Editor’s Note: The Aggie Editorial Board interviewed 14 of the 15 senate candidates and both executive tickets and wrote the following evaluations. They are in no particular order and do not represent the ranked preferences of The Editorial Board.
Kabir Kapur, a sophomore political science and philosophy double major would bring extensive ASUCD experience to the table. Having spent most of his academic career with the association, Kapur will be able to work past the learning curve associated with incoming senators that hadn’t been involved with ASUCD prior to their election.
Kapur’s platform goals, while lofty, can benefit the general campus. His primary platform is to make syllabi for all classes available before registration, so students have a better idea of what they’re signing up for before they do so. If achieved, this will have a direct benefit on all students. His second goal is to reform advocacy of the association by reaching out to students, faculty, administration and alumni. While this is an ideal goal, it is something that can hopefully bring better awareness and information to the student body.
Joyce Han, a first-year human development and psychology double major, can bring a new perspective to the table being as this is her first year at UC Davis. Han would hopefully be able to bridge an existent gap between ASUCD and incoming first-year students.
Han has three useful, yet somewhat difficult to achieve, platforms. First, Han wants to create a mentor program where upperclassmen and incoming first-year students can meet for a dining commons date where the upperclassmen, in return for a free swipe, can answer any questions first-year students may have. Han also wants to extend the Campus Safety Escort Service’s hours and driving locations, as well as make Griffin Lounge in the Memorial Union open 24/7.
While it will take quite a lot of coordination and organization to achieve these three goals, they will all have a direct, tangible benefit on students and their daily lives.
Norman Borgonia, a junior transfer exercise biology major running on the SMART slate, can be the transfer student voice that the table has lacked in recent years. Borgonia has spent just a quarter and a half as a UC Davis student, so he is still relatively new to the functioning of ASUCD. This can have its benefits and drawbacks.
Along with the slate-wide platforms of more textbooks in the Student Community Center and more funding for ethnic graduations, Borgonia will attempt to bring more microwaves to the ASUCD Coffee House as well as mandate cultural awareness and safe zone trainings at freshman and transfer orientations.
More microwaves in the CoHo is an idea that has been passed around ASUCD for a while and something that many students will benefit from. Borgonia has been in contact with Refrigerator Services, so should he get elected, we may very well be able to heat up our cup of noodles without waiting in line.
Don Gilbert, a junior English major and member of the ICA Men’s Water Polo team, hopes to represent both athletes and African Americans on senate. There are currently no athletes on senate.
Gilbert is running on two platforms: the first is to increase student support of athletics, helping to develop a Division I athletics culture in Davis. He plans to do this by encouraging athletes to make them more accessible, so that other students will want to support athletics, seeing athletes as friends. The second platform is to recruit and retain more students through improving athletics on campus. He also supports doing outreach to UC Davis students coming from foster youth and other disadvantaged backgrounds to provide services and resources, along with improving campus wifi.
He is a good candidate in that he will be able to represent a variety of populations and ensure their voices are heard in ASUCD. His goal of making UC Davis a more athletic-oriented campus is noble, but difficult to accomplish with Davis’ long history of being generally apathetic about athletics.
The junior economics and political science double major Dylan Schaefer has been involved in ASUCD for the past three years. As a former unit director of City/County Affairs, he offers the experience necessary to do things such as execute a budget. Additionally, very few directors move on to senate, so he offers a unique point of view.
Schaefer is running on three platforms. Increasing communication between students and the police would help to decrease tensions between the two groups. Coming up with long-term solutions for Picnic Day is a noble ideal, but perhaps a little lofty. Investing in ASUCD units by putting more capital into them is a good idea, as long as they are given a realistic amount of money within the budget. His goals of renovating the Aggie Student Store (CoHo To-go) and adding more bandwidth to wifi in the CoHo are more practical ideas that would improve the quality of our campus.
Chucha (Jose) Marquez
Junior psychology and Chicano/a studies double major Chucha Marquez, who is running on the SMART slate, could bring a different perspective to the table from his experience as a volunteer at many of the student centers. He hopes to bridge the gap between the student population and ASUCD.
Marquez is running on two personal platforms, along with the SMART platforms. His first platform is to create a quarterly performance night for students and students groups to express themselves and share their talents. His second platform is to create more resources for un-enrolled students, which would include a website that provided information for students to apply for readmission.
Marquez’s ideas seem to be student-centered and could provide assistance to students who need help from ASUCD. While his platforms seem to be rather specific, they would help students on campus.
Paul Min, a sophomore philosophy major, could bring a different student perspective to the table that is not currently represented by any of the senators. As a resident advisor, he seems to have knowledge of students and student housing.
Min is running on three platforms. He hopes to improve campus lighting so that all students can be safe at night, make sure that there is timely and consistent road maintenance on campus and bring the interfaith community together on campus to fight social injustices. While his platforms seem achievable, his lighting platform may be unnecessary, as UC Davis currently has a contract with an eco-friendly lighting company that is already working to improve lighting on campus. Min chose not to sign the ASUCD campaign spending agreement, which means he was able to spend as much money as he wanted on his campaign.
Min could bring student knowledge to the table, but our public school senate is not the place for religiously motivated legislation.
Desun Oka, a senior Asian American studies major, could bring experience to the table from his volunteer work at the LGBTRC, the SRRC and the Cross Cultural Center.
Also running on the SMART slate, Oka has two major platforms. His first is to provide scholarships for AB 540 students, who don’t have access to most other scholarships. A lack of support for AB 540 students is an issue on campus, and his platform would help these students. His second platform is to put gender neutral bathrooms into all of the new buildings on campus, which would be a positive move for UC Davis.
