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Thursday, September 29, 2022

ASUCD endorsements: Consider the following

The Editorial Board endorses four candidates for ASUCD Senate and the single executive ticket

ASUCD Spring Elections began today on Monday, May 9, with seven Senate candidates running for six available seats, one executive ticket running for the president and internal vice president positions and one candidate running for student advocate. The Editorial Board interviewed the executive office ticket and all seven candidates running for Senate. The student advocate candidate did not respond to The Aggie’s request for an interview as of May 8.  

Executive Ticket Endorsements

Radhika Gawde (she/her/hers), second-year political science-public service major, and JT Eden (he/him/his), first-year international relations and environmental policy analysis and planning double major — Rise!: Gawde and Eden are the lone and extremely compelling candidates on the executive ticket. Both have substantial experience: Gawde has served as the Internal Affairs Commission (IAC) as the chair and is currently the ASUCD Senate president pro tempore and Eden served as a senator at his community colleges and is currently serving as the IAC chairperson. They expressed dedication to their slate’s comprehensive nine-point plan, which includes specific action items for increasing transparency surrounding sexual assault and sexual violence reporting, broadening academic accommodations (including providing menstrual accommodations) and instituting a three-point basic needs advocacy plan aimed at providing direct, need-based aid to students and additional housing and parking reform. The candidates also emphasized their intention to increase mental health resources access for students and work on improving engagement with ASUCD in order to bolster advocacy. Ultimately, Gawde and Eden’s vast experience, knowledge of the commitment and drive required of people in these positions and detailed plan with specific actionable items make them promising and dedicated candidates.

Senate Endorsements:

Zeph Schnelbach (all pronouns), first-year political science major — Independent: We were incredibly impressed with Schnelbach’s knowledge of ASUCD and the concrete ideas he had for how to improve the organization as a senator, including tapping into what he understands to be an unused fund for student programs. Their platform emphasizes advocacy for mental health and addiction resources, LGBTQIA+ advocacy and campus sustainability. In addition to having taken trips with the External Affairs Vice President Office, Schnelbach has experience advocating for students in legislative offices and lobbying in her hometown, and her position as a student worker on campus provides her with the necessary perspective to support this group in the Senate. They demonstrated a clear passion for representing the study body and improving student engagement with the organization, and we feel they would make an invaluable contribution to the Senate table.

Eustacio Alamilla (he/him/his), second-year political science major — Independents!: 

As the current Housing Advising for Undergraduate Students (HAUS) unit director, Alamilla has relevant experience with supporting units and with ASUCD’S internal workings, making him an excellent candidate. His role has also prepared him well to manage projects, connect with student organizations and make an impact on the student body, made obvious by specific project ideas he hopes to implement as a senator. Key tenets of his platform are connecting students to affordable housing, increasing awareness and use of campus resources and promoting safe drinking habits on campus. Alamilla also demonstrated an interest in improving student involvement with ASUCD, citing concerns with low voter turnout and a goal of increasing outreach to students.

Juliana Martinez Hernandez (she/her/hers), third-year political science major — Rise!: Martinez Hernandez is a compelling candidate for senator with her plans for internal ASUCD reform and improvement of the association’s engagement and outreach. Her platform includes new internal reforms like increasing ASUCD volunteer compensation and more external aspects like improving students’ access to basic needs, but she also includes expanding on projects she developed in her role as ASUCD internal vice president, like building a human resources department. The Editorial Board was particularly impressed with her intention to encourage transparency for private companies operating in conjunction with UC Davis, especially in light of the recent lawsuit filed against UC Davis in relation to their work with Neuralink. Martinez Hernandez demonstrated an impressive drive for improving the internal efficacy of ASUCD and her advocacy for improving students’ access to basic needs and resources makes her a promising candidate for Senate.

Priya Talreja (she/her/hers), third-year environmental policy and planning major — Rise!: Talreja impressed the Editorial Board with her extensive previous legislative experience and well-developed platforms. Talreja served as a legislative director for an ASUCD senator and worked as an elected Delegate for the California Democratic Party. With her previous experience writing legislation and organizing campus programs, the projects Talreja plans to introduce will create tangible benefits for the student body. We were impressed with her desire to support students from BIPOC communities seeking mental health care by ensuring access to racially diverse and culturally competent student mental health resources. She also strives to increase student engagement and understanding of ASUCD — an issue brought up by many candidates that the Editorial Board believes is crucial to address. One of Talreja’s other platforms, creating stronger relationships between Registered Student Organizations, would also help address issues of low voter turnout and the lack of knowledge many students have about the inner workings of ASUCD.

Written by: The Editorial Board

Disclaimer: The Editorial Board can endorse up to six Senate candidates, one executive ticket and one student advocate. The Board also retains the right to not endorse any candidates for these positions.


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