At 3 p.m. Monday, May 9, students gathered at the Bell Tower to hear the names of the newly elected ASUCR representatives. After a controversial three-week delay, [YOUR]Side swept all elected positions in next year’s senate, amidst conflicts in the elections process.
Collectively, 5,470 undergraduate students voted in this year’s election, equalling a 31.5 percent voter turnout.
Before reading off next year’s elected ASUCR members, Elections Director Melina Reyes began by saying, “Now I want to make it very clear that I’m very proud of all of these candidates and I think that they’ve all shown an astounding amount of initiative and have really proven themselves as being student leaders.”
Reyes then proceeded to announce the status of the constitutional amendments and referendums that had been voted on. The amendment to add the position of Green Campus Action Plan (GCAP) director to the executive branch of ASUCR and allow for a Green Campus Action Committee to be added to the committees article of the ASUCR constitution passed. The constitutional amendment to the vice president of finance position in ASUCR also passed, transforming the position from an appointed one to an elected one. General amendments made to the ASUCR constitution were also approved.
The Student Voice Initiative Referendum, which will reallocate money from the University of California Student Association (UCSA) budget to the budget of the ASUCR executive vice president, passed, while the Highlander Newspaper Reformation Referendum, which would have increased the amount that students pay for the Highlander Newspaper fee from $2 to $4, to expand the paper’s resources, did not pass.
Next, Reyes read aloud the new executive cabinet members, beginning with Shafi Karim being elected president with a total of 2,851 votes, surpassing the combined total of votes received by independent candidates Arturo Gomez and Carl Keiser, with 1,650 and 205 votes, respectively.
“I want to thank the UCR student body for electing all of [YOUR]Side and I’m truly grateful and honored for the opportunity to serve as the UCR Student Body President. I want to give a special thank you to my family, brothers of Kappa Sigma, all our volunteers & supporters, and God for making this possible,” Karim said.
Gomez briefly discussed his plans to continue serving UCR by saying, “I hope to continue to address the issues regarding campus gentrification, regarding our crumbling infrastructure in Watkins and Rivera and our broken sprinklers, as well as campus safety in general. Although it would’ve been much more … effective to leverage it through an elected office, I’m still a student organizer and I still have a strong network of other organizers on campus who can help … push greater change on campus.”
Wen-Yu Chou, who ran unopposed, was elected as executive vice president, Oscar Loera as vice president of external affairs and Dalshawn Boson as vice president of campus internal affairs.
When asked about his plans for next year, Loera replied, “In terms of my office specifically, I want there to be a new federal relations advocacy program. Currently we have no advocacy of any kind on a federal level because we pulled out of the United States Student Association, which was our primary foot in the door for advocacy in Washington D.C., I want to have my own program, much like UCLA does and … other UCs are starting to do now that they’re pulling out of that same organization as well.”
Angelica Tan was declared outreach director, Alan Alcantara as personnel director, Joshua Lopez as marketing and promotions director and Robert Kotonya as transfer and non-traditional transfer student director.
Seats for next year’s CHASS senator positions will be filled by Jonathan Javier, Semi Cole, Ariel Chen, Annette Jimenez, Valerie Nunez, Connie Fan, Shaun Nzeribe, Aram Aryapetyan, Jenifer Nkosi and Jose Cortez Hernandez. Next-in-line alternates include Orange Party candidates Danielle Flores, Dinah Muhammad and Alissa Espiritu.
“One of my personal plans that I want to start … a collegiate forum that allow students (to) kind of explore different majors because I feel like there’s not really enough opportunities for students to kind of see different majors as much,” Semi Cole elaborated in an interview.
Carisha Moore, Johnathan Li, Beau Young and T.K. Nguyen will be serving as senators for CNAS, with their alternates being Mojan Deriss, Jasper Kuo and Breanna Javier. Representatives elected for the BCOE senator positions include Arneil Liban and Nicole Kato, with their respective alternatives being Kyle Dansby and Ana-Paola Laveaga, who ran with the Orange Party.