a sure student draw--and lap top computers for students to vote on.

So, if you're a University student reading this, do your part. Log on and vote. "The great thing about these elections," says Kim, "is the opportunity for the University student community to stand behind those working to make the U a better place."

Who to vote for

The student groups below are participating in the all-campus elections. Please click on their names for more information. College of Liberal Arts Student Board This is the student governing board for the college. Its mission is to represent and advocate for CLA students in policymaking and community building. Minnesota Student Association MSA offers a host of services to students, including MSA Express, a van taxi service to increase campus safety during the weekends, concerts to support student community service and spirit, and grants. It lobbies for two major issues: reduced tuition and textbook prices. MPIRG (Minnesota Public Interest Research Group) Empowering students and the community to take collective action since 1971, some of MPRIG'S current issues are the MinnCan pipeline, renewable energy, and homelessness. Student Senate The Student Senate is a body of student representatives from UMC, UMD, UMM, and UMTC campuses. It acts as an advisory board on matters of student academic integrity, behavior, government, organizations, and publications. GAPSA (Graduate and Professional Student Assembly) GAPSA advocates on behalf of the U's graduate and professional students.