Student election lacks qualified candidates, 1 student – 2 positions

Student elections are taking place this week on
the UAA main campus, and there is hardly a buzz
about it. On Feb. 17 and 18, students will have the
opportunity to vote in their UAA choice for the
Student Regent and Student Commissioner.
Both offi ces require the candidate be enrolled at
UAA for two more years with a minimum of 12
credits for an undergraduate and nine credits for a
graduate student.
“There were several students who applied,” said
N. Hinkley, assistant director of Student Life and
Leadership. “But only one person completed the
application and was still applicable.”
That one student was USUAA President Karl
Wing, who is now currently running for the Student
Regent offi ce uncontested.
Wing did not return numerous calls last
week seeking comment regarding his campaign
“Anyone can still run,” Hinkley said. “All they
have to do is campaign to be a write-in. If they win
the vote, then as long as they fi t the application
requirements, they will be in the running.”
The three main UA campuses are all holding the
same elections. Once the winners are announced,
the governor will then handpick one student
representative for each offi ce. Because there is only
one student running and two positions open, UAA’s
budgetary and legal needs have a far less chance of
being represented.
“It’s really important that we have a student
voice,” Hinkley said. “The [Alaska] Commission
[for Postsecondary Education] deals with funding
and student loans. The Board of Regents deals
with a huge budgetary process and they look at
everything from freedom of speech, freedom of
the press. It is the checks and balances of the
university system.”
With the legislature currently in session
and economic stress affecting the nation, now
would seem like an important time to have UAA
represented on behalf of its student needs.
UAA is not the only campus to have a hard time
fi nding political aspirations among its student body.
UAF held its elections last week and several students
ran for each offi ce, but this is the second time they
have held the elections. Last November, no students
ran for either offi ce, which created a write-in-only
campaign. The Board of Regents rejected the fi nal
results and a revote was mandatory.
UAS is holding their elections the same week
as UAA. Once all votes are counted, the winning
candidates must be delivered to the Board of Regents
by March 6. The governor will then handpick two
students to sit their terms beginning June 1.
UAA graduate student William Andrews is
currently holding the Student Regent position. The
Student Commission is currently being held by
former USAA President John Roberson III. Both
are slated to step down May 31.
The UAA elections will be held in the Student
Union and Commons.