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Stanford Daily poll finds enthusiasm for referendums, but not Exec race

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According to a Stanford Daily poll of undergraduates on the 2016 ASSU elections, referendums supporting regular campus climate surveys and opposing the proposed ban on hard alcohol are likely to receive support from a majority of students.

In the race for ASSU Executive, half of poll respondents were undecided at the time of their response, and another 10 percent of respondents intended to abstain from the race. The last day of polling saw no clear increase in decisiveness This suggests that many voters may be relatively unengaged with the Executive election or that the race may produce an unexpected result. The Executive race, between the slate of Tristan Navarro ’18 and Scott Mutchnik ’19 and the slate of Jackson Beard ’17 and Amanda Edelman ’17, has seen less frenzied campaigning than last year’s fiercely contested election. If voters are less engaged with the high-profile election for Executive, turnout may be low for the election in general.

Low voter turnout could be especially devastating for student groups seeking Joint Special Fees. Due to inadequate voter turnout, the Stanford Speakers Bureau lost its Joint Special Fees election last year, despite receiving a majority of graduate and undergraduate votes.

A resounding majority of respondents supported the referendum in opposition to the administration’s proposed ban on hard alcohol. Although the final tally may vary from the poll due to the margin of error and late breaking undecideds, the referendum is expected to pass by at least a two to one margin.

A clear majority of respondents also support a referendum calling on the university to conduct regular surveys on campus climate. However, a larger proportion of respondents for this question were undecided compared with the previous question.

The poll also found that the referendum on the Stanford Review’s proposal for a Western Civilization requirement is likely to be rejected by students, potentially by a large margin.

The poll of 244 respondents was conducted via online survey between April 3 and April 6 and has an estimated margin of error of roughly 6 percent.

Contact Caleb Smith at caleb17 ‘at’ stanford.edu

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Caleb Smith '17 is a Desk Editor from Oakland, California and is majoring in public policy. Outside the Daily, Caleb is Director of news at KZSU Stanford, the campus radio station. Have a tip or suggestion? Please contact him at caleb17 ‘at’ stanford.edu.