Lorenzo Basilio/Daily Nexus

Lorenzo Basilio/Daily Nexus

This year’s Associated Students elections ended with Open People’s Party (OPP) candidates taking three of the four available A.S. executive board seats, an independent candidate taking one seat and a general OPP sweep of the Senate.

Third-year sociology and black studies major and independent candidate for External Vice President of Statewide Affairs (EVPSA) Mohsin Mirza won the seat over OPP’s Carlos Lopez, a third-year anthropology major. While OPP candidates Kimia Hashemian, Paola Dela Cruz and Jimmy Villarreal won the seats of Internal Vice President (IVP), External Vice President of Local Affairs (EVPLA) and President respectively.

A large majority of the senate seats went to OPP, save for one independent candidate victory for Jacob Johnson, and victory for the Brendan Korbas of Free Thinking Patriots (FTP) slate, for off-campus and on-campus senator, respectively.

All fee reaffirmations for all organizations passed, as did all fee increases — the $1.99  A.S. Bike Committee fee increase and new $5.05 A.S. in I.V. fee initiative — save for the Nexus’  $2.08 fee increase, which failed to pass by four percent of the vote.

Third-year political science major and FTP candidate for EVPLA, Brandon Morse, said despite the loss, he will continue his work to meet some of the goals he set forth in his campaign.

“I’m honored and humbled to have gotten as broad of a base of support as we received, it has encouraged me to continue to work with members of the student body to officiate the changes we campaigned on,” Morse said.

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President candidate Jason Garshfield and EVPLA candidate Brandon Morse of the Free Thinking Patriots party. Will Tran/Daily Nexus

Morse said he will focus on developing specific efforts in Santa Barbara county with regards to Isla Vista.

“I hopefully am going to be able to work with several of the clubs on campus to educate the student body on their rights,” Morse said. “I am hoping to work with the county and help develop the 501(c)3 I discussed during the campaign season — hopefully formalize and organize the festivals and major events in the Isla Vista area and help … the county feel like our event next year will be responsible and safe so that we don’t need to implement the martial program that we have this past year.”

Morse also said he would work to develop the party further for action next year.

“This is something that has been a topic of discussion among some of our supporters and there are a number of people that have shown interest in running next year, so I’m hoping we’ll be able to take the summer to fine tune our message a little bit,” Morse said.

External Vice President of Local Affairs Cameron Schunk said he was looking forward to Paola Dela Cruz’s tenure as EVPLA.

“I’m really excited for Paola to take office — I think she’ll do an incredible job,” Schunk said. “I’ve had the privilege of working with her over the past year and from what I’ve seen she has been an absolute powerhouse, to say the least.”

Schunk said he was also excited that a fee initiative to maintain services at the Pardall Center in Isla Vista.

“Tonight I was actually very happy the fee initiative that I spearheaded called ‘Mainting A.S.’s Presence in Isla Vista’ passed with a 61 percent popular vote so that will help maintain services at the Pardall Center and make sure that that space is being used.”

Christina DeMarzo/Daily Nexus

Candidates and students cheer as all fee reaffirmations were passed. Christina DeMarzo/Daily Nexus

Third-year political science major and presidential candidate Jason Garshfield said though he did not win the election, he was glad to bring attention to topics throughout his campaign that otherwise may not be discussed.

“There were a number of ways we could have won,” Garshfield said. “One was by getting the greatest number of votes up there and another was by making a difference in the way students talk about these issues and bringing issues to the forefront that wouldn’t be at the forefront.”

According to Garshfield, he hopes to work with Villarreal next year and to strengthen the Free Thinking Patriots party he founded.

“I would be thrilled to stick around in student politics and continue making a difference in any way that I can,” Garshfield said. “I would love to work in Jimmy’s administration if possible … and I would still love to see an FTP resurgence and one candidate elected is one more than a lot of people expected.”

Third-year history of public policy major and president-elect Villarreal said he is looking forward to fulfilling his position as A.S. president in the upcoming year.

“I’m so excited to start serving the students. I’ve done it for a couple years, but it’s just great every year to see that students want to participate in the whole electoral process, that they want to get educated on, you know, who’s coming out and I’m just really excited to start the year,” Villarreal said. “I was nervous. It’s always fun; it’s always a little nerve wracking during the election period but just now I’m ready to start going to work.”

