Election results further ASUCD toxicity
Michael Gofman and Shaniah Branson of the Unite! slate won the ASUCD election for president and vice president by a small margin on Friday, Feb. 23, narrowly defeating Julie Jung and Julienne Correa of the BASED slate.
The response by members of ASUCD that followed was swift, vocal and unabashedly acidic. A combination of current and former ASUCD senators, commissioners, volunteers and community members vocalized their opposition to the election results via social media with a litany of responses ranging from disappointment in the voters to serious accusations made against the Unite! presidential ticket.
In a campaign reminiscent of #NotMyPresident, the slogan “ASUCD does not represent us” has been adopted by dozens of dissatisfied students. The ASUCD Gender and Sexuality Commission went so far as to change the cover photo on its official Facebook page to reflect this slogan, writing, “In light of recent election results, we do not support executive elects complicit and active in maintaining white supremacist, trans antagonistic, lgbtqia antagonistic, and patriarchal institutions.”
This response is a shocking display of turmoil within the association and does nothing to improve existing and future relationships within the organization. It serves only to highlight the disparity in views represented at the table.
GASC, or anyone for that matter, should not blindly follow the president — on the contrary, they should take strong stances on issues they care about. Disagreements should be aired and addressed. But unqualified claims of white supremacy and animosity toward those elected by the student body — albeit, a decidedly miniscule proportion of students — only exacerbates the existing toxicity within ASUCD.
Antagonism in government breeds polarization, which can lead to gridlock and an inability to work across existing divisions. Students can either contribute to this polarization or approach ASUCD politics in a more constructive manner. This unequivocally applies to everyone within the association.
Arguably, many of the platforms that the Unite! presidential ticket ran on are similar to platforms championed by the BASED slate. Members of ASUCD should not let their reservations keep them from influencing and passing legislation that could lead to significant change for all UC Davis students.
In a recent interview with KDVS News, President-elect Gofman asserted that he wants to represent all voices on campus and create change by transcending politics. He said he wants input. It is the duty of ASUCD members to hold him to that — to never let up and to never be complacent. And they must consider the effects of refusing to engage at all.
The toxicity and deep divisions within ASUCD are more than apparent. The association is at a crossroads; its members can attempt to come together or can continue to push each other apart.
To the members of the association: The decision is up to you.
Written by: The Editorial Board