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Organizations prepare for upcoming state elections

October 21, 2010

With elections coming up Nov. 2, student organizations on campus have been busy preparing despite a lack of a key election-planning official on Student Senate.

Although Senate was hoping to be more involved with the election process, they are currently lacking a director of the Legislative Affairs Committee.

“I wanted Student Senate to have a larger role in it this year,” said Student Senate President Lee Monson. “However, with Director Haifawis’ resignation, and a lot of his initiatives unfinished, it just didn’t end up working out that way for this election cycle.”

Ali Haifawi resigned as the director of Legislative Affairs Committee last month because of other obligations.

“I accepted the position at the beginning of the semester,” said Senator Haifawi. “It was all going well, but at the same time I was getting really stressed out because I had other obligations to commit myself to; some of them I deemed more of my priority, my personal life, also.”

Bringing candidates to the University was among the goals the Legislative Affairs Committee had at the beginning of the semester. Although with Haifawis’ resignation, the duties of Legislative Affairs fell upon Monson.

“From the Student Senate standpoint, I am the one in charge,” Monson said. “Ali was looking to bring some of the candidates to campus, and he passed his information to me not as promptly as I would have liked, but by the time that I had the information and was able to catch up with the legislative duties and presidential duties, it wasn’t going to happen.”

Although Senate wasn’t able to bring legislators to campus, the College Democrats and College Republicans have been involved in informing students about the upcoming elections.

“We have been raising awareness of the elections by holding rallies and running door-to-door canvasses and phone banks,” said Co-Chair of College Democrats Matt Stauner said. “We have encouraged students to stay in-tune by hosting debate watch parties.
Russ Feingold was a speaker at one of their rallies that hosted Thursday, Oct. 14 on the University Center patio. According to Stauner, over 100 people attended the event and a number of students voted directly afterward at the City Hall.

Amy Klobuchar will be speaking at 3 p.m. Oct. 26 in the Falcon’s Nest. She is coming as an ally to the Wisconsin Democrats, to rally students, faculty and the surrounding communities in preparing for Nov. 2.

Tomorrow there will be a “meet and greet” with Ron Johnson at 10:30 a.m. at Kilkarney Golf Course.  Johnson is running for U.S. Senate, challenging incumbent Feingold.

“Next week, we will be going out in the community to help the Pierce and St. Croix County Parties to do a [literature] drop,” said Chair of College Republicans Michael Leonard said. “It’s kind of like our final push to get the word out to the community.”
Although students have been registering to vote, there has been a lack of interest, Stauner said.

“Students have been showing a great deal of apathy toward mid-term elections,” Stauner said. “If students can begin to realize the importance of the mid-terms, there will be better results. We are hoping that the turn out will reach 1,000, but that will require a huge push in enthusiasm.”