35 candidates will compete for 16 positions on the 2017-2018 Associated Students governing body. Election campaigning officially began at 9 p.m. on Mar. 9, 2017 after a mandatory candidates’ meeting.
Candidates typically run in groups or parties called “slates.” This year, there are two: Students Determined (SD) and THRIVE. This is the third year that Students Determined has organized as a slate, while THRIVE is a new slate headed by the current chief of staff to AS President Daniel Juarez, Tara Vahdani.
SD is officially running one candidate for Executive Board, Kenny Jones for VP Campus Affairs, a current campus-wide Senator, and twelve candidates for thirteen potential Senator positions. Lesly Figueroa, the current AVP Environmental Justice Affairs, is listed as an independent candidate, but was identified by other SD candidates as their candidate for president. Figueroa describes the SD slate as a legacy of progressive governance on campus.
“Our way of defining leadership is through genuine perspective, looking at progressiveness the way it should be, not the fake idea of progressiveness,” Figueroa said.
THRIVE is running three candidates for Executive Board: AS Chief of Staff and former Marshall Senator Tara Vahdani for AS President, current Student Council of ERC Senator Matthew Arrollado for VP Campus Affairs, Associate Vice President of Local Affairs Adan Chavez for VP External Affairs, and nine candidates for thirteen potential Senator positions.
“As a senator from last year, I felt that despite all the good things we have accomplished, we tend to announce things instead of directly working with students to represent the opinions of the constituents,” Vahdani said.
She also discussed a need to make ASUCSD a more inclusive space and intentionally selected each member of her slate.
“I also want to center around diversity of experiences and voices, such as shifting the environment away from male dominating place. I want students to look at Associated Students as people who work to shift the campus for social change,” Vahdani said.
Polls will open from April 10 to April 14 for students to vote online. Results will be announced on April 14 at 5:30 p.m. at Round Table Pizza.
Full listing of candidates on the Associated Students election site:
Aaron Dalton Burgess – Independent
Lesly Figueroa – Independent
Tara Sadat Vahdani – THRIVE
Dennis Yeh – Independent
Gus Guerrero – Independent
Vice President Campus Affairs:
Kenny Jones – Students Determined
Matthew Alan Arrollado – THRIVE
Vice President External Affairs:
Refilwe Gqajela – Independent
Adan Chavez – THRIVE
Campus-wide Senator (5 Positions):
Mohamed Al Elew – THRIVE
Selena Friedman – Students Determined
Ronald Huang – Students Determined
Itsi T Sanchez Rea – THRIVE
Monica Valdez – THRIVE
Aseel Sherif Ali – Students Determined
Kian Falah – THRIVE
Julia Prinzi – Independent
Miguel Angel Tapia – Students Determined
Sne Lochan – Students Determined
Kristiana M Cuevas – Students Determined
Off-campus Senator (2 Positions):
Marlie Adamson – THRIVE
Mariam Geysimonyan – THRIVE
Leony Cristy Hermosilla Mijares – Students Determined
Kat Avendano – Students Determined
Arts and Humanities Senator:
Amy Clare Henderson – Independent
Biological Sciences Senator:
Anika Balse – THRIVE
Brenda B. Alvarez – Students Determined
Megan Amanda Hirsch – Independent
Hrishikesh Rajan Barokar – THRIVE
Stig Patrick Terrebonne – Independent
Colin Feeney – Students Determined
Physical Sciences Senator:
Nhi Nguyen – THRIVE
Natasha H Morgan-Witts – Students Determined
Social Sciences Senator:
Freddy Arriola – Students Determined
Vaishnavi Paudel – THRIVE
Shine Cho is the news editor of The Triton. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sylvia O contributed reporting to this story.