The Editorial Board endorses five candidates for ASUCD Senate and one candidate for EAVP
ASUCD Fall Elections began today on Monday, Nov. 16, with 15 Senate candidates running for six available seats and one candidate running for external affairs vice president (EAVP). The Editorial Board interviewed 13 of the 15 candidates running for Senate and the uncontested candidate for EAVP.
Ryan Manriquez — BASED
The Editorial Board was impressed with third-year political science major and transfer student Ryan Manriquez’s commitment to advocacy based on personal experience as a student with a disability and also as a patient ambassador for Biogen. Manriquez has specific goals and plans for ensuring that all students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to succeed at UC Davis—these include coordinating with Executive Office and the Disability Rights and Advocacy Team—and has already worked with Executive Office in strategic planning for a survey being sent to students with disabilities at UC Davis. The Disability Rights Advocacy Committee (DRAC) provides vital support for students with disabilities, and Manriquez seems passionate and equipped to restore it. His platforms of working to address mental health and increase student outreach are admirable, and his strong understanding of how ASUCD works and specific plans for implementing his platform are commendable.
Maahum Shahab — BASED
Maahum Shahab, a second-year international relations major, is dedicated to uplifting marginalized communities. The Editorial Board was impressed by her experience working within the Muslim Student Association (MSA) and the Cross Cultural Center as well as her extensive platform, notably covering student activism for students of color, housing insecurity and increased resources for sexual assualt and domestic violence. Although her platforms are ambituous, she demonstrated achievable ways of implementing them such as working alongside the Sexual Assault Awareness and Advocacy Committee (SAAAC) as well as the Ethnic and Cultural Affairs Commission (ECAC) and the External Affairs Commission (EAC). The Editorial Board was also impressed with her knowledge of ASUCD and senatorial responsibilities.
Kabir Sahni — BASED
As a third-year international relations major and international student, Kabir Sahni aims to be an advocate for his international student community. The Editorial Board hopes that, if elected, Sahni’s background working for the ECAC and SISS will allow him to skillfully work to represent and support students from both local and international marginalized communities. Sahni demonstrated clear ways in which he could accomplish his goals such as partnering with cultural organizations to foster a safe and interactive space and creating a new committee for international students. The Editorial Board also hopes that he will be able to accomplish his goals relating to increased accessibility for mental health resources on campus.
Erika Valle — BASED
As a recently-appointed interim senator, fourth-year political science major and transfer student Erika Valle showed a clear understanding of the inner workings of ASUCD and had realistic, well-thought-out goals for her term as a senator. In addition to her previous work with ASUCD, she also has experience interning with the Yolo County Democratic Party. The Editorial Board hopes she can achieve her goals of increasing transfer student representation through greater engagement with the Transfer, Re-entry and Veterans Committee (TRVC) and increasing diversity and off-campus advocacy. As Valle is a fourth-year, however, she will be unable to complete her term, and the Senate will have to appoint an interim senator to replace her for her final seven weeks. Consequently, the Editorial Board has concerns that she will be unable to accomplish the entirety of her platform during her limited time. Despite this possible issue, the Board ultimately chose to endorse her because her extensive experience is impressive and she appears capable of bringing thoughtfulness and skill to this position if elected.
Kristin Mifsud — THRIVE
Second-year political science major and neurodiverse student Kristin Mifsud’s specific plans to work with the Academic Affairs Committee (AAC) to support neurodiverse students make her a compelling candidate to rebuild DRAC, which is vital to advocate for students with disabilities. Mifsud’s experience as a legislative staffer in her first year and familiarity with Senate meetings will equip her to accomplish her platforms of increasing neurodiversity awareness on campus. Mifsud expressed the necessity of expanding neurodiversity seminars to a wider audience, which the Editorial Board recognizes is critical and thinks that Mifsud’s commitment and experience will allow her to present her ideas to the table and advocate for neurodiverse students. Her platform of increasing student connectivity is a particularly relevant issue in light of COVID-19, and she impressed the Editorial Board with her commitment and passion to work with the Entertainment Council.
External Affairs Vice President:
Maria Martinez — Independent
Current External Affairs Vice President Maria Martinez told the Editorial Board about the difficulty in transitioning to virtual advocacy as a result of COVID-19 and said she has room to improve by way of advocating for local reform; that said, she has provided a presence in the University of California Students Association (UCSA), advocated for ASUCD and presented compassionate policies from other UC campuses that UC Davis should implement. Martinez mentioned that as a woman of color, she often provides perspective that administrators and others in the room may forget or fail to see, and the Editorial Board thinks that this is important to bear in mind. Her work toward UCPD policing reform, support for Double the Pell and emphasis on inclusion of undocumented students with the Pell Grant underscores her commitment to advocating for UC Davis students.
Written by: The Editorial Board
Disclaimer: The Editorial Board can endorse up to six Senate candidates and one external affairs vice president. The Board also retains the right to not endorse any candidates for these positions.