Open People’s Party candidates Stephanie Brower and Ian Taylor won the only two contested executive officer positions yesterday, yet most of the results for Associated Students Legislative Council still remain up in the air.
Brower won the position of A.S. president with 53.5 percent of the votes, and Taylor won the position of internal vice president with 52.46 percent. Meanwhile, the six Leg Council representative-at-large positions are split evenly between OPP and Students’ Party, but results for off-campus, on-campus and university-owned housing representatives will not be released until 9 this morning.
“I’m so happy and proud. …” Brower said. “It’s a dream come true that I’ll actually be able to make tangible changes for UCSB.”
All campus and A.S. fees were reaffirmed – with the Campus Media fee garnering the greatest number of “yes” votes at 2,415 and the Shoreline Preservation Fund a close second with 2,379.
The election saw the lowest voter turnout in seven years, with only 21.95 percent of the student body voting, causing candidates to run around at the last minute to encourage students to cast their ballot to get the 20 percent necessary for the election to be considered valid.
Most Associated Students candidates chose to find out the results of this week’s election via phone and the Internet rather than gathering in the MultiCultural Center biting their nails as in years past – but two winning candidates, Brower and Taylor, were there when the list was posted, sharing an enthusiastic hug and a few victory yells.
The online ballot caused a number of problems this year because it allowed students to vote for on- and off-campus positions as well as university-owned housing representatives regardless of where they actually resided. Because of this, some students voted in all three areas, causing their vote in this section to be invalidated. Therefore, the results for these positions will not be available until 9 this morning, pending a hand tally and the removal of the improperly cast votes.
In addition, many candidates noticed an unusual phenomenon caused by the voting system: of the six elected reps-at-large, five were the first five candidates shown on the ballot. Only one elected candidate, J.P. Primeau, was much lower on the list.
“Next year I think it would be worth the money to give everyone equal access to student government by paying for a ballot that automatically randomizes,” said Brower, a second-year business economics major and current Residence Halls Association president. “[This ballot] makes the government inaccessible to students – that is unfair at any cost.”
Brower ran against Students’ Party candidate Tuyen Nguyen, who received 34.46 percent of the votes, and independent candidate Darren Reid Frawley, who received 12.04 percent. Nguyen declined to comment.
Frawley said he will probably not participate in student politics next year, but was nonetheless happy with the number of students who supported him.
“[About 400] people supported my calls for action, because I’m a man of action,” said Frawley, a fourth-year geography major.
The executive officer candidates running unopposed were all elected, including the two Students’ Party candidates – Lindsey Quock for external vice president of local affairs and Christine Byon for external vice president of statewide affairs, and the independent Mark Regus for student advocate general. Executive officers have their tuition paid for through student fees.
Students reaffirmed the two A.S. lock-in fees on the ballot. The Campus Media fee of $1.69 per student, per quarter funds both the Daily Nexus and La Cumbre Yearbook and was approved with 75.91 percent in favor. Additionally, the undergraduate night and weekend parking fee of $3.33 per quarter – the fate of which is currently unknown because Transportation & Parking Services remains unsure if it can provide the service with its current budget – passed with 71.50 percent of the vote.
Meanwhile, students voted to reaffirm the four campus-wide fees on the ballot. The Arts & Lectures’ $2 per student per quarter fee, including summer, was reaffirmed with 72.97 percent of voters in favor. In addition, the Office of Student Life will continue to offer, among other things, its leadership programs since 63.11 percent of students voted to maintain the Student Life Program fee of $1.75 per regular academic quarter and $1.00 for summer.
Both graduates and undergraduates reaffirmed the Shoreline Initiative of $3 per quarter, excluding summer. The lock-in passed with 71.34 percent of undergraduates and 79.96 of graduates in support of the fee. The Events Center lock-in fee passed with the lowest percentage of “yes” votes with 60.59 percent. The $4 per student per quarter fee will provide funding to renovate the Thunderdome.
-Megan Snedden and Chris Stein contributed to this article.