The Associated Students of Madison’s (ASM) election for student council and the Student Services Finance Committee (SSFC) started on Monday.
The election will determine the 33 representatives that will serve on the 28th session of ASM. Students vote for the allotted amount of representatives within their school or college, and each student casts three votes for SSFC, which oversees the allocation of nearly $51 million in segregated fees.
“We’re there to represent 40,000 students, so I hope that the viewpoints of those 40,000 students are being accurately depicted within our student council body, and that’s why it’s so important to vote in this election,” ASM 27th session Vote Coordinator Ellen Abad Santos said.
The ballot also features a referendum asking every student whether or not they support ASM’s COVID-19 Student Relief Fund, which has received pushback from UW-Madison administrators since its proposal at ASM’s Jan. 26 student council meeting. The fund, in partnership with the Tenant Resource Center, aims to support pandemic-heightened financial stress relating to rent and utility costs.
Abad Santos thinks that the initiatives started by the 27th session of ASM in their work with COVID-19 relief funding, conversations with University of Wisconsin Police Department and segregated fees, will continue in the 28th session.
“There’s been a lot of hot topics and I think that the campaigns and projects that people have been working on will continue to gain momentum and hopefully solutions can be found,” Abad Santos said.
The voter turnout among the UW-Madison student body in the Spring 2020 ASM election was 7.3%. Abad Santos stresses the importance of voting in ASM elections, so that students’ viewpoints are represented.
“We want to know, as ASM leaders, how the student body feels about things and when things are being voted on at student council, it’s really important to get all perspectives and all different sides,” Abad Santos said.
After the ballots are counted, the elected representatives will determine who will serve in positions within ASM, including Chair and Vice Chair, when they take office in April.
Students can vote for their ASM and SSFC representatives online. Voting closes at 5 p.m. on Wednesday.