For the second straight year, the Student Action Coalition has gone undefeated in the A.S. elections.
The party secured all four executive offices and all 19 of the Legislative Council seats it contested. S.A.C.’s winning foursome include Miguel Lopez as A.S. president, Denise Aceves as internal vice president, Logan Green as external vice president for local affairs and Jewel Love as external vice president for statewide affairs. Lopez and Aceves called the 5,603 votes, 33.6 percent of eligible voters, a “great turnout.”
The first-year party Student Unity Now will hold five of the remaining Legislative Council seats, with the Gauchoholics holding the final seat.
President-elect Lopez, who defeated S.U.N.’s Ginger Gonzaga 52.7 percent to 46.5 percent, said he was happy with the victory and that the campaign was cleanly run. Lopez, a fourth-year sociology major, went door-to-door in a joint get-out-the-vote campaign with Gauchoholic Randy Wright.
“It caught a lot of people off guard,” Lopez said. “Our main strategy was just to get as many people out to vote as possible and encourage people to make a decision.”
Gonzaga called the defeat “frustrating,” but said she was proud of how her party performed.
“I knew it would be hard to start a party,” she said. “I have no regrets – I’m still in love with my party.”
Lopez said UC Regent Ward Connerly’s proposed Classification by Race, Ethnicity and National Origin Initiative (CRENO) would be a focus of his new administration. The initiative, which Lopez opposes, will appear on California ballots in March 2004 and would prohibit the state from collecting any data classifying people by race, ethnicity, color or national origin.
“I want to foster some discussion and debates, just to find out what the undergrad voice on the subject really is,” he said.
New external VP-statewide Love, a third-year black studies and philosophy double major, also said he planns to work hard on CRENO, but was more clear on his position on the matter.
“I’m going to attend a teach-in on CRENO in San Diego this week to see how we can organize and combat it,” he said. “I want to try to get students aware so we can get everyone to vote ‘no.'”
Love, who defeated S.U.N.’s Christine Lai 60 percent to 40 percent, said a conference of the UC Student Association at UC Davis in August would help determine other goals for the coming year, adding he felt it was important to form UC-wide linked campaigns.
S.A.C.’s Aceves beat S.U.N’s Travis Heard 53.5 percent to 46.5 percent for the internal VP position. Heard and Aceves both said the low accountability of Legislative Council members was a significant issue facing the body in the coming year. Aceves said that “running an efficient Leg Council meeting” was one of her main goals.
New external VP-local affairs Green said the proposed Isla Vista community center would be among his main focuses for the upcoming year. Green said the cost of building the center to environmentally-friendly “green” standards has been overestimated in past meetings of the Project Area Committee. Green also said he would support the construction of a skate park at the site.
“The community center is geared mainly towards the families, which is wonderful,” he said. “But a skate park would give students and families who wouldn’t usually interact a chance to share the center.”
Green, who defeated S.U.N.’s Eric Oddo 58 percent to 42 percent, said he thought the S.A.C. sweep would lead to a more cohesive government.
“We’ve grown so close throughout the election,” he said. “That underlying trust will be a real asset.”
Heard, a second-year global studies and art history double major, also referred to the “group cohesiveness” the new government will enjoy, but said, “I think a fresh point of view would have been a good thing.”
A.S. fee initiatives for Program Board, Women’s Commission and night and weekend parking received the necessary two-thirds vote required to pass, while initiatives for Student Lobby, Community Affairs Board and Student Health failed. A constitutional amendment to change A.S. elections to a sliding scale system also failed. It received 51.2 percent of the vote – far below the requisite two-thirds needed to pass and the lowest percentage “yes” vote of any measure on the A.S. ballot. Under a sliding scale voting system, however, the measured would have succeeded.
Lopez said he was surprised the $0.09 Student Lobby lock-in fee initiative failed.
“It’s just nine cents, but that money would have really helped,” he said.