Fourth-year political science major and current EVPSA Melvin Singh said he is apprehensive about the UC tuition hikes and expressed his willingness to aid Mirza and Lopez in their continued work with A.S.

“My biggest concern is seeing how tuition increase and all that will go next year, and making sure both of them are prepped for it, and of course I’m going to be there to prep them before I term out,” Singh said. “I mean I was pretty comfortable being in that room and seeing whatever happened so at this point I’m just making sure both of them are set for their path from now on.”

Incoming IVP and third-year sociology major Kimia Hashemian said while she is looking forward to taking office, she was disappointed her fellow Open People’s Party EVPSA candidate Lopez lost the campaign.

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Former executives came by to see the election results. Will Tran/Daily Nexus

“As a party it’s like we don’t win until we all win, so we were very nervous about the EVPSA position and once his is announced it was kinda like the mood kinda went down,” Hashemian said. “So when mine was announced I was excited but at the same time, you know, in my mind there was still the fact that our EVPSA did not win so it’s not as joyous as I wish it were.”

Current Internal Vice President and fourth-year economics and accounting major Angela Lau said she is satisfied with her accomplishments during her term in office and is looking forward to the continued improvements to be made by Hashemian.

“What I hope that she can improve from what I did last year is just to really transition better and do a better orientation for the entire association,” Lau said. “I thought I did a really good job with the senators and the senators I felt like were really equipped with all the different resources and things they needed to know to be in office. But one thing I want Kimia to kind of take from what I’ve done in the past is to really focus on the transition of the entire association and to make sure that the institutional knowledge is passed on from one generation to the next.”

A.S. President and fourth year-psychology and sociology double major Ali Guthy praised the candidates, particularly Villarreal for his ability to act as president.

“All the candidates that ran — write-ins, independents, affiliated — were all excellent candidates, and I’m sure they will all do their best to make the association better,” Guthy said. “The biggest thing in this job is dealing with the unpredictable and anything that might be thrown your way, and Jimmy has lots of experience in A.S. on a lot of different issues, so I know he’ll be able to handle whatever is thrown at him,” Guthy said.

Mirza said he received a broad base of support for various campus organizations and is looking forward to repaying them through his actions.

“It’s an overwhelming feeling, to run as an independent without a party. I’ve just received so much love and support from groups on campus,” Mirza said. “Their love kept me going and that’s why we’re here. I got nothing but respect for my opponent Carlos but I think throughout the year we’re gonna do a lot of great things and I’m looking forward to repaying the students’ faith in me.”


Supporters embrace Mohsin Mirza after he wins the election for External Vice President of Statewide Affairs. Lorenzo Basilio/Daily Nexus

Third-year global studies and art double major and SAG-elect Joseline Garcia said while her opponent has prior experience working in the SAG office, Garcia has developed a unique set of skills in her positions with the Student Commission on Racial Equality and the United States Student Association that she said will help her as she takes on the office.

“All these different experiences, I believe, give me a different perspective … I know that my experiences are different, but I believe that my experiences are very useful and are necessary right now,” Garcia said.

Garcia also said she felt ready to take on the office of SAG and affirmed her belief in the power of community efforts to affect change.

“I already feel ready to take up the challenge … I am going to sit at that desk and give 110 percent to make sure next year we get a lot of things done to benefit the student body,” Garcia said. “I believe that one person alone might not be able to change a lot, but I believe that if you work together, if you distribute your resources, if you have a sense of community with different entities, I believe that you can move mountains,” Garcia said.

Internal Vice President candidate and third-year history of public policy major Zach Goulhiane, was not available for comment.

SAG candidate and third-year global studies major Anais Zavala refused to comment for this article.

{Correction: This article previously stated independent candidate Jacob Johnson was a write in. That is incorrect, Johnson ran independently and his name was on the ballot. This article has been updated accordingly.]

Lorenzo Basilio/Daily Nexus

Students cheer for Joseline Garcia, the newly elected Student Advocate General. Lorenzo Basilio/Daily Nexus