Two tickets have officially entered the running to take over the administration of IU Student Association next year. Unlike last year, when the current administration ran unopposed, this campaign season will be competitive.
Currently, the people who will be campaigning for executive positions in the next administration are either on the YOUniversity ticket, led by junior Jose Mitjavila, or the Hoosiers 4 Solutions ticket, led by junior Casey Shelburne.
Formal applications to run for office are being accepted by the Election Commission until March 8, the last day before spring break. Student body president Kyle Straub said it is still too early to know whether the two official tickets will be the only groups running.
Each ticket consists of candidates for the following five executive positions: student body president, vice president of administration, vice president of Congress, treasurer and chief of staff.
Shelburne has not previously been involved in IUSA but has worked as a political intern at the state level.
“After thinking it over and doing a lot of research, I made the decision to run over Christmas Break,” Shelburne said in an email. “I reached out to some enthusiastic folks I knew from various circles, and the result is a diverse ticket that reflects the diversity of the student body.”
Mitjavila is the chief of communications for the current IUSA administration.
“I’ve been doing IUSA since my freshman year, and each year I’ve been doing more, taking on more responsibility,” he said. “This seemed like the logical next step.”
Both candidates said they expect to devote a large amount of time and effort to the campaign.
Mitjavila said the time he spent working on an IUSA campaign was one of his favorite parts of his freshman year.
“I anticipate this campaign to be really competitive,” Mitjavila said. “I want this campaign to be really competitive. Last year I was really disheartened that there wasn’t anybody to compete against.”
Although it will mean more work for each ticket than if they were running unopposed, Straub and IUSA chief of staff Augustin Ruta said they are excited there will be more than one ticket this year.
Straub and Ruta were both part of the Movement ticket, which ran unopposed last year.
“Last year was a huge disappointment,” Straub said. “I think a lot of people last year thought that we were celebrating that we were running unopposed, but it was a very frustrating situation.”
Ruta said in an email he feels having a competitive campaign and election process leads to more effective communication between IUSA and students and a more effective administration.
The current administration has been working to promote the election through social media, call-out meetings and flyers around campus.
“A competitive election forces candidates to fully vet their initiatives, organizational structure and overall approach to student government because opposition will keep them honest,” Ruta said. “Also, because of the intense workload required of a competitive election, all tickets become very close-knit groups, which in my experience provides for an extremely effective organization.”