Meet the ASUCD 2020 Winter Elections Candidates!

Eleven students running for six senatorial positions, two executive tickets, two candidates running for external affairs vice president, one candidate for student advocate

Executive Tickets: Alisha Hacker & Justin Weiner (Thrive) and Kyle Krueger & Akhila Kandaswamy (BASED)

Senate:

Derek Foster (Thrive), a fourth-year managerial economics major, said he is running for Senate in order to improve the campus for future Aggies. Foster’s platforms include financial security within ASUCD and expanding campus resources for student internships. He asserts that his financial background, in combination with information accumulated from his managerial economics major, qualify his candidacy. Foster has experience in the UC Davis Finance and Investments club and from courses at the Menlo College Business School and work experience at a commercial bank. He asserts that his experience will aid him in dealing with the association’s budget deficit. 

Derek Foster


Madeline Thompson (Thrive), a second-year political science and managerial economics double major, is running on platforms focused on additional mental health initiatives, supporting The Pantry and improving campus relations with Greek Life. Thompson proposes raising awareness about mental health through the dissemination of information and wants to reduce long wait times to access campus counselors. Thompson’s second platform focuses on increasing donations and funding for The Pantry, since supplies tend to deplete quickly. She asserts that food should not be a necessity that students have to compromise on. Thompson also hopes to strengthen the relationship between campus and Greek Life in order to break stigmas and raise awareness about various philanthropic contributions.

Madeline Thompson

Roberto Rodriguez (Independent), a first-year biological sciences major, is running for Senate in order to give a voice to those who want change, but are unaware how to voice their concerns. His platforms include increasing resources for homeless, independent and first generation students. Rodriguez hopes to designate specific areas on campus meant to support student needs. He also wants to promote available and existing campus resources to students who may be unaware of them. Rodriguez was formerly student government president in high school.

Roberto Rodriguez

Tenzin Youedon (BASED), a second-year political science and philosophy double major, said she is running for Senate because she believes she has something to bring to the table, and believes she has the ability to make an impact. Youedon is the current legislative director for Senator Shondreya Landrum. Youedon’s platforms are aimed at ethnic representation, fundraising and transportation. She hopes to increase ethnic representation in student government by encouraging identity-based student organizations to be included in campus decisions. Youedon’s transportation platform involves a personal car rideshare system created to pick up students from Unitrans stops and transport them to campus.

Tenzin Youedon

Jonathan Iniquez (Thrive), a third-year transfer political science major, is running for Senate because he believes he can make a change and said he enjoys collaborative work focused on helping students. Formerly a senator at his community college, Iniquez’s platforms are focused on mental health awareness, campus facilities management and campus safety. He wants to gather abandoned bikes and replace old water filters, and he wants to promote campus safety by installing additional blue safety lights. 

Shreya Deshpande (BASED), a fourth-year cognitive science and sociology double major and ASUCD’s current vice president, is running for Senate to assist with any budgetary matters that the association will face in the wake of the results of the Basic Needs and Services Referendum vote, also on the Winter Elections ballot. Because they will graduate in spring, Deshpande would only be able to serve one quarter in Senate, but they argued that their experience in ASUCD combined with their institutional knowledge would be extremely useful during Spring Quarter Budget Hearings. Deshpande’s other two platforms are focused on advocating for student workers’ rights by advancing plans for the Student Workers Rights Commission, especially in light of issues with UCPath implementation, as well as tackling housing affordability by working closely with the Housing Advising for Undergraduate Students (HAUS) and the city of Davis-UC Davis Joint Housing Task Force.

Shreya Deshpande

Alex Cohen (Thrive), a first-year neurology, physiology and biology major, has served as the assistant to the ASUCD controller since Fall Quarter. He is also the chair of the Student Health and Wellness Committee, which inspired his mental health-focused platform. He wants to bring awareness to mental health and decrease stigma around mental health issues, and plans to apply for grants to help bring additional services to campus. His second platform is centered around combating anti-Semitism on campus, saying his efforts will help create campus unity. 

Alex Cohen

Laura Elizalde (BASED), a third-year political science major, has platforms focused on bringing awareness to sexual assault and violence, mental health and diversity and representation. She said there is a lack of communication and consolidation efforts toward combatting sexual assault. She serves on the Sexual Assault Awareness Advocacy Committee (SAAAC) and plans to work with them to offer more resources and provide self-defense classes. She hopes to work with the Mental Health Initiative to bring more counselors to campus. She said her identity as Latina allows her to feel empathy toward other marginalized communities outside the Latinx community.

Laura Elizalde

Lucas Fong (Thrive), a second-year economics major, is running on a three-part platform: utilization of resources, organization outreach and OSSJA advocacy. He believes that the number one issue faced by the student body is the lack of knowledge about the different resources offered by ASUCD and plans to spearhead new marketing campaigns with Creative Media. As a student who has been affected by OSSJA proceedings due to health issues, Fong hopes to create innovative means of outreach and advocacy help for students facing similar situations.

