Running for ASUCD Senate is a lot of work.  Provided is a list of things that you can do to help you win your election, or at least what Maxwell Kappes utilized to win both a senate and executive election all the way back in Fall 2012 and Winter 2014.  Tactics for running change with time, so obviously a lot of this information is less useful now than it was two years ago.

If you are instead interested in how to be a senator, well, try this document:  ASUCD Senate Handbook 182016.docx (resource provided by Alex Lee and Roman Rivilis)

Before Getting Your Petition -

  • Why are you running? ASUCD has power, but only if you know what it can do. Are you trying to change campus policy regarding scholarships for underprivileged communities or trying to lower the cost of meal plans? If so, ASUCD isn't for you. Look into the services provided and see what you can do from there.

    • Narrow your platforms to 2 or 3. Nobody wants to hear you talk about twenty things, and it's a lot easier if you can define your candidacy as “the guy who wants more bike parking” or “the dude who wears a squid hat”. Complexity is for after you get elected, not selling yourself to voters.

    • Start writing you candidate statement. Generally they are word limited, and you want to fit as much information about who you and what you stand for into it. This won't be due for a while, but you don't want to push it off until the last week.

  • Tell your friends. See how much they would be willing to support you. Will they hand out fliers? Message people on facebook? Wear a shirt with your face on it? Start building your campaign so that you have an organization to use to get elected, because doing everything yourself can be hard. Make a (secret) facebook group for anyone who wants to help so you can easily communicate with them.

  • Go to ASUCD Senate meetings. You need to make sure you can sit through a whole meeting, regardless of how asinine it is.

    • Try to go to Commission meetings as well. Commissions are where a lot of the work in ASUCD gets done, and being familiar with what is happening in them will help acquaint you to the association.

  • Read the Bylaws and the ASUCD Constitution. Okay, maybe not all the bylaws. Focus on Chapter 4, since that has to do with election regulations.

  • Talk to Senators. Some of them know their job. Learn how they feel about it and see if any will give you campaign tips. If they really like you they might give you less outdated information than this does.

  • Talk to Unit Directors. They are the people who keep the Association alive regardless of how terribly Senators may treat them. Start building rapport with them, especially ones you plan to adopt.

Week 3 -

  • Gather signatures. You need at least 125 to get on the ballot, but you always want to get more. In Fall 2012 one candidate gathered 133 signatures but 9 of them were rendered invalid, leaving them with 124: one less than what was needed. At minimum you want to gather 150 signatures, but the more you get the better. Each signature is a contacted voter.

    • [OPTIONAL] If you can, take a picture of the names on your petition form. During election week you can blind facebook message them to remind them to vote for you.

  • Master your campaign pitch. This is a short blurb, no more than half a minute, that you tell voters that is meant to convince them to vote for you. You'll be trying it a lot as you gather signatures, so hopefully by the time you have enough signatures you have a good idea of how to sell yourself to the voters.

  • Figure out who else is running. The more you know about who your opposition is, the better job you can do at maximizing your campaign. If someone from the Davis Anime Club is running for senate, they may not be the best club to visit down the line as you won't be able to get as many votes there as you could from a club without a candidate.

  • Take pictures (of yourself). Your campaign pictures aren't due this week, but you want to get them done sooner rather than later. Anything you can get done early is something you don't have to worry about later. The pictures will be used for campaign material down the line.

Week 4 -

  • Have a campaign manager. Whichever friend is willing to help you the most takes this post. Their job is really whatever you need from them, including being your campaign treasurer (you actually need one of those). Otherwise they'll basically be the person who helps make sure you ordered whatever you needed to order, emailed all the campus groups you wanted to contact, and just generally helps do things.

  • Contact Student Organizations. All student organization you are a part of or feel you could get a presentation in. Email their leadership and see if they will give you a few minutes to talk about the issues you want to address. You'll want to be giving these presentations on Week 6 or 7.

  • Make Campaign Materials. While you don't need to print anything out yet (you will be provided fliers), make sure you have all of your campaign profile pictures ready for when you do need them.

  • Order Any Campaign Materials Not Provided. You are allowed to spend up to $250 on your campaign. You don't have to, but the extra materials can help. If you want to order anything: shirts, glossy fliers (not recommended), full-color prints, wooden stakes, life-size cardboard cut-outs of yourself, poster board, do it now.

    • You can be creative. When I ran I made paper hats for people that had my name on them along with where and when you could vote. When campaigning I made a sandwich board and wore it all day. In fact, if you can be original and have you campaign stand out it will be easier to get votes from people who vote for whoever they see around the most (yes, that is one of the voting constituencies).

