Alex Gossage beat the percentages. The new university-owned off-campus-housing representative was the only person to defeat a Gauchoholic candidate in the Spring Elections.
The Gauchoholics can be content that 18 out of their 19 candidates won, including presidential candidate Brian Hampton and internal vice presidential candidate Shaina Walter.
Twenty-two percent of UCSB’s 16,785 undergraduates voted in the Associated Students elections. Eighty-one percent of that 22 percent voted for president, and in an instant runoff, Hampton beat Patrick “Mad Cow” Schanes-Gallagher by 103 votes.
“All of our hard work has paid off. It’s a great day for the school,” Hampton said. “We’re going to do a lot great things – the campus has spoken, and they’re going to allow us to do them. Things are going to get accomplished in the A.S. government. Even though there was a low voter turnout, it’s going to be a successful year next year. I’m going to start with everything on our 12-step program, pass a lot of stuff, make a lot of things happen.”
Schanes-Gallagher could not be reached for comment. Bill Flores of the Student Action Coalition was 52 votes shy of making the run-off election. Flores said party affiliation, more common this year than in years past, played a large part in the election.
“There were five strong candidates for president; they pulled from different communities. The Gauchoholics definitely got a lot of the athletic vote,” Flores said. “The Gauchoholics allied themselves with the athletics measures, and I think that’s a good reason why a lot of the votes we would have gotten went to them. … Next year is going to be very conservative, very tough.”
Hampton said being affiliated with the Gauchoholics helped him win.
“I think it helped a lot to get the word out about who we are,” Hampton said. “Students know what great people Gauchoholics are. … If there were no parties at all, I think I could have won without it. But if people just started grouping up unofficially, I don’t know what would have happened.”
Internal Vice President-elect Walter ran against only one candidate – as opposed to four for Hampton. She said party affiliation was controversial this year and she probably would have done well without it; however, being affiliated with the Gauchoholics was helpful.
“I think parties were really divisive,” Walter said. “I think it pulled a lot of people apart. … I think that with the party system around, you really have to be part of a party to succeed. … I think the party was definitely advantageous.”
Eneri Rodriguez of SAC did not run against a Gauchoholic candidate. Instead, she ran against Richard “Circus” Varghese of People of Action for external vice president for statewide affairs. During their campaign Varghese and Rodriguez were often in agreement. Rodriguez won with 60.9 percent of the vote.
“I think both candidates put up a pretty good fight and either way, the positions we represent will be there,” Rodriguez said. “I’m going to be fighting for the students voices on this campus, I’m going to be fighting for underrepresented students on this campus.”
Ana Rizo, also of SAC, ran unopposed for external vice president for local affairs.
Hampton said, as president, he would work on his party’s “12-step” platform and try to bring football back to UCSB.
“Eventually, down the line,” Hampton said, “I expect UCSB to get a football team back and while I’m in office I’m going to do what I can to make that happen.”
Hampton said the first thing he plans to do as president is “celebrate.”