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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Editorial: Election endorsements

The ASUCD Winter Quarter elections are next week, Feb. 19 to 22, Tuesday through Thursday. Students will vote to elect the next crop of senators to the Senate table as well as ASUCD President and Vice President.

Votes are cast through a choice voting system, allowing voters to rank candidates in order of preference. All voting is done online at the ASUCD elections website, elections.ucdavis.edu.

This year there are three executive tickets and a strong total of 19 senatorial candidates. The Aggie Editorial Board interviewed all executive candidates and 18 senatorial candidates for endorsements.

The following list reflects which candidates the Editorial Board believes will be most successful and qualified, if elected.

Presidential Endorsement: Migz Espinoza and Lane Lewis

Espinoza and Lewis offer many commendable platform goals, such as increasing ASUCD accountability and transparency, improving the ASUCD and AB 540 scholarships and advocating for gender neutrality on campus. They explained that they will not compromise their own intentions or beliefs for what they believe may garner the most votes.

Espinoza worked at the Student Recruitment and Retention Center for years, is a former senator and currently acts as a Student Assistant to the Chancellor. Lewis serves as a Gender and Sexuality Commissioner and is a former director of Experimental College. Our only concern is that Lewis is unsure about whether or not graduation or a study abroad trip will interrupt their term in office, which would be detrimental to the Association.

While we are endorsing Espinoza and Lewis, the other executive candidates — Paul Min and Sergio Cano as well as Carly Sandstrom and Bradley Bottoms — have demonstrated an admirable commitment to their roles as student leaders. However, Espinoza and Lewis hold diverse experiences from many angles of campus and will commit to being voices for underrepresented communities.

Senate Endorsements:
No. 1 — Miles Thomas (BEST)
Thomas has enough ASUCD experience to avoid a steep learning curve — he is the current chief of staff for Senator Maxwell Kappes and was a member of Outreach Assembly. He’s also involved with clubs on campus and will be a passionate and effective voice on the Senate floor.

No. 2 — Pamela Nonga (NOW)
Nonga is highly involved with various student organizations — the Black Student Union, Davis BlackBook and Davis College Democrats, to name a few. She knows her facts and will serve as a logical voice on the table. Even though she has no direct prior ASUCD experience, she holds an understanding as to how she can accomplish her platforms, which include expanding Aggie Reuse to include a textbook subdivision.

No. 3 — Roman Rivilis (Independent)
Rivilis has been involved in ASUCD along with some of its units. He was an intern to former Senator Justin Goss, is a commissioner for Internal Affairs, is a Lobby Corps intern and more. Knowing the ASUCD bylaws as well as he does will make him an effective senator quickly.

No. 4 — Joanna Villegas (SMART)
Villegas demonstrated a strong desire to advocate for transfer, re-entry and veteran student representation. She has no prior ASUCD experience, but she’s highly involved on campus at the Student Recruitment and Retention Center along with other organizations. We believe she will be an ardent addition to the table. Her goal of establishing office spaces for every student club seems highly unlikely though.

No. 5 — Chandler Hill (NOW)
Hill displayed a very finance-oriented mindset with his past experience as a Business and Finance Commissioner. His platforms, like establishing a student-run, cooperative credit union, demonstrate this mindset. However, his desire to represent student workers and low-income students was what we found to be most commendable.

No. 6 — Amrit Sahota (NOW)
Sahota would represent a large percentage of the student population that is rarely seen at the Senate table — the biological sciences. Sahota has no ASUCD experience but is an eager and bright candidate, with goals such as improving the interview facilities in the Internship and Career Center.

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