Photos by Jose Ochoa and Josh Ortiz/Daily Nexus

With the emergence of a new political party, a last-minute presidential addition and the withdrawal of an executive candidate, this year’s election has been a whirlwind.

As we come out of a five-year tuition freeze with controversy on campus over minority representation and controversial speakers, the year ahead brings challenges for student leaders. Elected officials will determine fellow students’ standpoints on state and national issues and shape the discourse of critical topics like mental health, immigration, student debt and the everyday struggles of the UCSB student.

As such, our leadership must be informed, involved and willing to listen.

The Nexus interviewed all nine executive candidates last week to determine its endorsements for the 2017-18 academic year, selecting the most qualified and directed candidates for each position. Our endorsements can be accessed below:

A.S. President

A.S. Internal Vice President

A.S. External Vice President of Statewide Affairs

A.S. External Vice President of Local Affairs

Student Advocate General

Voting began Monday for the A.S. Election, and students can cast their votes on G.O.L.D. until 4 p.m. Thursday. The A.S. Elections Board will announce the results that night.