Art by Grace Orwen

For the first time in four years, two student election group parties — Envision and Progress — have emerged with candidates for the Association of Students of the University of Nebraska’s 2020-21 term.

Roni Miller, Drew Harrahill and Saisha Adhikari are running for president, internal vice president and external vice president for Envision, respectively. 

Will Beck and Oscar Canizales are running for president and internal vice president for Progress respectively, with no named candidate for external vice president in their party. The students have not been involved in ASUN before, but they both have leadership experience as members of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s chapter of Turning Point USA, an American conservative nonprofit that is a registered student organization. 

At 8 p.m. on Wednesday, the two parties met with internal vice president Jared Long and ASUN adviser Marlene Beyke in the ASUN office, both members of the ASUN electoral commission, to discuss the specific rules for the ASUN elections March 10-11.

Long said the rules are meant to ensure the election runs as smoothly as possible in the coming weeks, and there are multiple restrictions on how campaigns can be run.

Parties are able to begin visual campaigning, both with posters and on social media, once each executive committee member attends a brief orientation with Student Involvement. Progress is able to begin immediately, while Envision is prevented until Harrahill attends a briefing scheduled on Thursday.

The campaigns also cannot disrupt or interfere with classes, and candidates are not allowed to go door-to-door in residence halls or campaign in any student government space or event. Students running for office are not allowed to ask for campaign advice from members of the electoral commission but are allowed to ask other members of ASUN for advice.

Anyone can request access to forms related to the election from the ASUN office at any time, including students, faculty, staff and members of the public.

On the day of the election, students must use their own technology to vote on MyRED and campaigns cannot distribute technology or provide physical assistance to aid their campaigns.

Progress does not include any members with previous ASUN experience, but Beck, a sophomore political science major, said he looks forward to meeting with other ASUN members in the next few weeks and learning how to strengthen his campaign.

“Our campaign is unique where we’re all outsiders from ASUN,” he said. “I think that’s a strength, but it also would be a strength to get to know each and every person that’s running so we can learn how we can build a better community together.”

Miller, a junior Spanish and political science major, said Envision was deliberate in recruiting people for its campaign and has been since the beginning of the semester. She said Envision includes some returning ASUN senators, international students, outsiders and an executive team, all of whom have previous ASUN experience. 

“I think that we have some stellar people on our campaign, on our [student election group],” Miller said. “I think that we [have] a really diverse and empowering group of students that are excited as well, almost more excited than I am, to all run together, put our ideas together and make the student experience a better one for all.”

Miller said the previous ASUN experience will aid the Envision campaign and allow the candidates to hit the ground running, which will be critical to their success.

“I think the power of having ASUN experience is this is such an intricate organization with a lot of moving pieces and a lot of projects and issues that continue throughout the years,” she said. “Having that grounded experience in ASUN and what they’re doing goes a long way.”

Beck is the current president of Turning Point USA at UNL, but he said his time management will aid him in performing duties for both organizations.

“If anything, it’ll strengthen my campaign,” he said. “I have executive experience.”

Both Miller and Beck said they look forward to kicking off their campaigns in the next week.

Miller said Envision will announce its campaign on Feb. 21. Beck said no official date has been set for Progress, though he expects to announce the campaign within the next week.

This article was modified at 5:40 p.m. on Feb. 16 to update when Envision will announce its campaign.