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Davis, California

Sunday, April 14, 2024

ASUCD fall election endorsements: Consider the following

The Editorial Board endorses three candidates for ASUCD Senate as well as the uncontested International Student Representative and External Affairs Vice President candidates


ASUCD’s fall elections began today, Monday, Nov. 7, and will be open for voting through Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 11:59 p.m. This election cycle, one candidate is running for each of the following positions: External Affairs Vice President (EAVP), Transfer Student Representative (TSR) and International Student Representative (ISR). Additionally, eight candidates are running for six available Senate seats. The Editorial Board interviewed five of the seven Senate candidates as well as the candidates for the other positions. The two remaining Senate candidates were not available for interviews.  

External Affairs Vice President:

Celene Aridin 

The Editorial Board was impressed by third-year international relations major Celene Aridin, who is running for EAVP uncontested. Aridin said that if elected, she would work to make ASUCD more approachable and the association’s work more digestible in an effort to increase student engagement. She also hopes to help students better understand how UC Davis’s funding is distributed. We believe that Aridin’s commitment to transparency and understanding of the EAVP role make her a great person to represent students’ interests and communicate between the student body and government effectively.

International Student Representative:

Keven Zhou 

Third-year managerial economics major Keven Zhou is the current ISR and the Editorial Board believes that he will continue to be an effective representative for international students. In his role, Zhou has focused on making UC Davis’s campus more easily navigable for international students. For example, he created translations of Unitrans riding instructions in multiple languages, including Japanese and Korean, available online. If re-elected, he said that he plans to create similar translations for the CoHo menus. We believe that the projects Zhou has been able to complete during his time in the ISR role thus far show that he is capable of following through on proposed projects and making actionable improvements that benefit his constituents.


Gaius Ilupeju

Second-year political science public service and history double major and current senator Gaius Ilupeju’s focus on addressing low student engagement in ASUCD and building institutional knowledge in the association make him a compelling Senate candidate. Ilupeju said that if re-elected, he would prioritize raising employee retention rates within ASUCD, which the Editorial Board agrees is integral to an effective and knowledgeable administration. Because of his previous experience as a senator, we believe that Ilupeju’s knowledge of ASUCD’s current issues and operations would make him a great contributor to the Senate table this year. 

Aarushi Raghunathan

The Editorial Board endorses Aarushi Raghunathan, a second-year political science and managerial economics double major and current ASUCD interim senator. Of her platforms, we were particularly impressed with her dedication to increasing the amount of free menstrual products available around campus, including at The Pantry, as well as promoting wider use of lecture recordings. The Editorial Board believes that Raghunathan’s experience in ASUCD as both an interim senator and member of the Internal Affairs Commission and her specific legislative goals make her a compelling candidate for ASUCD senate. 

Stephen Fujimoto

We were impressed with fourth-year cognitive science and computational statistics double major Stephen Fujimoto’s understanding of the function of ASUCD as well as his persistence in advocating for the student groups he represents, both prior to and during his time as an interim senator. During his time on the Senate table, he has advocated for pay and better treatment for current ASUCD volunteer positions and created a tracking system to record how many hours current volunteers are working. We believe that Fujimoto’s passion and persistence will make him an effective representative for student interests.

Written by: The Editorial Board

Disclaimer: The Editorial Board can endorse up to six Senate candidates, one External Affairs Vice President, one Transfer Student Representative and one International Student Representative. The Board also retains the right to not endorse any candidates for these positions.