ASA election week update


image7 (5)Junior Anna Stritecky and senior Tyler Beck, the sole ticket running in the ASA presidential campaign, needed only one vote to win the election.

On Monday, April 9, they got the vote, becoming next year’s ASA president and vice president.

It was an oddly uncompetitive election, especially compared to last year’s campaign between three different tickets, Dean of Students Jim Bies said.

“It is a bit of a head scratcher,” Bies said.

Bies said he does not believe the uncontested election was reflective of the current administration or a lack of engagement. Rather, he said uncontested elections are not as rare as some students believe.

“This has happened four or five times in my tenure as the dean of students,” Bies said. “In my recollection of those particular years, it is not representative of the leadership of the current year, so to surmise that there’s a feeling that leadership was ineffective in the current year—well, I would say it was just the opposite.”

It is a different story for the ongoing senatorial elections. While the junior and senior seats are uncontested, there are 12 candidates running for the five sophomore seats.

Junior Darwin Garcia ran unopposed for the ASA treasurer officer, and there are two candidates running for secretary. Only one candidate ran for the adult learner senatorial seat.

image2 (6)

ASA President Katelyn Graber said the freshmen and sophomore seats are normally highly competitive and the competition usually tapers for upper-class seats.

“That’s kind of the trend I have seen,” Graber said. “By the time you are a junior or senior, you just kind of find your niche you want to be involved and dedicate a lot of time to and it is just harder to join ASA at that point when you have more things on your plate.”

Had no one run for the presidency and vice presidency, Graber and Vice President Luke Hurley would have appointed their successors.

Stritecky said she did not know why this year’s election was so uncompetitive compared to last year’s. She guessed that it was because a lot of senators were not in the position to run.

Sophomore Sara Telahun Birhe said she thought ASA could have done a better job communicating with students and campaigning in general during this year’s election.

“I felt like the lack of communications was quite appalling,” Telahun Birhe said. “I did not get an email or any kind of notification telling me today [April 9th] that we vote for who will be the head of the student body next year. I have not seen anyone really campaigning besides a few sophomore senators. So, do they think just because no one is running that they do not have to put in effort?”

Stritecky and Beck said there was little need to campaign, but they also said that does not mean they did not put in the work.

“We did all the back work,” Stritecky said. “We have a platform, we have ideas, we made posters, we just, you know, did not need to spend as much time handing out candy or hanging up posters as other campaigns had to. I like to think that if we did have competitors that we would have a good shot.”

Next year’s ASA President and Vice President Anna Stritecky and Tyler Beck. The two, running uncontested, needed only one vote to win the election. They won the vote on Monday, April 9.

Stritecky and Beck said they hope to amend the application process for campus clubs, provide money for graduate tests like the LSAT, GRE and MCAT, create outdoor spaces on campus and provide students with lockers in the library.

They said these are starting ideas, and they will further flesh out their platform over the summer.

Though Beck is a senior, he will still be able to serve as vice president because he will be attending Augustana’s graduate accountancy program.

Stritecky and Beck also said the association was worried that students without ASA experience would run for president and vice president.

“We were worried someone from the outside was going to try to run,” Stritecky said.

“Normally, presidents and vice presidents come from within,” Beck said.

Telahun Birhe said it was wrong of ASA to insulate itself from students not affiliated with ASA. As a student body, she said it is only right that all students should have the ability to run without internal bias.

“I think a student organization should not really care about an outsider,” Telahun Birhe said. “To fear someone from your own student body perpetuates a homogenous high mindedness.”

Sophomore senator Ryan Solberg said ASA is justified in preferring candidates affiliated with experience in the senate because the presidency and vice presidency require an understanding of the senate.

According to Article III of the ASA Constitution, “All enrolled students at Augustana University, full- and part-time, shall be members of ASA.” Article IV, Section 2, Clause 1 reads that the president, vice president and other officials “must be a member of the ASA.” 

Though vague, the constitution implies that all students are members of ASA, meaning all students are able to run for executive positions, just as long as they have a 2.5 GPA and have taken twelve credits.

Graber said even though the election was uncontested, it still produced competent leaders.

“It does not leave me worried at all,” Graber said. “Anna and Tyler are super qualified and will do a great job.”

The senatorial elections continue today and end tomorrow, April 14.

Leave a Reply

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: