Last year, the Isla Vista Party upset Campus United’s stronghold on the Associated Students executive branch, securing three of the seats opposed to Campus United’s one – claiming victory with the executive seats for the first time in the party’s history.
This year, Campus United flipped the script, reclaiming the majority in the executive branch with A.S. President-elect Alison Sir, Internal Vice President-elect Alli Adam and External Vice President for Statewide Affairs-elect Daevionne Beasley.
The Isla Vista Party clinched one executive seat within Associated Students (A.S.) for the 2019-2020 school year, with Christian Ornelas winning the External Vice President for Local Affairs position.
The final executive seat was won by an independent candidate: Student Advocate General-elect Andrew Nguyen.
Campus United also maintained its slim majority in the A.S. Senate, taking 12 of the 23 seats on the table. The Isla Vista Party won 10 seats, while the last seat went to engineering candidate Diana Reyes Carrillo, who ran independently.
There will be no College of Creative Studies (CCS) senator and no fifth on-campus senator in the 70th Senate due to a shortage of candidates.
The full list of senator-elects can be viewed here.
A notable victory from tonight’s election was that of College of Letters & Science Senator-elect Justice Dumlao. He previously lost twice in A.S. elections – once as an External Vice President for Local Affairs candidate in 2016-2017 and again in the 2017-2018 presidential race.
Over 32.34% of the undergraduate student body voted in this year’s election, compared to 39.7% of last year. According to the A.S. Elections Board, 6,980 students undergraduate students voted in this year’s election, as opposed to the 8,233 who voted in the 2017-2018 election.
This is the first year since 2015 that voter turnout has dropped.
Sir, a third-year political science major, is UCSB’s first female Asian-American president.
“I am just so grateful to actually represent the community, my community, the Asian American community,” Sir said.
“I am so blessed that I have so much support… The night went really well and I am really proud of everyone that was able to win and feel the experience of running. I am very proud of Zion running too, we are both women of color and I am very proud… for what we both did. I am excited to do a lot of good work and [make] tangible change.”
The race between External Vice President for Local Affairs (EVPLA) candidates Christian Ornelas and Matthew Griffin came the closest. With 3,012 votes, Ornelas narrowly defeated Griffin, who earned 2,915, by a margin of 97 votes – a mere 1.6%.
According to A.S. Legal Code, “A recount shall be given whenever the difference between the Candidates is two percent (2%) or less of the votes cast for the office; or whenever evidence of an erroneous count is shown and called to the attention of the Elections Board Chairperson or the Senate within one (1) week (seven (7) days) after the vote has been announced.”
Elections Board did not immediately respond to request for comment regarding a potential recount.
“I know that I have really big shoes to fill, so I’m excited to start working with Jeike, start having our transition meetings, just to really make sure that I can live up to all the work that she’s done because she’s done a lot for this campus,” Ornelas said.
Internal Vice President-elect Alli Adam ran unopposed after her would-be opponent, Yash Nagpal, dropped out of the race during Week 1 of Spring Quarter, citing health concerns.
“Associated Students has a bright future for 2019-2020, and that’s all I have to say,” Adam, a third-year political science major, said.
Andrew Nguyen was also unopposed in his race for Student Advocate General. Nguyen ran for an off-campus Senate seat with Campus United during the 2017-2018 school year and served on the 69th Senate.
Campus United External Vice President for Statewide Affairs-elect Daevionne Beasley defeated Isla Vista Party candidate Alexandra Leal Silva by a margin of 513 votes. Beasley, a second-year sociology major, emphasized that he wants to continue working with Leal Silva during his EVPSA term.
“I’m most excited to reach out to [Leal Silva] and see exactly what ideas she has from working in the EVPSA office these last three years … I know that she was so instrumental in keeping the office going when there was no EVPSA, I really need her input and insight,” Beasley said.
“We reached out to each other before and we said that no matter the results, we’d work with each other and I hope that continues and that the sentiment was real, and I can’t wait to see where both of our ideas will take us forward.”
All fee reaffirmations passed, and the sole new fee on the ballot – a fee for the Student Initiated Recruitment and Retention Committee (SIRRC) – also passed with 64.93% of the vote.
As with most A.S. elections, the days leading up to the final results were filled with contentious jabs between the two parties, but it was the day of elections when A.S. Presidential candidate Zion Solomon faced heavy backlash on social media, notably on a thread posted under the subreddit r/UCSantaBarbara.
Solomon’s platform point of proposing a lock-in fee to help transgender students with gender reassignment surgery was attacked on Facebook, Instagram and a Reddit forum, with the Reddit thread receiving more than 100 comments.
Campus United posted a statement on its Facebook page following the widespread sharing of the Reddit thread, condemning both the thread and tagging the Isla Vista Party in its post.
“We as a party do not take responsibility for this Reddit account as the individuals who created it were not part of our party nor associated it, and we condemn any form of transphobia. We acknowledge that this Reddit post is hurtful and we disavow that type of thinking.”
The statement further called upon the Isla Vista Party to draft a combined statement that would address “the importance of acknowledging how transphobia and homophobia are hurtful” and stated that all newly-elected candidates should have a town hall about this matter.
Further pictures from elections night can be viewed here.
Jorge Mercado, Katherine Swartz, Ashley Rusch, Arturo Martinez, Amira Garewal and Max Abrams contributed reporting.
Correction [April 26, 2:24 p.m.]: Dumlao ran for the EVPLA position during the 2016-2017 election, not for an off-campus senatorial position.
Evelyn Spence harbors a great love for em dashes and runs on nothing but iced coffee, Jolly Ranchers and breaking news. Currently, she serves as the County News Editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.