Eli Yani is graduating this June, meaning he’s leaving his term as ASUCD senator roughly 18 weeks early. Ryan Meyerhoff, Student Government Administrative Office webmaster, will take his place in Fall 2011.
“Even though I’ll have only served for about 12 weeks or so, I still will have had a relatively strong impact,” Yani said. “I’ve made my voice heard and I don’t feel any qualms about this.”
Through a countback system, Meyerhoff, who came in ninth in the Winter 2011 election, will be finishing out Yani’s term.
“They re-input the election’s data and my votes get redistributed based on other voter preferences. I’ll get eliminated from the top and my votes will go around,” Yani said. “I am told that it will actually be enough to get Meyerhoff the bump from ninth place to sixth.”
For Meyerhoff, the opportunity to take over Yani’s place is one he is beyond grateful for.
“I see this as a continuation of my service to the students after holding various other roles in ASUCD and the administration,” said Meyerhoff in an e-mail interview. “While I may have lost in winter, I am glad that enough of Eli’s voters supported me (on their ballots) to earn me his seat.”
ASUCD Senator Andre Lee said he wished someone with more passion for the association could get Yani’s senate seat. Meyerhoff resigned as Elections Committee Chair in order to run for senate, which left the association in a bind, Lee said.
Some senators, including Lee, also did not appreciate Yani’s campaign strategy – Yani ran on his own slate, Justice, Equality and Waffles (JEW), and promised waffle makers in the ASUCD Coffee House. This, combined with his past experience as ASUCD controller, ultimately won him a spot on the senate table.
Yet many students and ASUCD members question why Yani wasn’t completely open about his graduation date during the campaign season.
“It’s understandable but at the same time I wish he had brought it up during elections,” said ASUCD President Adam Thongsavat.
Yani said he never lied about his graduation plans during his campaign. While he didn’t openly say that he would not be able to serve his whole term, he willingly told those who asked.
Lee agreed with Thongsavat, and said Yani could have been more open about the situation
“He would say he was leaving but I wish it were a little more public,” Lee said. “I don’t think he was trying to hide it but he should have been more open about not being able to serve for 30 weeks.”
Nonetheless, Yani is satisfied with what he was able to achieve during his term. He noted a bill he wrote that forced the executive to release the proposed ASUCD budget with the budget numbers from previous years – this allows people to make more informed choices.
However, Lee said Yani’s time as senator was too short lived for much work to be completed.
“I’m disappointed. He was so qualified but he did so little,” Lee said. “As far as the budget, I think he had a very good proposal, but considering that’s all he’s done, little to nothing in regards to the budget has actually been completed.”
CHARLOTTE YOUNG can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.