UCSB’s Associated Students will be accepting applications from students interested in running with a particular party in the upcoming Spring Quarter elections during an informational forum on Feb. 3.

The meeting will delineate the general functions of the student government, its presiding regulations and the deadlines surrounding the election process. Students interested in founding a new party for this year’s elections must submit a party affiliation form, available in the A.S. Community Affairs Board office, no later than this Friday.

According to A.S. President Harrison Weber, the informational gathering is open to all students and is an opportunity for those interested in student government to better understand the election process.

“The parties can announce themselves at this forum and the hope is that this reaches any person who is interested in running and they can get all the information to do that,” Weber said. “Before, it’s always been this kind of pseudo-cliquey thing.”

This year’s official elections cycle is kicking off a month earlier than in previous years to allow uninformed students more time to acquaint themselves with the procedures.

A.S. Elections Committee Chair Courtney Axner, a third-year psychology major, said the forum is one of the many measures the committee is taking in order to run elections more fairly and efficiently.

“[We scheduled this meeting] so students interested in joining the elections can really know what they’re getting themselves into,” Axner said. “It’ll give them ample time to prepare. Our goal is just to be more efficient and get things started a lot sooner so people can really know what they’re doing with their parties.”

In addition, Weber said the event represents a marked departure from previous years in which the A.S. Legal Code prohibited students from expressing party affiliation prior to declaring candidacy. This year’s declaration of candidacy meeting will be held on March 9.

“You [couldn’t] say what party you [were] running with or anything like that,” Weber said. “That’s because they didn’t want to give any party the edge in terms of campaigning.”

Axner said she has high hopes for the event’s success in opening the student government to the general student body and expects this to carry on throughout the year’s elections activities.

“Our big thing here is getting people involved in A.S. who don’t already know about it,” Axner said. “And [this meeting] is the perfect opportunity for people to do that.”

The A.S. Spring Elections general informational meeting will be held on Friday, Feb. 3 in the Graduate Student Association Lounge in the MultiCultural Center.