District 13 write-in candidate Barbara Bachmeier spoke at the Union of Students at the University of Alaska Anchorage meeting Friday afternoon, emphasizing the importance of voting in Alaska.
“The stakes really couldn’t be higher,” she said.
She shared brief accounts from Alaska’s history when a slim majority has decided governmental positions, such as when Mike Hawker won a House of Representative seat in 2002 by a 36-vote margin.
She also spoke out against alleged corruption within the Elections Oversight Committee, saying after the meeting that she has been excluded from participating in debates and discussions with other candidates throughout the city. According to Bachmeier, this is because of her status as a write-in candidate and because she does not support all of the ideas on the Republican Party platform, despite running as a Republican candidate.
She said, “If we keep voting for the same old candidates, we’re going to get the same old results.”
Bachmeier is a psychology major at UAA and a U.S. Air Force retiree.
Senator Max Bullock also addressed voting while speaking on behalf of the Student Union and Commuter Student Union Board.
He said there are certified registrars at the information desk in the Student Union where students can register to vote.
Bullock also said the board is helping host a Latin Dance Series from 6-7:30 p.m. beginning Sept. 19 in the Student Union cafe 6; a gear swap where people can trade or sell their sporting or camping gear on campus from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 6 in the Student Union; several events to recognize Constitution Week, including hallway politics from noon-5 p.m. in the upper hall of the Student Union and a candidate forum from 4-7 p.m. Thursday in the Student Union’s north cafeteria.
According to Bullock, the board is helping host a bike safety seminar from 3-5 p.m. Wednesday in the Student Union where there will be free barbecue, lecturers with information about bike safety and demonstrations about how to do general bike repairs.
In other news, USUAA President Alejandra Buitrago reported that Chancellor Tom Case is working to develop ways to continue to stay in contact with students to keep them informed of the goings-on around campus, including the possible creation of a Facebook or Twitter account.
She said when planning goals for this year, she and Case both named safety as a number one priority.
Buitrago said Case reported that there are 77 construction projects happening on campus, and students should be aware of their surroundings, particularly around construction areas, to stay safe.
She also said a veterans student resource office will be opening in the Student Union within two weeks to provide services to the almost 1,800 active duty or veteran students on campus.
Her report ended with news that the UAA Assembly voted to extend the distance smokers can stand from campus facilities to 50 feet.
Senator Johnnie Templeton also hit on the topic of safety during his report from the safety committee.
He said the large storm earlier this month led the University Police Department to realize it needs to modify some of its procedures to accommodate severe weather in the future.
Templeton also said it is Safety Month at UAA and listed various events happening on campus to keep students informed about best practices for safety. A complete list of events can be found posted throughout the school.
Mabil Duir, chair of the board of cultural awareness, was also officially voted into his position in a unanimous vote from USUAA senators, and sisters Kayte and Kelly Hughes were unanimously voted onto the board as voting members.
Shamil Blaisdell was also sworn in as a USUAA senator.
He said he wanted to be a senator so he can get involved with what is happening at this campus.
“I want to get active,” he said.
Mabil Duir’s name was incorrectly spelled in the first printing of this article. A correction was made Sept. 25.