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Davis, California

Monday, July 22, 2024

ASUCD spring election endorsements: Consider the following

The Editorial Board endorses one executive ticket, four candidates for ASUCD senate, one candidate for Transfer Student Representative, one candidate for International Student Representative and the uncontested External Affairs Vice President candidate, along with The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) fee referendum




ASUCD spring elections began on Monday, April 24, and voting will be open through Friday, April 28 at 8 p.m. This election cycle, there are two executive tickets for the positions of president and vice president as well as 13 candidates running for six available Senate seats. Additionally, there are two candidates each running for the position of international student representative and transfer student representative. The roles of external affairs vice president and student advocate each have one contender. The Editorial Board interviewed 11 of the 13 candidates running for Senate and all of the candidates running for the other positions, except for the candidate running for student advocate. Those who were not interviewed did not respond to the Editorial Board’s interview request.


Executive Ticket: 

JT Eden (he/him) and ThuyAnh Truong (she/her) — Launch!

Both second-year environmental policy analysis and planning (EPAP) and international relations double major JT Eden and second-year philosophy and international relations double major ThuyAnh Truong campaigned effectively and exhibited natural cohesive leadership capabilities. They highlighted many tangible ideas they will bring to the table if they win the election, including improving access to mental health resources on campus, expanding ASUCD worker rights and advocating for student organizations. Additionally, the pair has considerable experience within ASUCD, as Eden currently serves as the internal vice president and Truong currently serves as the Internal Affairs Commission (IAC) chairperson. All of these reasons make this executive ticket a compelling choice.


External Affairs Vice President: 

Celene Aridin (she/her) — Independent

Third-year international relations major and Arabic minor Celene Aridin is the sole contestant running for external affairs vice president (EAVP), and the Editorial Board wholeheartedly endorses her for a second term in the position. Having been elected last fall as EAVP after two years in the Office of the External Affairs Vice President, Aridin has been working to increase ASUCD involvement in the state Capitol and mobilize students to expand lobbying efforts. We were impressed with Aridin’s work as EAVP so far, and hope to see her continue to advocate on behalf of marginalized communities on campus.


International Student Representative:

Asif Ahmed (he/him) — ASPIRE

Second-year economics major and tech management minor Asif Ahmed impressed the Editorial Board with his notable platform ideas, such as streamlining the internship process for international students and making ASUCD resources more available through translation services. His plans to help international students on campus are pointed and realistic, and we believe that his experience with various student organizations on campus, including the Muslim Student Association, Pakistani Student Association and ASCEND UC Davis, will help him make these goals a reality if elected.


Transfer Student Representative:

Kaito Clarke (he/him) — ASPIRE 

Katio Clarke, a third-year political science major, has extensive experience in public service. Both his work in the ASUCD Executive Office and as part of a congressional campaign give him the experience necessary to excel in this position within ASUCD. Beyond his experience, Clarke’s platforms are compelling; if elected, he will seek to build community for transfer students, improve access to basic needs, advocate for student parents and more. The Editorial Board believes that Clarke has strong ideas and will be a powerful voice for transfer students at UC Davis. 



Danielle Antonio (she/her) — MOOve

The Editorial Board was extremely impressed by third-year political science and psychology double major and gender studies minor Danielle Antonio. Her platforms, including destigmatizing mental health, taking action on reproductive health and sexual harassment issues and advancing inclusive education through the expansion of basic needs initiatives, all tackle issues that are extremely relevant to the UC Davis community. Along with these broader platforms, Antonio seeks to create an HR unit within ASUCD and unify Filipino students on campus. We believe that Antonio has the resolve and drive necessary to hit the ground running on these key issues if she is elected as a senator.


Gabriel Gaysinsky (he/him) — Independent

Second-year international relations and Middle Eastern/South Asian studies double major wowed the Editorial Board with his resolute goals. His main platforms focus on advocacy for Jewish students, ensuring stability of sustainability grants and eliminating fees for West Village residents. Gaysinsky’s experience working on issues pertinent to the Jewish student community, such as his involvement in the proposal of a Senate bill that, if passed, would’ve made antisemitism training required for the Senate table, prove him a compelling candidate for Senate. 


Sam Hopwood (he/him) — MOOve

The Editorial Board endorses first-year political science major Sam Hopwood on account of his experience and enthusiasm. We were impressed with Hopwood’s eloquent campaign for his platforms, such as expanding student resources and improving the reliability of Unitrans. Additionally, he has extensive experience with labor organizing, making Hopwood a qualified candidate for a Senate position, where he promises to have student interests at heart.


Noblejot Sandhu — MOOve

The Editorial Board was impressed by second-year political science major and film studies minor Noblejot Sandhu as a candidate for Senate. His legislative experience and organized campaign goals make him a strong choice for the position. His work in the nonprofit sector as well as his knowledge of ASUCD affairs also strengthen his candidacy. As a whole, we were very impressed with Sandhu’s resume, passion for both politics and creative media and his personable manner. 



The Green Initiative Fund fee referendum

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) is a campus grant program housed in the UC Davis Office of Sustainability. It provides grant funding for many on-campus sustainability projects, such as the zero-emission Unitrans buses and the community freedges, and is funded by student fees. The measure will renew TGIF with a quarterly student fee of $3.50 and a $0.50 increase every year, capped at $8. The Editorial Board believes that this measure is beneficial to students and reflects the campus’s commitment to sustainability. The measure has failed in the last two ASUCD elections despite its popularity among students because it requires a 20% voter turnout to pass. 


Written by: The Editorial Board