USUAA calls voters back to the polls

Just when election season seemed to be over, civic duty will be calling voters to the polls once more. On Nov. 19 and 20, University of Alaska Anchorage will be holding student government elections for several assembly and board seats.

Perhaps most importantly, the student regent position will once again be on the ballot. If you’re under the impression this position was up for grabs just a few weeks ago in a special election, you would be correct, but politics are never simple. 

University of Alaska Fairbanks student Derek Miller was recently appointed by Gov. Tony Knowles to the student regent position. However, Miller was appointed in a special election to fill the seat vacated by Joe Hardenbrook last spring when several state board seats, including the student regent, were passed over for a confirmation vote by the state Legislature. Hardenbrook’s term would have expired in May 2003.

The upcoming election will nominate two students from each University of Alaska campus for Gov.-elect Frank Murkowski to consider and name in the spring for the two-year term. 

Only two candidates from UAA have placed their names on the ballot for the position: current USUAA President David Parks and former USUAA President Mike Dingman. Both names will automatically be forwarded to the Board of Regents office for consideration by the governor.

Chris Richter, UAA’s candidate from the special election decided not to run again. Neither will Derek Miller, who would lose eligibility when he graduates in the spring. UAA has not held the student regent position since 1992. 

Knowles considered it important to fill the regent position, at least for the interim and before the typical two-year elections, in order for a student representative to be present at the discussion and vote on a 10 percent tuition increase. The meeting addressing the issues is taking place Nov. 12 in Anchorage. 

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Other positions up for grabs are 10 assembly seats, two concert board seats, three media board seats and two nominees for the Alaska Commission on Post Secondary Education.

The following are statements from several of the candidates. They submitted their comments to the Northern Light in writing. Don’t forget to vote.