    • On every piece of campaign material make sure it says your name, #1 for ASUCD Senate, when they can vote, and the website url. Everything else is optional.

Week 5 -

  • Facebook Event. Well, here it is. That thing that everyone has for their campaigns. If I were only allowed to use one variable to predict ASUCD elections, it would be how many people clicked “attending” to the Facebook event (even though my data indicates that based exclusively on event “attending” I would have been destroyed in my election). Put this up at the start of the week. Invite everyone you know. Make sure your friends invite everyone they know. If you saved those names from your petition, invite those people too. Share it on your page and in any groups FRIENDLY to you.

  • Profile Pictures. Now is the time to make sure everyone you know and love has your face as their profile picture. Remember those nice posters you were designing with those great photos you took a few weeks ago? Well, whichever one is the best is now going to be plastered all over facebook.

  • Become More Active Online. This doesn't just mean to talk about your candidacy on your facebook page. You want to post more on your own feed so your friends see your profile picture and name more often. You want your friends with your profile picture to not only talk about you candidacy (well, share your event), but to post a bit more too. You also want to start commenting on a lot more things, both on friends posts and in facebook groups. You are looking for saturation here, the more posts you make the more people see your name and face. The more posts your friends make, the more people see your face. Own the internet. Don't stop doing this until the election is over.

  • Go To Parties/Events. If you are invited, go. Meet people. Don't be shy. Tell them your name. You don't have to pitch them, but if they vote and see your face and name they'll probably rank you highly if they liked you.

  • Chalk. This one is option, but if you are feeling like you could do more it is something. Basically go around to the classrooms during off hours (before 8am or after 8pm) and write down your name, that you are running for senate, and when/where they can vote. It's further market saturation.

  • Hang Up Fliers. If you have any campaign materials that you want to set up, do it now (unless you are using wooden stakes, save those for the weekend before Week 7). Hang fliers, set-up a-frames, wear your shirt and make sure your friends have your shirt and are wearing it too.

Week 6 -

  • Continued Internet Presence. Have each friend share your event page once or twice this week. You don't want them to go overboard, as it will just annoy their friends, but no one will be angry with just a couple shares. Also be sure to advertise on whatever medium these kids are using these days.

  • Give Presentations. Remember all those student organizations you contacted two weeks ago? Time to start visiting them.

  • Do Your Homework. You won't have time next week.

  • Organize a Facebook Party. A Facebook Party is when you have your friends come over and they all message every person they know at Davis, telling them to vote for you. Get as many friends as you can to agree to come, promise pizza (you will buy a pizza, and it doesn't have to count as a campaign expenditure).

  • Know What Everyone Is Doing. Have friends agree to shifts for handing out fliers next week. Know when and where they will be doing that and make sure they have the materials they need.

  • Upkeep. Check on your campaign materials. If your fliers are down, hang new ones. If your chalk was erased, put some more up.

Week 7 -

  • Flier. Canvassing voters before the election starts isn't particularly effective. Now is when you go around telling everyone and their mother to vote for you. Be outgoing, and if you can do something to stand out. Canvassing is most effective on the core of campus, though moving around and hitting large lecture halls as they exit can be valuable. In the evening your best locations are the library and the ARC.

    • I wore sandwich boards and a squid hat. I would jump over ledges to get to people and hand things out of bushes. I spent hours every day on roller blades canvassing voters while skating backwards so I could maintain eye contact. The more you do to stand out in whatever works for your personal brand the better.

  • Classroom Presentations. Show up in large lecture halls five or ten minutes before class and if the professor is there ask if you can give a quick presentation. If not, go outside and just flier students as they come in. If so, you just get a hundred or more people to listen to your thirty second campaign pitch and they have a few minutes before class starts and nothing better to do than vote on their phones.

  • Facebook Party. Have your Facebook Party on the first night of the election. Message everyone. Have your friends message everyone. Buy pizza and soda and whatever other refreshments you want.

  • Use Downtime Well. If you aren't canvassing voters, you can still message people or ask your friends if they would share your Facebook event for the election. Don't be shy to share the event every day and remind everyone to vote. The people on your facebook are your friends and shouldn't mind this as long as you aren't doing it every hour.

After -

  • Party. Win or lose, your friends helped you out and you should do something to show your appreciation.

Internet Politics -

  • Most Facebook groups don't like it when you advertise your campaign on them. Only advertise if you have permission from the page admins or are actually a member of the group, and didn't just join for their votes.

  • Reddit doesn't like ASUCD much. Unless you are a Redditer I do not recommend campaigning there.

  • Tindr is a valid campaign medium. I'm not kidding.