The Daily Aztec

Write-in candidates join A.S. presidential race

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Kelly Smiley

Kelly Smiley

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by Will Fritz, News Editor

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Two write-in candidates have jumped into the race for Associated Students president at the eleventh hour.

Alexander Pearson and Megan Mueller both completed paperwork to run for president last week, according to A.S.

Elections began Monday on WebPortal and will continue until 8:00 p.m. Thursday.

Current A.S. Vice President of University Affairs Chris Thomas was the only candidate for the highest student position in A.S. until the two write-in candidates announced.

Pearson said he made the decision to start campaigning after reading The Daily Aztec’s March 14 editorial about A.S. elections.

“It was just stating how there’s only one candidate running for president and I thought that was not a democratic system at all, and I wanted to run as a write-in to just kind of put my voice out there and see what I could do,” he said.

Mueller said she also didn’t like the idea of only one person running for president.

“I was talking to my friend, who’s my campaign manager, and we were talking about how weird it was that there’s only one person running for A.S. president, and I personally couldn’t feel OK with letting that happen,” Mueller said.

A.S. write-in presidential candidate Megan Mueller. Courtesy photo.

She said one goal of hers would be to reach out to students she sees as “under-represented” — especially commuter students.

“They don’t have a place on campus and stuff like that and I just want to bring students more together than they already are,” she said.

Pearson said he wants to increase engagement between students and their student government.

“I talked to about 300 students yesterday, and I was just asking them what they knew about Associated Students, if they knew the election was going on,” Pearson said March 20, “and I found that a lot of students, one, either didn’t know what Associated Students was, or they didn’t know what A.S. does day-to-day and how that affects their lives as students.”

A.S. write-in presidential candidate Alex Pearson. Photo by Will Fritz.

The computer science student said while he hasn’t previously been involved with A.S., he thinks the organization could use an outsider candidate.

“I think it’s very nice to have someone coming in from (out of) A.S. to kind of get that different A.S. perspective, because a lot of the candidates have been in A.S. for the last two or three years,” Pearson said.

He said he still has plenty of leadership experience without being involved with A.S., touting YourUnity, a startup he co-founded that’s aimed at helping community service organizations interact with students, and an internship with Hewlett-Packard in which he said he helped implement new technologies with the county of San Diego.

“And finally, on top of that, freshman year, I was on hall council — floor representative — so I’m familiar with how the school interacts with its students,” Pearson said.

Like Thomas and most of the other A.S. executive candidates, neither Mueller nor Pearson support keeping the human representation of the Aztec mascot.

Mueller supports getting rid of the ‘Aztecs’ name altogether.

“I’m not sure that there’s going to be a resolution over that, and I think that no matter what, people are going to be arguing over it, but I do agree that we need to change the mascot,” she said. “I feel like if you change the human representation, you need to change the name as well. Appropriating an ancient empire, that’s not OK.”

Both write-in candidates also voted against the Aztec Recreation Center expansion referendum — which Thomas was a key organizer for.

“I’m not going to be paying for it, but the students in the future are going to be paying for it and they had no say in it, which is kind of crazy,” Pearson said.

The referendum, which narrowly passed, calls for a doubling in size of the ARC, which is projected to be complete by fall 2021. The expansion will be paid for with a $195-per-semester student fee increase, which won’t go into effect until the expansion is complete. The new fee increase will also cover students’ membership costs for the gym.

“I personally have had a financial hardships and I know that having to pay more money for something that you might not even use, that’s not fair to anyone,” Mueller said. “I do agree that we do need updates to the ARC, I just don’t think that this was the right way to do it.”

Read about the candidates for vice president of external relations, Michael Wiafe and Latrel Powell.

Read about the candidates for vice president of university affairs, Ronnie Cravens and Anya Shutovska.

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “Write-in candidates join A.S. presidential race”

  1. Zach Pellonari on March 20th, 2018 7:27 pm

    I love these bright eyed, bushy tailed kids; so full of enthusiasm and ignorance. Ms. Mueller – Who’s going to pay for whatever plan you come up with to make commuter students feel more connected to school after you get rid of the Aztec moniker? Because it sure as hell won’t be the Alumni. Do you even realize how many millions of dollars per year Alumni donate to SDSU? Oh, I’m sure the CSU will cover the bill because they’re not in a financial crisis or anything. Good lord, I feel sorry for the future of SDSU.

  2. Ordercialisonline on April 5th, 2018 12:58 am

    Thank you. I needed to hear this today.

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