Update: April 23, 2011 8 a.m.
The results of the Spring Elections’ Campus Elections Commission ballot were released yesterday, establishing one new fee and upholding five reaffirmations.
Students approved a fee increase of $4.24 per quarter for Arts & Lectures by a margin of 66.98 percent, bringing total undergraduate student fees for 2011-2012 to $654.40 per student — up $28.96 from this year. The Commission’s other proposed new fees — Recreation Facility Enhancement, UCen Third Floor Study Space Renovation and Support Fee and Developing Athletics Resource Enhancement — failed to pass.
All CEC lock-ins were reaffirmed, including Arts & Lectures Support Fee, Events Center Support Fee, Office of Student Life Support Fee, University Children’s Center Support Fee and Coastal Fund Initiative.
Measures are placed on the Spring Elections ballot through either Associated Students or the Campus Elections Commission.
The campus’ Open People’s Party took home 23 of 29 elected positions in the 2011 Associated Students election.
Results for the A.S. fees, candidates and constitutional amendment on the Spring Ballot were announced at Corwin Pavilion yesterday. Results for the 14 fees registered through the Campus Elections Commission will be released today. In addition to sweeping all executive positions except the traditionally nonpartisan Student Advocate General, OPP won all six Representatives-at-Large, 10 of 12 Off-Campus Reps and three On-Campus Reps.
The Democratic Process Party obtained two Off-Campus Reps and one On-Campus Rep position. Additionally, an independent candidate was elected as an On-Campus Rep, while Better Our School System failed to gain any student government position.
Overall, the elections yielded a 39 percent voter turnout of 6,926 undergraduates, slightly less than last year’s 40.71 percent turnout. Next year’s executive office will consist of President Harrison Weber (OPP), Internal Vice President Chloe Stryker (OPP), External Vice President of Local Affairs Timothy Benson (OPP), External Vice President of Statewide Affairs Ahmed Mostafa (OPP) and Student Advocate General Beau Shaw (other).
Voters ratified a constitutional amendment that changed the title of elected A.S. representatives to “Senators” and the A.S. Legislative Council to “the Senate.” The only proposed new fee to pass was the Community Financial Fund, with 62.7 percent, while all reaffirmations were passed excepting the La Cumbre yearbook lock-in, which was turned down by 60.6 percent.
Although the proposed new Night and Weekend Parking fee garnered the popular vote, it did not achieve the 60 percent needed to pass. The results of Campus Election Commission fee initiatives, including the D.A.R.E. fee, will be announced tomorrow. Students danced, sang and played childhood games to release their nervous energy. Aside from dubstepping, candidates performed the cha-cha slide and participated in duck, duck, goose. Weber, who won with 51.2 percent of the vote, said his party swept the election because students running for executive and legislative council offices with a diverse range of ideas campaigned for a common goal.
“I’m not the president of OPP, but the president of the association,” Weber said. “[OPP doesn’t] come in each year with the same thing. This year’s OPP is different from last year’s OPP, which is different from the year before that.”
However Joel Mandujano, the third choice for IVP with 38 percent of the votes, said the association would suffer from a dearth of perspectives.
“The results are upsetting,” Mandujano said. “It’s pretty much a one-party [legislative] council. If we keep electing one party, it’s not going to be as diverse as we could be.”
A.S. President Paul Monge-Rodriguez encouraged DPP members to not allow the defeat to prevent them from working for the association next school year.
“We proved that we are strong,” Monge-Rodriguez said. “I know that we’re tired, but it’s not over. First years, this is just the beginning. This is bigger than us; it’s bigger than the individual. It’s about the collective; it’s about the family.”
Second-year political science and feminist studies major Sophia Armen, who ran for Rep-at-Large with DPP, said student involvement should be carried on regardless of election results.
“A.S. is not just about elections,” Armen said. “This is a 24/7 job. It’s about time A.S. really becomes a place for everyone.”
Armen and a group of DPP candidates gathered outside Corwin Pavilion after the election results were announced. They formed a circle and took turns offering words of encouragement to their disappointed peers.
“I don’t got words, I don’t have any fancy things to say,” Armen said, holding back tears. “But I got heart. ‘Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop’ isn’t a fucking slogan; it’s a message that we believe in.”
The students then proceeded to chant the phrase.
Hanna Beckman, a third-year history and political science major who ran for Off-Campus Rep with B.O.S.S., said the association should incorporate a larger range of viewpoints.
“A.S. needs to switch from a monologue to a dialogue,” Beckman said.
Student Advocate General-elect Beau Shaw, an independent candidate, said the three parties are comparable and it therefore doesn’t matter which one has the most representatives in office.
“I think OPP will be well-represented,” he said. “All three parties are fairly similar. If only one party is represented, it should be fine.”
Ahmed Mostafa, EVPSA-elect, said the election was fairly managed.
“All that matters is that we were on an open playing field,” Mostafa said. “My heart goes out to all the parties and candidates because they have potential to make amazing change.”
EVPLA Cori Lantz said the success of this year’s administration is partially dependent upon next year’s executives.
“There is definitely a lot at stake,” Lantz said. “There are a lot of projects that could die if people don’t continue working on them. It’s up to the future leaders what they want to continue.”
EVPLA-elect Timothy Benson said the students will ultimately be in charge.
“I want to spend money how students want it to be spent,” Benson said.