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Davis, California

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Report cards

A new class of senators and an executive ticket have been elected. What better time for me to sit safely behind my computer and cast judgment on my one-time peers for their fruitful or futile year of public service? These are ASUCD report cards — sadly it’s a low curve this quarter.

Senator Joyce Han — C+: Han accomplished none of her three platforms (that’s a theme with this class) and was not a strong presence at the senate table. However, her beautification of the 24-hour study room in collaboration with the Aggie Public Arts Committee makes her one of the few senators to accomplish any project whatsoever. Though I myself did not agree with the project, it has improved the extremely drab study chamber and bettered the lives of students. For this, Han should be commended.

Senator Beatriz Anguiano — C: Anguiano offered a softer, more charming voice at the table in the fight for ethnic and lavender graduations, making her a fitting battle companion to the fiery former Senator Jared Crisologo-Smith. However, once funding was secured and that platform accomplished, Anguiano entered a period of silence, fading into relative obscurity. This is a shame. As endearing and likeable as she is, she could have been an extremely successful advocate at the senate table.

Senator Kabir Kapur — C: Kapur was unapologetically passionate, and did not mind offending others or stepping on a few toes. I appreciate such forthrightness. However, his inflammatory and volatile nature also made him extremely difficult to work with at times, sending many of his pursuits flailing down the pipeline just like his arms at the table. Kapur assisted in CalPIRG’s campaign to get out the vote for Prop. 30, a crucial real-world legislative effort, but accomplished neither of his extremely broad platforms. Kapur’s most redeeming quality was his commitment to giving all arguments a fair hearing and never deciding his vote until all sides had spoken.

Senator Bradley Bottoms — C- : Bottoms accomplished neither of his platforms. Additionally, he appeared extremely reluctant in allowing opposing arguments to sway his vote, almost as though it was locked in before the meeting started. Preparation is one thing, dogmatism is another. Bottoms scores points however for his extremely affable nature, bringing a warm and friendly face to the typically cold and unapproachable (I swear I’m a nice guy) association. He would receive a higher grade but his term is marred by the ugly Beergate scandal, which I suspect he regrets initiating.

Senator Paul Min — B: Min himself admits to being somewhat lethargic in his term, bringing his grade down from the start; however, there’s also a lot to like. Accomplishing his platform of improving campus lighting in collaboration with the UC Davis Police Department was a victory of historic proportions as such platforms were run, unsuccessfully, all the way back to the bygone days of LEAD. Min also held some of the most successful office hours in history by offering free pizza to anyone willing to talk to him. Desperate maybe, but undeniably effective. However, his seeming disinterest in many issues and two unaccomplished platforms stop him from going higher than a B.

Senator Don Gilbert — C+: Gilbert was a surprisingly strong advocate at the table and a remarkably consistent voter, bringing order to the relative chaos. His experience as a former athlete also made him an invaluable resource to the senate table as they engaged in debates about Intercollegiate Athletics. He falls short though by accomplishing neither of his platforms and actively working against one of them by voting no on cultural graduations in budget hearings.

Vice President Yena Bae — F: A ship is only as good as the person steering it, and the senate table has never looked more disorderly — more resembling a bar-fight than a legislature. Bae’s ignorance of the bylaws and parliamentary procedure led to multiple embarrassing moments throughout the year. Further, disturbing reports that ASUCD was her third highest priority leave me wringing my hands. I do feel sympathy to her for her ASUCD-induced migraines (no one deserves that), but the student body deserved more out of half their executive office.

President Rebecca Sterling — D: The longest budget hearings in history, a three-week misguided effort attempting to consolidate the three advocacy units into one and an extremely public battle with former Senator Yara Zokaie are all memorable hallmarks of her term. Sterling exits having accomplished one of her eight platforms. These failures might be explained by Sterling possessing little of the political aptitude shown by her predecessor and apparent mentor, Adam Thongsavat. Where Thongsavat frequently cooperated with the Senate, Sterling misfired with a strong-arm approach. The greatest disappointment comes in Sterling’s lack of posted office hours, muting her approachability — an attribute she claimed separated her from electoral opponent Bree Rombi.

There you have it — not a strong class. Let’s hope next year’s group steps it up.

JUSTIN GOSS has no problem distilling individuals’ efforts down to a single letter. If you would like to admonish him for such dehumanizing tactics, you may do so at jjgoss@ucavis.edu, but please only address him as J.


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