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Davis, California

Monday, July 26, 2021

ASUCD elections set to be most competitive in years

Bree Rombi wants to be your student body president, and Rebecca Sterling does, too.

With only two weeks left before the ASUCD elections for senate and executive office, the pressure is on for candidates to deliver those final speeches and to reassure their supporters.

“With 15 senate candidates running and two executive tickets, I am anticipating a competitive race,” said Sterling, a former senator who is now running for president.

This time around, the senate race is a crowded field. With 15 candidates vying for six seats, this contest contrasts with the one held last fall, when seven candidates competed for six seats. The executive election last year was similarly uncompetitive, with current President Adam Thongsavat and Vice President Bree Rombi running unopposed. Rombi, a senior communication and Spanish double major, is now running for president.

“Last fall was the fluke. Something like this quarter is more normal,” said Amy Martin, an incumbent senator who is running for vice president on the Rombi ticket, of the disparity between the two elections.

This election, BOLD will not appear on the ballot. According to Rombi, there was a general consensus to disband the slate by its members.

“We wanted to create something meaningful on campus because LEAD did not mean anything, and we accomplished that goal,” Rombi said.

Martin agreed.

“There was no strong purpose of why BOLD should stay after that,” Martin said.

Taking the place of BOLD this quarter is a new slate called Students Matter: Activism, Retention and Teamwork (SMART), which, according to their Davis Wiki page, “seeks to give a voice in ASUCD to all underrepresented communities on campus.” Its platforms call for the funding of ethnic graduation ceremonies and changing university course requirements to increase social diversity. There are six candidates running on the SMART slate.

Whoever is elected come Feb. 24 faces a plethora of pressing issues. As a result, this election may prove to be more important than those in years prior.

“We’re looking to heal from the events of fall, yet still face great challenges with exorbitant fees and a climate of activism, which is unprecedented for our generation,” Sterling said.

Despite the numerous issues already lined up for the winners-to-be, the candidates remain optimistic and even excited about the election.

“This will be the best election in four years,” Rombi said.

RICHARD CHANG can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

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