Some 32 assorted cupcakes lay frosted and sprinkled on the table as a few students asked some Associated Students, Inc. representatives just what they would have to do to get one.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, ASI hosted Coffee with the Candidates, an event to encourage students to meet their peers in the running. To get cupcakes or coffee, students had to go talk to at least one treasurer, president, vice president and senator, get them to stamp a slip of a paper and return to the booth in the front to pick up an iced coffee in a plastic mason jar and a sprinkled mini-cupcake.
The iced pastry flavors included pink lemonade, chocolate and vanilla.
“We really want to get the vote out,” said Vrinda Bhuta, the ASI government elections officer.
For candidates running for executive positions, this was a chance to speak directly with students before the ASI debate tomorrow to discuss issues they hope to work on during their term.
The debate will take place on the speakers platform at noon. Executive candidates include students running for president, vice president and treasurer.
Presidential candidate Marvin Flores hopes to increase student voices by lobbying for more students at large representatives on committees.
“Currently there are over 100 committees that faculty only sit on,” Flores said. “A lot of the issues are related to students.”
Treasurer candidate Giovanni Smith emphasized the importance of having transparency and accountability in student government. He will push to let students know what services are provided with their student fees or where that money is allocated.
Mariam Balogun, who is also running for treasurer, said she is focusing on scholarships and more support for Cal State Long Beach’s international student community.
“I feel like there’s a lot of international students on campus but they do not get any funding or help from our campus,” Balogun said.
On Tuesday, there were more than 30 different candidates for students to talk to throughout the day.
Though estimates of student participation haven’t been formally counted, Bhuta did say that ASI went through at least two and a half boxes of cupcakes. That means at least 90 students attended the event on Tuesday alone, although that number would be higher when accounting for students who may not enjoy cupcakes.
At first, Bhuta said she was aiming for a 50 percent voter turnout, but that she’s since learned to be realistic. She’s now hoping for a voter turnout of 20 percent.
“It only takes five minutes to vote,” Bhuta said. “It’s easy.”
The ASI hopefuls began campaigning March 7 and must pay for their own campaigns, though they are able to accept donations of up to $150.
Students can vote online for the sweetest candidate March 21-23 until midnight.