For the first time in possibly 10 years, Associated Students of UC San Diego (ASUCSD) elections have a single political party, referred to as slates, running for office. Student election candidates gathered for a candidate meeting at The Forum at Price Center on Thursday, March 8 at 8:00 p.m.
EMPOWER is a newly-formed slate that has 10 candidates running for the 16 campus-wide positions, and only two of those 10 candidates are running opposed.
ASUCSD President and ASUCSD Vice President of Campus Affairs are the only two contested races this year. EMPOWER has current Associate Vice President of Food and Housing Kiara Gomez running for ASUCSD President and current Transfer Senator Daron Woods running for ASUCSD Vice President of Campus Affairs. Kevin “Bologne” Abrahami is the independent candidate running for ASUCSD President, and Nick Lin is the independent running for ASUCSD Vice President of Campus Affairs.
“It is disappointing to see the low turnout of candidates this year. Representation in student government is so important and I wish that more students felt they were able to make a difference through AS and therefore opt to run,” Gomez told The Triton.
As for why Gomez did not build a full slate of candidates, she was clear.
“EMPOWER is not running a full slate because we did not want to just appoint people into the team who may be interested in the moment but not truly understand the responsibilities that come with the positions,” she said. “Instead, it made more sense to choose dedicated leaders who recognized the commitment they were making to students by running. Rather than attempting to fill EMPOWER just for the sake of having a full slate, we chose individuals who understood and were ready to uphold such responsibilities.”
Nick Lin, known for his activity on “UCSD Memes for Sleep Deprived Tritons,” is taking his run for Campus Affairs seriously and has the experience to back his platform; he was the Chief of Staff for the Office of College Affairs and the director of Sustain Our Students.
“Words cannot describe my student government experiences in the past year,” Lin said, advocating for a more analytical approach to student government and stronger internal communication between student government staff.
Sixth College Senator Caroline Siegel-Singh, who has advocated for abortion and contraceptive access on campus, is running unopposed for ASUCSD External Vice President.
No candidates have filed for six campus-wide positions, which will result in an immediate six vacancies at the start of next year, mirroring the string of ASUCSD resignations and startling number of members’ absences throughout the year.
Marshall College and Eleanor Roosevelt College council elections are more competitive this year, with both elections being contested by two separate slates.
Campus elections voting begins Monday, April 9 and polls close at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, April 13.
Mo Al Elew is an Assistant News Editor at The Triton. Anabel King and Gabe Schneider contributed to reporting.
Correction: This article was updated on March 12, 2018 at 10:50 a.m. A previous version of this article incorrectly titled independent candidate Nick Lin as the Chief of Staff to the Office of External.