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Seven students are running for five open representative-at-large seats on the University of Colorado Student Union’s Legislative Council:

Blaine Pellicore

Rebecca Aguilar

Will Taylor

Sanket Merchant

Hunter Barnett

Shane Grigsby

Nick Smiley

Two candidates are running for five open seats on the Arts and Sciences Student Government board:

Pranav Reddy

Alyssa Bamonti

Seven candidates have signed up to run for five open seats on the University of Colorado Student Union’s Legislative Council this fall — an increase in participation from last spring, when every race went uncontested.

The council oversees a $34 million budget generated by student fees and other revenue that funds programs and facilities, such as the on-campus Recreation Center and the University Memorial Center.

Five of the seven candidates are running together on a ticket called Focus. Four are incumbents, including council President Blaine Pellicore, a senior international affairs major. The ticket also includes one newcomer: Hunter Barnett, a senior finance major and treasurer of the Kappa Sigma fraternity.

“For me, it was really a natural progression of leadership at the school and within the community,” said Barnett, who serves on UCSU’s Finance Board. “I don’t think it’s a secret that (Tri-Executive) Tom Higginbotham and Rodrigo Gonzalez, chair of the Finance Board, are my friends and in the same fraternity.

“Seeing them be so successful at what they do inspired me to want to run.”

The other two candidates — Shane Grigsby and Nick Smiley — are running independently.

Grigsby, a junior double major in philosophy and geography, said frustration with the cost of CU’s mandatory student health-insurance plan was one of the issues that prompted him to run. The plan currently costs $1,052 per semester.

“I’d like to see what we can do to control cost,” Grigsby said.

Students can vote online from midnight Monday, Oct. 26, to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30.

Some individual schools and colleges within CU, such as Arts and Sciences, will elect representatives to serve on their own internal boards this fall, as well.

Five seats are open in the Arts and Sciences Student Government, which doles out money for events and organizations related to CU’s College of Arts and Sciences, the largest college at the 30,000-student university.

Only two students — Pranav Reddy and Alyssa Bamonti — had signed up to run for the five seats as of Tuesday.

Two ASSG representatives serve as co-senators on the Legislative Council, along with senators from CU’s other eight colleges and schools. Regardless of how many senators each school has, the schools only have one vote each. The nine representatives at large also have one vote each.

Although the deadline to sign up was 5 p.m. Monday, the UCSU candidates had not been officially approved Tuesday. Officials must first verify that the signatures on the petitions they submitted are valid. Representative candidates had to gather 200 signatures, while ASSG candidates had to gather 25 in order to get on the ballot. The candidates also must attend an informational meeting Wednesday.

Alex Schnell, UCSU’s election commissioner, said he was disappointed by the number of candidates.

“Student apathy: It seems to be getting larger and larger at this school,” he said.

Seats on the council are paid positions, and Schnell said he’s not sure why more students didn’t sign up, given the poor state of the economy and the trouble students are having finding jobs.

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