The Editorial Board was most disappointed to learn that the upcoming Fall Election will be uncontested — with six candidates running for six open senatorial positions. An uncontested election discourages voter turnout, an issue with which ASUCD already struggles. This election also virtually guarantees all six candidates a spot in the Senate, representing a student body which had little to no say in their selection. Additionally, the majority of the student population at UC Davis is composed of women. It was therefore disheartening and frustrating to see only one woman in the group of six candidates.
After the Editorial Board sat down with all six candidates, we found them to be enthusiastic and professional about the job they will be elected to by default. Many of the platforms brought forth by the candidates however, were unoriginal — unsuccessful ideas we have heard copied and pasted into countless ASUCD campaigns. Several platforms contained admirable ideas, but were vague and had no clearly thought-out approaches to ensure successful achievement. Some candidates seemingly lacked a basic understanding of what an ASUCD unit is or failed to correctly name even one of the 23 units.
Nevertheless, the Editorial Board has decided to endorse three candidates running for Senate.
Second-year economics major Andreas Godderis inspired us with his creative vision and diverse selection of concrete, feasible plans and is our top choice for Senate. One plausible and strong idea Godderis brought forth was reducing the minimum work hours for employees of the CoHo, the South CoHo and BioBrew from 15 hours a week to around eight to 10 hours. As an employee at the South CoHo, Godderis said he sees a culture of quick turnover and low retention rates because full-time students cannot keep up with a 15-hour workweek. Another simple yet effective idea Godderis spoke about was creating a sign inviting students to talk to him when he holds office hours at the CoHo in order to increase accessibility to ASUCD. Godderis’ innovative ideas and strong work ethic were apparent and we were impressed by his thorough answers and the research he had clearly undertaken for his campaign.
We also wish to endorse Jake Sedgley and Jesse Kullar, who would be beneficial additions to the Senate table.
Sedgley is a third-year economics and environmental policy analysis and planning double major. As a transfer student, Sedgley said he did not feel immediately comfortable on campus and talked about ways to inform transfer students about welcome events. The Editorial Board admired Sedgley’s honesty, specifically when he spoke of his own unhappiness with the uncontested nature of the election. We also liked his ideas about increased funding for the Office of Advocacy and Student Representation as well as his plan to promote the university’s achievements during the Whole Earth Festival.
After noting a lack of STEM voices at a Senate meeting he attended, Kullar, a second-year chemical engineering major, brings a much-needed STEM perspective to a Senate that has historically lacked such representation. Kullar appears determined to fulfill the terms of his position as a representative of the student body. In office, Kullar plans to be a voice for his fellow engineering students, and we admire Kullar’s passionate spirit. Kullar is a member of the UCD Unite slate and we encourage him to take advantage of the collaborative opportunities available with more experienced members.
Fall Elections will take place Nov. 14-17 at elections.ucdavis.edu.
Written By: The California Aggie Editorial Board
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Andreas Godderis is an economics and computer science double major. Godderis is only an economics major. The story has been updated to reflect these changes.