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Davis, California

Friday, July 12, 2024

ASUCD fall election endorsements: Consider the following

The Editorial Board endorses five candidates for ASUCD senate and one for each of the non-senatorial positions in this election 

ASUCD Fall Elections began today on Monday, Nov. 8, with seven senate candidates running for six available seats, two candidates running for external affairs vice president (EAVP), one candidate running for transfer student representative and one candidate running for international student representative. The Editorial Board interviewed all of the candidates running for senate, the uncontested candidates running for international and transfer student representatives and one of the two candidates running for EAVP.

Senate Endorsements:

Kelechi Orji — BASED

The Editorial Board was greatly impressed with second-year neurobiology, physiology and behavior (NPB) major Kelechi Orji’s commitment to representing and supporting marginalized communities on campus. As an international student from Nigeria, Orji, if elected, plans to address problems that he feels members of the communities he is part of face, such as finding health insurance and housing as well as the issue of policing on campus. The Editorial Board believes he could be a strong voice on many of these issues. Orji also has experience working on committees and commissions that are directly related to other parts of his platform including the Environmental Protection and Policy Commission and the Student Health and Wellness Committee. His goals to create a more sustainable campus and push for better mental health services are commendable.

Radhika Gawde — Independent

Second-year political science major Radhika Gawde is extremely well-versed in the inner workings of ASUCD. As the chairperson of the Internal Affairs Commission, she has gained a breadth of knowledge about the association and has developed the skills required for leadership and advocacy as a senator. Her platforms for academic accommodations, particularly menstrual accommodations, reform of the Equitable Access program and a referendum on student fees are admirable. She outlined specific goals for her time as a senator if elected, and the Editorial Board hopes that her legislative experience will allow her to accomplish many of these goals.

Sofia Saraj — BASED

Sofia Saraj, a second-year NPB and linguistics double major, has extensive experience in advocacy work. She started her own company, founded a social media platform to promote conversations between activists and worked with the Rice Project, to name a few. Her work is admirable and exhibits her ability to complete long-term, activism-based projects. The Editorial Board believes this experience will allow Saraj to effectively promote sustainability, improve student outreach and support underrepresented communities should she be elected as a senator.

Dennis Liang — BASED

Fourth-year history and economics double major Dennis Liang’s plans to advocate for recorded lectures and higher wages for student employees make him a compelling candidate. These elements of his platform are issues that the Editorial Board feels are extremely pressing, and the Board hopes that Liang’s experience as the vice academic director of the Student Advocate’s Office will allow him to skillfully work to combat them if elected. Liang demonstrated a strong understanding of ASUCD in his interview, and the Board believes this knowledge as well as his experience will enable him to advocate for students and follow through with his platforms, should he be selected for a senatorial position. 

Gaius Ilupeju — Independent

The Editorial Board believes that first-year political science major Gaius Ilupeju will be able to effectively advocate for first years and bring issues that concern them to the senate table if elected. The Board was particularly impressed with his plan to collaborate with the Pantry to create mobile options for students who may be unable to easily access its services and felt that he exhibited adequate knowledge of ASUCD despite being relatively new to campus. His experience with community advocacy and student government will, the Board feels, allow him to successfully fulfill his goals. 

External Affairs Vice President:

Shruti Adusumilli — Independent

Shruti Adusumilli, a third-year political science and computer science double major and the current EAVP, has many ongoing projects that the Editorial Board believes can benefit the student body. If elected to continue in this position, Adusumilli will advocate for election day to be a non-instructional holiday, work to create a survey regarding academic accommodations for students and push for a requirement that syllabi and course evaluations are made available before students register for classes — an idea that the Editorial Board strongly believes would be valuable for students. The Board feels that Adusumilli’s knowledge and ideas make her a compelling candidate and will enable her to skillfully continue in this position if selected.

International Student Representative:

Keven Zhou — Independent

Second-year managerial economics major Keven Zhou is the interim international student representative, and the Editorial Board feels he will bring thoughtfulness and skill to this position if elected. Zhou hopes to continue his work collaborating with the International Center to promote greater international student representation on campus. The Board believes his experience advocating for LGBTQ+ rights in China and his personal experience as an international student at UC Davis will allow him to expertly do so. 

Transfer Student Representative:

Tariq Azim — Independent

The current Transfer Student Representative and a fourth-year political science major Tariq Azim aims to continue advocating for transfer students through combating stigma surrounding transferring from community college and promoting equal opportunities for transfer students. Through his work thus far in the position and his specific plans to support transfer students, the Editorial Board feels that Azim demonstrated the skills necessary to continue in this position.

Written by: The Editorial Board

Disclaimer: The Editorial Board can endorse up to six senate candidates and one candidate each for external affairs vice president, transfer student representative and international student representative. The Board also retains the right to not endorse any candidates for these positions.


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