Beginning next week, students on campus will be greeted by a flurry of posters and banners marking the official commencement of the Associated Students Spring Election season.
This year, 80 candidates are vying for 29 A.S. positions and there are 13 student fees on the ballot. Voting begins April 19 at 8 a.m. on GOLD or at https://survey.ucsb.edu/elections/ and ends April 22 at 4 p.m.
Although the campaign season has traditionally begun the second week of spring quarter, campaigning will now formally start April 11 at 8 p.m. Debates and forums, however, kick off today. Today’s presidential forum will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the UCen Hub. On Wednesday, the internal vice president candidates will face off at 12 p.m., and those running for external vice president of local affairs will take the stage at 1 p.m in the Hub.
According to Aaron Jones, A.S. associate director for community affairs the campaign period was reduced by a week because it proved overwhelming for candidates as they tried to juggle schoolwork with elections commitments.
“They did it for the first time last year,” Jones said. “The reason why Legislative Council last year wanted to change it was because three weeks of campaigning was a hardship on students.”
There are 29 available positions, including the five executive offices of president, internal vice president, external vice president of local affairs, external vice president of statewide affairs and student advocate general. Each executive officer receives free tuition — funded by student fees — for the duration of their term.
Aside from the A.S. candidates, this year’s ballot also includes multiple campus-wide measures. Students will vote on eight lock-in fee reaffirmations and five new fees this election.
Unlike new items, reaffirmations are existing support and service fees — lock-in fees which are automatically obtained from student BARC accounts — voted on by students in the past, meaning re-approval will not increase campus-based fees from the current total of $429.82 per quarter.
This year’s election features two brand new student parties — Bettering Our School System and Democratic Process Party — in addition to the returning Open People’s Party. Unlike OPP and B.O.S.S., which used a nomination-style election process, DPP held a primary election last quarter to select its candidates.
Last year, OPP garnered 26 of the 29 positions up for grabs, sweeping four of the five executive offices. The main opposition party of the past few years — known in its various incarnations as Students’ Party and Student Voice! — is no longer on the ballot.
“The way I understand it, there is no renaming of Student Voice!,” Student Government Advisor Charity Agomuo said. “These are all new parties.”
This year’s presidential candidates include Josue Aparicio (OPP), Bennett Duval (B.O.S.S.) and Paul Monge-Rodriguez (DPP).
The students running for Internal Vice President include Brandon Bouldin (DPP), Jake Elwood (OPP) and Marge Riazi (B.O.S.S.). Two candidates will vie for the External Vice President of Local Affairs position, Corilyn “Cori” Lantz (OPP) and Ahmed Naguib (B.O.S.S.). The candidates for External Vice President of Statewide Affairs are Edward-Michael Muña (DPP), Douglas “Doug” Wagoner (B.O.S.S.) and Celina Ayala (OPP), who is running for reelection. Harrison Weber, an independent, is running unopposed for Student Advocate General.
Additionally, 18 students will compete for Representative-at-Large, 35 candidates are running for Off-Campus Representative, 12 people will vie for the On-Campus Representative positions and there are three contenders for University Owned Off-Campus Housing Representative.
Voters select — depending on where they reside — up to six Reps-at-Large, 12 Off-Campus Reps, five On-Campus Reps or one University Owned Off-Campus Housing Representative. These representatives make up the A.S. Legislative Council, which passes bills and regulations concerning the student body.
A voter turnout of at least 20 percent is required in order for the election to be deemed valid.