More candidates for ASUCD should bring fresh ideas
With the exception of Winter Quarter to Fall Quarter of 2015, winter quarters in recent memory have typically held higher voter turnouts and a greater number of candidates running for Senate, with approximately double what they were in the fall. The higher voter turnout, however, isn’t necessarily due to the higher number of candidates. Therefore, it’s crucial that each candidate possess strong platforms and clear ideas about how to reasonably achieve them.
The upcoming winter elections offer six Senate positions and an executive ticket. The Fall Quarter 2017 election had only six candidates, with a 1,289-person voter turnout. This was the second lowest voter turnout in the past five years, only higher than the Winter 2015 election, in which there were a mere 792 voters.
The projected increase in candidates, however, does not mean better platforms. Each candidate needs to have to have a comprehensive platform to set them apart. A qualified candidate should be knowledgeable in all aspects of ASUCD, such as what ASUCD can do in conjunction with the university and what lies within their scope of power.
Several past candidates struggled to ascertain the basics, including understanding what an ASUCD unit was, knowing the ASUCD budget or having reasonably achievable goals. The Editorial Board urges candidates to show that they’ve done their research and know exactly how they will execute their platforms rather than simply go out on a limb by saying things they think students want to hear.
One example of a past successful senator is Simran Grewal, a fourth-year neurobiology, physiology and behavior major who won 61 percent of the votes during the Fall 2016 election, in which 10 candidates were campaigning for six available positions. During her tenure, Grewal was able to accomplish all of the original goals on her platform, including implementing 24-hour library periods during finals week. Grewal also noticed the separation between senators, acknowledging that this gap needs to be bridged by having senators collaborate on platforms. This would help senators accomplish their goals in a timely manner during — and not after — their respective terms.
Grewal, formerly The California Aggie’s adopted senator, serves as an example of what current and future senators should work toward. Past platforms presented to the student body have contained some good ideas, though they have not always been properly executed. We have heard countless times that things need to be done about campus lighting and voter turnout, but exact solutions have not yet been clearly thought out.
There are many characteristics of a good senator, and with the role comes a tremendous amount of time, effort and responsibility. Running for Senate assumes that the candidate is prepared to take on extra hours by attending clubs and social events, maintaining good connections with the other senators, being available to students, making sure students’ needs are addressed and working to better the university. The Editorial Board reminds all prospective candidates to consider this as they campaign during the winter elections.
Written by: The Editorial Board