For the first time in over a decade, the ASUCD president and vice president will take office without official competition.
Adam Thongsavat, senior history major, and Bree Rombi, junior communication and Spanish double major, are founders of the BOLD slate and will be the next president and vice president, respectively.
Though The Aggie has complete faith in Thongsavat and Rombi, somebody should have stepped up to run against them.
During their time as senators, Thongsavat and Rombi have put in a lot of work for Picnic Day expansion, noise ordinance reform, the Renter’s Rights Committee, composting in the Memorial Union and The Pantry. Their hard work and dedication to the association, in addition to the respect they command among their peers, will serve them well in their new roles.
With that said, they should have been challenged.
First, competition breeds success. To their credit, Thongsavat and Rombi have said that they’re campaigning and working as hard as if they had opposition. However, there is no doubt that having worthy opponents breathing down their neck would drive the duo even harder. Even if Thongsavat and Rombi ended up beating out worthy opponents, having the competitive incentive to improve could have only helped.
In addition, competition would have done something much more profound: given students a choice.
Though The Aggie believes that ASUCD will be in good hands next year, students should have at least been afforded the opportunity to decide. What if the candidates that were running unopposed were unqualified? It would be too late to do anything and the association would be doomed.
Finally, the lack of competition on the executive ticket has the potential to affect voter turnout.
The winter ASUCD election typically has the highest voter turnout. While there is no concrete reason why, it’s reasonable to assume that the presence of a healthy executive race contributes to the robust number of voters. This is a problem because there are 13 people running for six open senate positions. A smaller voter turnout results in an election that is less indicative of the opinion of the student body and could alter the outcome of the entire election.
As a result, students interested in working in student government should get involved. ASUCD has hundreds of positions from president to commissioner to intern.
ASUCD operates with a $10.7 million budget that funds Unitrans, the Coffee House, Picnic Day, Tipsi Taxi, the Bike Barn and much more. The people running the association have a lot of power and gain valuable experience that is easily translated to the real, post-college world.
Whether you’re interested in student government, managing money, bylaws, schmoozing, leadership or making an impact on our campus, ASUCD and the student body as a whole need good people to get involved.
Students looking to work in student government are encouraged to visit asucd.ucdavis.edu.
There is literally no downside to applying.