Oka’s platforms, while focused, would truly help and support students on campus, which is the point of ASUCD. His experience working at different student centers seems to affect his goals, and would make him a beneficial addition to the senate table.
Bradley Bottoms, a sophomore political sciences and sociology double major, could bring a great deal of legislative experience from his volunteer work on the Lobby Corps and being the assistant to ASUCD Vice President Bree Rombi.
Bottoms has two platforms. First of all, he wants to bring more student advocacy to the state legislature in Sacramento to prevent more budget cuts to UC Davis. He wants to continue rallying support for the Middle Class Scholarship Act from both Democrats and Republicans in the state legislature and make sure the politicians and students can participate in a one-on-one dialogue. His other major platform is to increase bike safety by making educative, rather than punitive, programs.
Bottoms has promising experience in student government that could help him more easily navigate the complicated legislative process. Although he is focused on how to practically achieve his goals, he seems to still be driven to achieve real beneficial change for students.
Junior dramatic art and political science double major Jaki Joanino offers a fresh perspective to ASUCD as a member of UC Davis’ artistic community, and appears passionate about using her position as a senator to represent artists as well as females of color on the UC Davis campus.
As a member of the SMART slate, Joanino intends to work for more textbook reserves and funding for ethnic graduation ceremonies. Individually, she plans to propose more practice rooms and rehearsal spaces for campus performance groups, and create a priority registration system for student groups who wish to reserve campus venues for performances. She also supports reforming the socio-cultural diversity general education requirement to include ethnic, gender and religious studies.
Joanino offers a range of leadership experience, including an internship with current ASUCD senator Jared Crisologo-Smith, a secretary position with the Unity Clap Theater and a fellowship with the Davis Humanities Institute. While Joanino’s platforms may not resonate with all students, she represents often over-looked communities and would be a much-needed advocate for those students.
Junior psychology and Chicano/a Studies double major Beatriz Anguiano would represent the chicano/a and latino/a perspective at the senate table.
As part of the SMART slate, Anguiano is running in support of increasing textbook reserves and adding funding to ethnic graduations. On an individual level, Anguiano’s first goal is to add a group of financial aid peer advisers. These advisers would be located in the Student Community Center, and Anguiano would prefer to make it a paid position. Anguiano’s second platform goal is to add additional resources for students on academic probation. This would include creating a resources guide for students on probation and providing support groups.
Anguiano has experience working at the Student Recruitment and Retention Center and is cuttently the internal chair of M.E.C.H.A. de UC Davis, one of the oldest Chicano/a/Latino/a groups on the UC Davis campus.
Colten Ellison Saunders
Colten Ellison Saunders, a junior political science major, would provide representation for transfer students at the ASUCD Senate table. Additionally, Saunders is not currently a member of ASUCD, and would provide an outside perspective.
Saunders’ platform is based on alleviating the financial burden on UC Davis students. His first goal is to restart Book Exchange — an ASUCD unit that was cut in 2011 — in order to provide students with a cheaper option for purchasing textbooks. His second goal is to provide more resources for The Pantry so that it can remain open longer hours. Saunders also supports moving The Pantry from its current location in Lower Freeborn to a more visible location in the Memorial Union.
Running with the SMART slate, Marcus King offers a record of past leadership experience. He is a senior transfer student double majoring in psychology and communication with a minor in African American studies.
As the former student body president of his community college, King has a strong leadership background and would come to ASUCD with experience to complete his stated goals.
His first individual platform is to have the CoHo accept aggie cash. While this could be difficult, he seems to have a good understanding of the challenges and how to accomplish the goal.
His second platform is to implement a campus childcare program for students because he believes there should be more options available to students with children. This is an ambitious platform that would only affect a small number of students, but would be impactful if accomplished.
Junior transfer student Patrick Devlin, a communication major with a minor in philosophy, is running for Senate with three main platforms.
His first platform is to create a level playing field through consistent enforcement of campus policies. He gave as an example having tents removed from the Quad, though the platform does not appear to have much applicability beyond this.
His second platform is to increase the number of impacted sections and classes for large introductory classes such as communication and chemistry. This would be difficult to accomplish, though he believes that as a senator he would be able to put pressure on the administration. His final platform is to increase tutoring, particularly for minorities.
He brings to the senate table his experience volunteering for political campaigns and a willingness to listen to members of the community.
Bree Rombi and Amy Martin
Bree Rombi, presidential candidate, and Amy Martin, vice presidential candidate, have both been involved in ASUCD since they came to UC Davis. With this experience, they have knowledge of how ASUCD works and what needs to be changed.
This ticket is running on three main platforms; creating a state ballot measure which would put more UC student Regents on the Board of Regents, changing the way that UC Davis lobbies the legislature and giving students financial relief now. They are looking to increase scholarship money for students, which would be a good thing for UC Davis students. Furthermore, putting more student regents on the UC Board of Regents would help give voice to the students of the UC system.
All of their platforms seem like they would help students, and they have a firm grasp of how ASUCD functions.
Rebecca Sterling and Yena Bae
Rebecca Sterling and Yena Bae are running for ASUCD president and vice president, respectively. Both could bring experience to the office from their past positions as senators.
Sterling and Bae are running on many platforms, which include lobbying the capitol, making sure students are involved in the decisions that the administration makes and helping ASUCD units with their finances. Sterling and Bae hope to unite the campus to fight fee hikes, and have promised that if elected one person from their office would be at the Capitol lobbying legislatures at least two days a week. Both candidates are involved with different groups on campus, and said that they could be a fresh start for ASUCD.
Both candidates have ASUCD experience, Bae is currently a senator and Sterling is a former senator and now serving as the Student Police Relations chair. Their platforms seem achievable, although they would have a lot of work to do if elected.