Candidates in the 2019 ASUO election season will debate in a town hall event on Tuesday, April 2. The debate, which will be held at the Global Scholars Hall, is the next major campaign event since social media campaigning for slates started on March 20.

Three slates have entered the race this year, with over three dozen candidates combined running for 38 available seats: Ducks Empowered, Oregon Alliance, and UO is Yours.

Allison Dominguez, ASUO election commissioner, said students are able to submit questions for candidates online.

“We want students to submit questions that are relevant to them, that voters care about,” Dominguez said.

Candidates will be informed of topics for discussion during the debate, and Dominguez explained that there would be time for all candidates to mingle and meet with the audience.

In the meantime, this year's slates have already posted information on various social media sites.

Ducks Empowered, the largest slate, is focused on “empowering student voices and autonomy through tuition engagement, access to mental health care, and fair student pay,” according to its Facebook page. Several of the candidates competing hold positions in ASUO already, including presidential candidate Sabinna Estephania Pierre. Pierre, who serves as vice-chair of the EMU Board, promised to advance student needs by “increasing student input and using the practice of coalition in all matters that affect students.”

Oregon Alliance is running with the promise to put “students first.” In his voter guide statement, presidential candidate Joey Alongi wrote that the slate represents the “interest of the duck community as a whole,” and would work to combat discrimination, push budget reform, and assist with mental health and sexual misconduct issues.

UO is Yours is the smallest slate with only two candidates, Katie Quines and Gracia Dodds running for president and vice-president, respectively. The slate has a platform focusing on accessibility to higher education and administrative accountability. Quines stated that there is particular focus on combating sexual violence and ensuring marginalized groups are fairly represented.

Dominguez said at the start of campaigning that the election process has gone smoothly, although there has been a challenge in informing the campus community of events.

“I think a lot of students don't know about [the elections],” said Dominguez, “so our main focus is trying to raise awareness. We're trying to address all avenues, from social media, through flyers, and residence halls.”

As of this writing, no candidates are identified for positions on the Student Rec Center Advisory Board or the Student Planning Construction Committee. Along with the candidates for government, three ballot measures are up for decision: a vote to decrease the number of office hours ASUO senators can hold, a vote to continue the current funding level for student leadership and advocacy nonprofit OSPIRG, and a move to allow the ASUO Senate to appropriate more of the Incidental Fee to allow a financial surplus.

Students can vote on DuckWeb April 8 through 11. Provided there is no run-off election, a series of orientations for incoming officials would begin in late April.

Do you appreciate independent student journalism? Emerald Media Group is a non-profit organization. Please consider a donation to support our mission.