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Davis, California

Sunday, May 26, 2024

ASUCD announces incoming senators and executives

On Friday, ASUCD announced six new senators to join the senate table as well as the new president and vice president.

Of the 3,346 votes casted, BOLD candidates Yena Bae, Brendan Repicky, Amy Martin and Mayra Martín won the first four seats respectively. FUQ candidate Miguel Espinoza snagged the fifth seat followed by Eli Yani of JEW. Uncontested executive candidates Adam Thongsavat and Bree Rombi of BOLD were officially announced as the winners.

Bae, sophomore international relations major, secured 849 votes in the first round – the most first-round votes in senatorial election history, surpassing Lula Ahmed-Falol’s Fall 2007 record of 746.

“I’m so thankful and so grateful,” Bae said. “I was not even expecting it. I was just at the coffee house wondering, ‘Am I even going to make it to sixth place?'”

Bae said that her hard work and support from campus ministries and her campaign managers helped her secure the votes. Additionally, her affiliation with BOLD helped her reach out to students across campus, she said.

“I definitely think that running with a slate helped me, and just BOLD in general,” Bae said. “You can see the results by the senators who are getting elected. We’re all in different areas of campus, so we could expand and reach out to so many people.”

Bae also said that she wants to get her project in downtown Davis done before fall. The project will provide new students with discounts to various dining venues to encourage them to explore downtown. She’s hoping to get the extra study halls for finals week in time for spring quarter, and said that the extra hydration stations will take the longest to come to campus.

Repicky, junior political science major, won the second seat with 359 votes in the first round. He said that he will first meet with the director of the Aggie Student Store next week to provide more green products for sale and contact the director of Transportation and Parking Services to bring more flexible parking options to students. He expects the textbook scholarship to occur last.

Winning the fifth seat with 181 first place votes, Espinoza, sophomore comparative literature major, ran with ASUCD Gender and Sexuality Commission Chair Caitlin Alday, who was not elected.

“Honestly, I feel that there were a lot of good candidates out there that probably should have gotten their voices heard a little bit more, but I’m really happy how it turned out,” Espinoza said. “I hope that this next year I can do everything I can in support of everyone who [didn’t win].”

Espinoza said his first concern is to increase ASUCD’s involvement in campus recruitment.

Winning the last senate seat, Yani received 263 first-place votes. Yani, who formerly served as ASUCD controller, chose to run on less-conventional platforms, such as relocating the dining commons’ waffle-makers to the ASUCD Coffee House.

“In my four years now at Davis, I’ve seen a good chunk of senate candidates, and so many of them run on platforms that are, to be frank, butt-awful,” Yani said. “Some of the same ideas keep getting rehashed every election. Many people either have platforms that are unfeasible, don’t do any work on them when they get elected or find that they can’t actually succeed and complete them.”

In actuality, Yani said that his main concern lies with the ASUCD budget. He noted that he may graduate in the spring but that he will at least continue to work on the budget until the end of the quarter. If so, there will be a replacement to finish the rest of his term.

Yani also has the distinction of being named the “Most Hated Person on Campus” – an award given to the senatorial candidate who receives the most 13th place votes. Yani said that the award is somewhat of a “badge of honor” because he is the first recipient to still win a senate seat.

ASUCD Ethnic and Cultural Affairs Commission Chair Edd Montelongo, an independent candidate that was not elected, remained positive toward the outcome of the election.

“I think good people were elected, so that eased any sentiment that I’m holding,” Montelongo said. “But of course I’m going to be disappointed. I’m still going to sit at the table and have a voice at the table, so I’m taking it as a learning experience and moving on from there.”

If he were to run again, Montelongo said he would definitely consider forming a slate. Anna-Ruth Crittenden, another independent candidate, agreed that a slate is beneficial toward one’s campaign and that she was somewhat surprised that she did not win a seat.

“It shows how much control the slate system has to sweep a lot of people in,” Crittenden said. “There was a lot of momentum around my campaign and I will confidently say that I know that a lot of people voted for me – so it’s an interesting result.”

Sergio Cano, chair of the Elections Committee, noted that of the six seats, only the top three winners passed the choice voting system’s threshold of 479 votes. The last three seats were delegated to the candidates that had the most votes by the end of the 10th and final round.

Out of the 3,466 voters, 2,077 voted for Thongsavat and Rombi to replace ASUCD President Jack Zwald and Vice President Previn Witana.

“We understand that this upcoming year is going to be a tough one forstudents, but Bree and I will work tirelessly to make sure we makestudent life better,” Thongsavat said.

MARTHA GEORGIS can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.


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