The Isla Vista Party nearly swept the Associated Students elections on Thursday night, winning three executive candidate positions but failing to snag the presidency.
This is the first year the Isla Vista Party (IVP) won executive seats in the election since the party’s creation last year. Across the previous two years, Campus United (CU) had won seven of the eight available partisan executive seats.
Campus United remains dominant in the A.S. Senate, after students elected 14 Campus United candidates and 10 from IVP.
According to A.S. Election Board, 8,233 undergraduate students, or 39.7 percent, voted in the election. This is the highest voter turnout since 2014.
Students voted against the NewCen renovation project with an 81.69 percent no vote. The project had drawn widespread controversy across A.S. and on social media, largely due to the project’s costs.
“I’m really excited and thrilled that the students had the opportunity to voice their opinion on this issue,” said Hieu Le, current A.S. president and one of the project’s primary supporters. “We need to listen to what the students have to say in terms of supporting a different funding model for it, and that’s something that I stand by.”
Brooke Kopel was elected as the next A.S president and is the lone executive candidate elected from CU.
Justice Dumlao, the Isla Vista Party’s candidate for president, said he is undeterred by the loss.
“It’s not as tough a loss as I think a lot of people think it was,” he said. “People really showed up for us. We had a lot of votes in every category; I’m super proud of all the effort everyone’s put in. It was never about me, and it never will be about me.”
Dumlao also said he will continue to make change on campus and said he believes the election has encouraged more students from all backgrounds to get involved at the university.
“For all the unrepresented students out there, for all the queer students, for all the brown students, for all the Pacific Islanders, there’s a spot for you out there,” he said. “Last quarter, the quarter before that, every quarter I’ve been here, I always think I don’t belong here at UCSB. And this race has really shown me that we do belong here.”
Steven Ho with IVP won the internal vice president position against CU’s Anthony Pimentel by 636 raw votes. Ho is currently an on-campus senator in A.S. senate. Ho and Pimentel declined to comment.
Sophia Dycaico of CU and off-campus senator lost to IVP’s Jeike Meijer by nearly 600 raw votes for external vice president of local affairs. Meijer has said she will be the first Native American to serve as a UCSB A.S. executive. Dycaico and Meijer declined to comment.
IVP’s Mayela Morales won the external vice president for statewide affairs (EVPSA) position against Madeline Loudon of CU. Both candidates declined to comment.
Rose Ettleson lost the vote for student advocate general (S.A.G.) against Grecia Martinez. Ettleson told the Nexus she was not “afraid of any candidate winning” because she believes everyone is competent and qualified.
“I’m ecstatic about the whole executive slate because every single one is going to do such amazing things. I’m obviously disappointed; I think Grecia will be a great student advocate general,” Ettleson said.
“I am relieved, ecstatic — it’s been a very long two weeks,” Martinez said after the win. She said she was excited to work with the current S.A.G., Jack Tannenbaum, to analyze statistics behind the election results to see where the students fall on campus issues.
At a somber post-election meeting, CU party leaders urged those who fell short of elected seats to remain hopeful and active.
“When I look at all of you here, as a fourth-year exec, you know what I see? I see the future of this fucking campus!” Kristin Hsu, the current EVPSA, told the party. “This is not Associated Students United, this is Campus United!”
“Whatever happened in there — fuck that!” she added.
Kopel thanked the CU staffers for their help in her victory and echoed Hsu in telling the party to not give up their fight.
“Campus United needs to stay united,” she said. “No matter what happens in there, we are the people who are best for this campus … We will come back again, and we will sweep again and again and again, no matter how long it takes.”
A photo story from the night can be seen here.
Evelyn Spence, Sanya Kamidi and Jose Ochoa contributed reporting.
Correction: Hsu said “Associated Students United,” not “Soviet Students Union” as previously reported. The quote was misheard through the reporter’s recording.