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Students can now vote in the CSUN referendum (Photo/Ricardo Torres).
Students can now vote in the CSUN referendum (Photo/Ricardo Torres).

Two-day referendum seeks UNLV student approval of changes to CSUN constitution

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UNLV undergraduates are being asked to vote Wednesday and Thursday on changes to their student government’s constitution that would cap salaries, change the recall process and clean up some language.

A referendum is being held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days at 11 polling stations around campus for members of the Consolidated Students of the University of Nevada to cast their votes. Students may also vote online at My UNLV.

“We’ve been working for the last 18 months to amend our constitution,” CSUN President Mark Ciavola said.

A key proposal in the referendum would cap CSUN’s staff salaries. In the past, CSUN took in a predetermined percentage for salaries from the entire budget, and the amount increased with every tuition hike. Under the proposal, student government will allocate a yearly-standard $225,000 for staff salaries.

The referendum also would amend the recall-election petition process, making it more practical, realistic
and fair, Ciavola said.

CSUN officers and senators have been getting the word about the referendum out with fliers and emails to those eligible to vote. It also is using social media to inform students.

“I think students have to feel like this [election] actually affects them,” Ciavola said. “To the students who feel that it doesn’t, I would tell them that it does more than they know.”

But the effort isn’t reaching everyone. Two students said they would like to hear more about why the referendum should or should not be passed.

“Tell me what you’ve done, tell me what you want to do, tell me what’s on the budget,” Courtney Hunter, a UNLV psychology student, said.” Why should I have any say in it?”

Amber Flowers, Hunter’s friend and fellow psychology student, agreed. “It’d be great if we could see the president telling us what he’s done.”

They noted, however, that it is difficult to spread the word to more than 27,000 students enrolled in UNLV.

Nazjea Grubbs, a freshman biology student heard about the election from a CSUN member in one of her classes and was impressed.

“Everyone seems really well informed about everything that’s going on,” Grubbs said. CSUN booths during the first days of the semester have helped her become informed, she said.

CSUN elections generally cost $5,000 apiece, but Ciavola said he expects this one to cost substantially less due to the first-time inclusion of volunteer-poll workers and sponsored meals for them.

More information on the proposed changes to CSUN’s constitution can be found at www.unlvcsun.com/constitution

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