Emotion bonds all election campaigns

By Ariel Serafin
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, March 10, 2005

Candidates and supporters who gathered last night to hear Associated Students of the University of Arizona election results were united by emotion and anticipation.

The feelings were visible on the faces of every candidate, campaigner, supporter and onlooker who experienced the power of student involvement first hand.

Applause, cheering, laughter and even sobbing were heard in every corner of the packed Kiva Room in the Student Union Memorial Center during the announcement of the winners of the ASUA election.

There were mixed feelings among students, over whether the election was an overall success and whether it was played fairly.

"I thought it was great," said Kathy Van Voorhees, a journalism sophomore who campaigned for Bernsen. "I laughed, I cried, I cursed. ... It was a good time."

However, not every student in the room thought the election had been an example of justice and democracy in action.

Although screams of elation filled the room upon the announcement of each victor's future position, some students expressed disappointment and anger at the ASUA system, the Arizona Daily Wildcat and particular candidates.

"I think they should have more people officiating it," said Cassia Payne, a general biology freshman. "They should have people going around and mediating."

Some felt the Wildcat's endorsements and coverage, be they positive or negative, were inappropriate and biased.

"Just reading the paper the last few days, I feel it was negatively swayed toward one candidate," said Tyler Deterville, a business sophomore. "I think Reuben was totally ripped apart, and I just don't feel it's right for a paper to take a stance like that."

Bernsen's position on campus as a first-year student also sparked upset in some students, who felt his lack of time on the UA campus was contingent with a lack of qualifications.

"He should have run for senator, not president. Freshmen run for senator, and he's a freshman on campus," said Prashant Raj, an engineering management senior and current ASUA senator.

Although students, adorned in T-shirts supporting their candidate of choice sat on opposite sides of the room, they were aware of the time and effort put into running a campaign as successfully as those of the candidates.

"You know, it's gotten heated. I'm not going to lie. But I think both sides have a lot of passion and people behind them," said Tyler Carrell, a finance sophomore and Bernsen campaigner.

Ryan Erickson, a public administration sophomore who was elected as a senator, learned the difficulty of running a campaign during his campaign.

"It was a lot of hard work, definitely," Erickson said. "Toward the end, it was difficult to give the same amount as in the beginning, but that was the time it was needed the most."

Erin Hertzog, who ran for executive vice president unopposed, and received 100 percent of the student vote, said she felt pleased with ASUA's future roster.

"I am so excited. I think all the leaders will be amazing, and I can't wait for it to start. It's going to be an all-star ASUA cast next year," said Hertzog, a journalism sophomore.