2021 Elections Results: AS Seeks to REVIVE Student Life

NewsStudent Government

Maya Philipp / The Triton

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The Associated Student at UCSD (ASUCSD) Election Committee announced results of college council and campus-wide elections Friday, April 9 via Zoom. Voter turnout this election cycle was 7.89%, down from last year’s 21.37%, with Seventh College boasting the highest turnout rate at 21.53%. 

Of 29,473 students currently enrolled, 2,324 cast their ballot for this year’s elections.

President-Elect Manu Agni, Vice President of Campus Affairs-Elect Isaac Lara and Vice President of External Affairs-Elect Adrian Blackshire all ran unopposed and represented the REVIVE Slate as candidates.

The REVIVE Slate’s platform prioritized a safe return to campus, responsible use of student fees, promoting campus mental health resources and cultivating community engagement in and awareness of AS.

Specifically, Lara hopes to, “dedicate a part of [his] term investigating ways we can remove the UCPD that deals with mental health crises,” and to find “alternative ways to ensure that things that have happened in our society don’t ever occur to members of our community at UC San Diego.”

AS President Agni hopes to continue advocating for academic accommodations in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I think that providing students an opportunity for asynchronous learning and academic accommodations is going to be one of the best ways to tackle all the challenges,” said Agni during the AS Presidential Debate held on Monday, April 5.

16 of REVIVE’s 18 candidates won their respective election and will go on to serve in their desired positions in the 2021-2022 academic year. 

The remaining positions went to independent candidates. This includes Nikki Saito, who was elected as Out-of-State Senator, and Isabelle Johnson, who was elected as 1 of 5 Campus-wide Senators.

Of the 7 candidates representing the Slate TakeOff, none of them won their desired post. 

In both the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 academic years, elected Vice Presidents of External Affairs (VPE) have resigned before completing their terms, a trend that Blackshire hopes to put an end to.

“Something we need to be honest with is that the job is like a 30 hour job. And with the situations of VPE’s resigning and crippling under the pressure, I can honestly say that I would not be here if I didn’t feel like I could do it, if I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my time as a UCSD student to uphold, to mend, to fix what VPE’s have messed up in the past,” said Blackshire during an AS Vice Presidential debate on April 6.  “I humbly understand that this job is a lot, but I am for sure willing to take the risk to honestly get it done.”

This is the second time that AS has held elections remotely since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the 2019-2020 school year, campus-wide elections were postponed to Week 8 so AS could focus on aiding the student community following the shift to remote instruction.

Below is a list of all the candidates who ran for each position. It includes statements from the elected executives.

President: Manu Agni

I am very honored and humbled to be elected as your AS President. I am grateful to all Tritons who have been a part of this journey, including our REVIVE team members. I know that this upcoming year will be both exciting and difficult – a year hopefully punctuated by a return of our campus life, community, and culture. However, I know that it will be a year also punctuated by many difficulties for our UC San Diego community, who have faced unprecedented challenges in the last year. I am looking forward to developing an organization that is the most transparent, honest, and student-centered that it has ever been. Above all, I am looking forward to helping create a better UC San Diego experience for all students – current, past, and future.

  • Manu Agni (REVIVE) – Elected.

VP Campus Affairs: Isaac Lara

Although we were an uncontested slate, we still value the trust that students had to vote for our slate. I am very grateful, and though it may sound like election jargon, I fully intend to stand by my campaign values of a happier and healthier UC San Diego. I want “mental health” to be more than a buzzword in my time as VP of Campus Affairs.

  • Isaac Lara (REVIVE)– Elected.

VP External Affairs: Adrian Blackshire

I am very grateful for the students who managed to vote. I understand this has been a difficult year for students, but I am humbled by those who still have enough faith in the Revive slate and executive board to vote for us. I can’t wait to get started. I stated that I was going to fight for the people’s university and this makes me twice as excited to build it: to empower students to advocate for themselves and help them understand that AS is for you, and that we want to advocate for you and represent students in the best way possible.

  • Adrian Blackshire (REVIVE)– Elected.

Campus-wide Senators (5 elected): William Wei, Isabella Johnson, Sharon Lin, Jasmine Guan, Bethel Habtemariam

  • William Wei (REVIVE)– Elected.
  • Isabella Johnson (Independent)– Elected.
  • Sharon Lin (REVIVE)– Elected.
  • Jasmine Guan (REVIVE)– Elected.
  • Bethel Habtemariam (REVIVE)– Elected.
  • Ethan Nelson (Independent) 
  • Alexander S Levine (Independent) 
  • Ahmad Zubair Zia (TakeOff) 
  • Tommy Jung (REVIVE) 
  • Max Miller (TakeOff)

Off-campus Senator (2 elected): David Michel Hernandez and Thomas Lee

  • David Michael Hernandez (REVIVE)– Elected.
  • Thomas Le (REVIVE)– Elected.
  • Adam Giovanni Tyler (TakeOff) 
  • Samuel Allen Burkholder (TakeOff) 

Transfer Senator: Shane W C Jost 

  • Shane W C Jost (REVIVE)– Elected.

Out-of-State Senator: Nikki Saito

  • Nikki Saito (Independent)– Elected.
  • Ella McLaren (REVIVE) 
  • Jaejune Lee (Independent) 

International Senator: Dakshh Saraf 

  • Dakshh Saraf (REVIVE)– Elected.

Arts and Humanities Senator: Rhianen Callahan 

  • Rhianen Callahan (REVIVE)– Elected.

Biological Sciences Senator: Mihir Pandya

  • Mihir Pandya (REVIVE)– Elected.
  • Robert Richard Roach (TakeOff) 

Engineering Senator: Samir Nomani

  • Samir Nomani (REVIVE)– Elected.
  • Alan Enrique Martinez (TakeOff) 
  • Leonardo Jose Duga (Independent) 

Physical Sciences Senator: Isabella Ying

  • Isabella Ying (REVIVE)– Elected.

Social Sciences Senator: Megha Datta

  • Megha Datta (REVIVE)– Elected.
  • Cody Jameson Strange (TakeOff)

Sarah Naughten is a Staff Writer for the Triton. Julianna Domingo is an Assistant News Editor for the Triton. Kate Zegans is the Managing Editor for the Triton.