Lucas Fong

Alexis Lopez (BASED), a third-year economics and political science double major, hopes to focus on three issues: funding basic needs, academic success and the creation of an Outreach Committee. Lopez currently serves as the Senate recorder and the communications director for the ASUCD Executive Office. Lopez looks forward to working with units like the Mental Health Initiative, the Pantry and Unitrans to ensure they are fully funded and continue to expand and serve students. He also plans to allocate funding toward more tutoring services. 

Alexis Lopez Perez

Amanjot Gandhoke (Thrive), a third-year managerial economics major, has a threefold platform focused on creating opportunities for UC Davis’ various agriculture majors, improving student safety and acting as a role model for the Sikh community. His specific platform action items include creating a career day centered around agriculture, reintroducing Tipsy Taxi to ensure that students and drivers alike stay safe and encouraging other Sikh and underrepresented students to run for positions of power, like senator, in the future. On campus, Gandhoke is a member of the Sikh Cultural Association and vice president of finance for the agricultural fraternity Alpha Gamma Rho. 

Amanjot Gandhoke

Executive Tickets

Alisha Hacker & Justin Weiner (Thrive): Hacker, a third-year political science major, and Weiner, a third-year neurobiology, physiology and behavior major, are running for president and vice president, respectively.Hacker and Weiner’s platforms are focused on student health and well-being, expanding CoHo operations into the library and sexual assault awareness. As an EMT, Weiner hopes to institute preventative action instead of punitive responses to instances of drug abuse. They propose instituting trainings for Panhellenic, IFC and club leaders to teach students to spot signs of a drug overdose. Hacker and Weiner hope to increase the number of blue safety lights on campus and list the number for the Center for Advocacy, Resources and Education (CARE) on the back of every student ID card. Finally, they said their goal to expand CoHo operations in the library will encourage student safety and convenience. Hacker previously served as Senate pro tempore and Weiner was previously on a Senator’s staff. 

Alisha Hacker & Justin Weiner

Kyle Krueger & Akhila Kandaswamy (BASED): Krueger, an evolution, ecology and biodiversity major and the current chair of the Environmental Policy and Planning Commission (EPPC) and Kandaswamy, a managerial economics major and the current chair of the Sexual Assault Awareness Advocacy Committee (SAAAC), are running for president and vice president, respectively. They hope to expand their current efforts in their chair positions: Krueger wants to expand upon his environmental justice work by advocating for affordable housing near campus, as students who commute long distances contribute to environmental issues, and Kandaswamy plans to continue working on sexual assault awareness and advocacy, implementing an annual conference on sexual assault to be held on campus. They also want to expand The Pantry and other basic needs services, increase transparency and implement structural reform in the association. Additionally, they hope to hold ASUCD officials accountable by asking them to hold more outreach hours.

Kyle Krueger & Akhila Kandaswamy

External Affairs Vice President

Adam Hatefi (Independent), a fourth-year political science and science and technology major who currently serves in the EAVP position, hopes to continue the extensive work he has done in office by focusing on affordable and expanded student housing, racial justice for students from disadvantaged communities and gender equity. In this position, Hatefi helped create ASUCD’s ten year plan, he has partnered with Unitrans to allot bus passes to homeless individuals, he has partnered with the Yolo County Clerk’s office to establish an on-campus, same-day voter registration office for the first time ever and he has vocally opposed a tuition hike and asked state officials to do the same. If elected, he hopes to reach out to additional communities that he feels are not listened to as much as others. 

Adam Hatefi

Maria Martinez (Thrive), a second-year political science major, is running for office in order to represent the unrepresented. She wants to motivate students to trust their campus government. She previously served as an interim senator, and she currently sits on the Judicial Council. Martinez’s platforms focus on funding and resources, and she has a series of plans aimed at ensuring low tuition rates. She also has a plan that would allow UC Davis to profit off of the wine created by students in viticulture classes. Martinez stressed that her role in ASUCD is to help students, and said she will be removed from ASUCD conflicts.

Maria Martinez

Student Advocate — non-partisan position

Ashley Lo, a second-year economics and political science double major, is running to be UC Davis’ first-ever student advocate, as this is the first time this position is appearing on the ballot. The current Internal Affairs Commission chair, Lo helped create the student advocate position from scratch. Lo said the position’s goals are focused on helping students and making sure students are represented and advised during academic misconduct and academic dispute meetings. Her goals are focused on basic needs for students. She plans to work with units such as The Pantry and Aggie Compass to increase the available assistance programs.

Ashley Lo

Written by: Hannah Blome, Josh Madrid, Kenton Goldsby, Liz Jacobson and Katie DeBenedetti — campus@theaggie.org

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