Since Wednesday morning, UC Davis undergraduate students have been able to log on to elections.ucdavis.edu to cast their ballot for ASUCD Senate candidates. Senate elections take place every fall and winter quarter to determine the makeup of the 12-member body that is responsible for approving the association’s $10.7 million budget, initiating new projects and monitoring ASUCD units such as the Coffee House and Unitrans. Students have until Friday at 8 a.m. to make their selections.
ASUCD uses a choice voting system in which voters are asked to rank their candidate preferences one through six. If a student’s first choice candidate either wins with votes to spare or fails to meet a minimum vote threshold, that student’s vote goes toward their next choice candidate until six have been chosen.
The California Aggie sat down with each of the nine candidates to discuss their qualifications, platform goals and opinions on pertinent student issues. While the six The Aggie has chosen to endorse all present a sincere desire to represent the students to the best of their abilities, the top four stood out considerably for their experience and concrete ideas.
1. Greg Webb
Webb shows an impressive level of knowledge of ASUCD operations. As both a former Business and Finance Commissioner and current Internal Affairs Commissioner, Webb has extensive insight and a well-thought plan for dealing with the upcoming difficult budget year. While the independent candidate expressed his desire to work with all senators, his strong anti-slate sentiments would bring a much-needed diversity of opinion to the one-party senate. He has already shown a high level of activity within ASUCD, having run for senate once previously as well as repeatedly attempting to pass a bill that would allow for public questions during senate confirmations. Webb has the dedication, vision and motivation to be an effective and successful senator.
2. Jack Zwald
The second-year international relations major shows a laudable commitment to public service — both now in his campaign as well as in his intended service in the Marine Corps. Zwald has an impressive knowledge of ASUCD’s budget situation and has clearly done his research on where best to make cuts without dramatically affecting student life. He has said he would go to great lengths to avoid student fee increases in this tough economic climate, but is open to considering them for Unitrans and Cal Aggie Camp. Zwald is an effective communicator and has the welfare of the student population in mind.
3. Justin Patrizio
Patrizio’s levelheaded, professional demeanor would be a valuable addition to the often-contentious senate meetings. He is committed to affecting change within ASUCD to better the association’s reputation. The independent candidate would be an important counter balance to the sometimes-divisive slate system. While many candidates expressed their desire for a greener campus, Patrizio has demonstrated his dedication to the cause by forgoing the campaign flyers allotted to him by the Elections Committee.
4. Mo Torres
Torres shows a level of pragmatism often absent from student government candidates. He has realistic goals and has already starting laying the foundation so he can hit the ground running if elected. Torres is deeply committed to improving the experience of transfer students on campus — a rare quality in a candidate who is not himself a transfer student.
5. Erin Lebe
6. Laura Pulido
While both Lebe and Pulido have mature and professional attitudes, their platform goals could be better. Nevertheless, they are running for the right reasons and have the students’ interests at heart. They would both be competent, capable senators and bring positive attributes to the senate.