Students’ Party swept all four Associated Students executive officer positions and won the majority of Legislative Council seats in this year’s A.S. election.
The 5,052 undergraduates who voted in this year’s A.S. elections chose Cervin Morris for president, Andrea Wells as internal vice president, Jared Renfro as external vice president of local affairs, and Felicia Cruz for external vice president of statewide affairs.
In addition to dominating in the executive arena, Students’ Party also garnered 13 Leg Council seats, with the 10 remaining positions going to Student Action Coalition (SAC) candidates. No members of the Student Unity Now (SUN) or any independent candidates won seats on Leg Council.
Morris defeated SAC’s Fernando Ramirez 61.4 percent to 38.6 percent. Morris said he was overwhelmed by the results.
“This is the best thing that happened in my whole life,” Morris said. “It’s the first thing I do in college that will make my dad happy.”
Wells received 55.3 percent of the vote for internal vice president, while Cruz received 51.7 percent for external vice president for statewide affairs. With the election season finished, Cruz said she can now focus more on her studies.
“I can go to class now,” Cruz said.
Even with his victory, Morris said he looks forward to working with the other candidates for the rest of the year.
“Let’s put this party tension behind us and work for students next year,” he said.
Renfro, who received 56.8 percent of the vote, said he would like to see other candidates remain active in A.S.
“I encourage all students to apply for positions in A.S. through the Committee on Committees in the A.S. Office.”
Eva von Thury, a Students’ Party campaign worker, was not as reserved as the new executive officers.
“The Iron Curtain of A.S. is finally coming down,” she said.
SAC has swept the executive seats the last two years, but Ramirez said he wishes Morris the best of luck.
“It’ll be very intense next year with the budget cuts, the cuts to outreach, the admissions policy,” Ramirez said.
SAC will continue to be active in student government, Ramirez said.
“SAC will keep doing what we’ve been doing, we’ve been organizing for 10 years,” he said. “It’s not just about getting a title.”
Student Unity Now (SUN) entered the campus political landscape last year, and the party has run for executive and representative positions both this and last year. Soumil Mehta, SUN’s candidate for external vice president of local affairs, said the party could have made more campaigning efforts.
“SUN could have done a better job,” Mehta said. “We could have had more visibility, we could have done more door-to-door campaigning.”
Mehta also said he would continue to participate in A.S. even though he did not win.
“I’ll be working with [Environmental Affairs Board], [A.S. Bicycle Improvements Keep Everyone Safe], and I’ll be living in the co-op, so I’ll be active there,” he said. “I’m partial, but don’t think [Renfro] would be as good as I would have been, but I’ll still work with him.”
Current A.S. President Miguel Lopez, a SAC member, said he thinks all the candidates had great ideas.
“At this point its just going to be a matter of time to see the great work that everyone’s going to put forward,” he said. “We hope that everyone does deliver everything that their campaign promised.”
In addition to voting for A.S. officers and representatives, undergraduates also decided whether to approve new lock-in fees and reaffirm current lock-in fees.
In order for an A.S. initiative to pass, two-thirds of the students voting must approve it. Undergraduates turned down the proposed Business Services lock-in fee of $0.50 per undergraduate per quarter, with only 52.4 percent of the electorate approving it. The Community Affairs Board lock-in fee increase of $0.60 also failed, with only 57.6 percent ‘yes’ votes. The board currently has a lock-in fee of $1.15.
The A.S. Program Board fee increase initiative of $1 per-undergraduate per-quarter received 69.6 percent of the vote and was the only A.S. measure to pass. The new Program Board quarterly lock-in fee will total $5.50 per undergraduate.
Students also approved all the campuswide initiatives, including the Broida Bikepath lock-in, Campus Learning Assistance Services (CLAS) and the Student Health Support fee. The UCSB/MTD Bus Program reaffirmation also passed. Unlike A.S. initiatives, campuswide ballot measures only need a majority of votes to pass and are voted on by both graduates and undergraduates. Exact numbers for each initiative were not available at press time.