UC Santa Barbara students will have the opportunity to vote through GOLD for Associated Students senatorial and executive candidates — as well as a variety of fee reaffirmations — for the 2022-23 school year next week from April 18 to 21. 

Last year, elections received a 24.16% voter turnout, the lowest in five years. Daily Nexus File Photo

All voting items require a 20% voter threshold in order to pass. 

Third-year political science and philosophy double major Gurleen Pabla is running unopposed with Storke Party for President. 

Current Internal Vice President and independent candidate and fourth-year biology major Bee Schaefer, independent candidate and second-year mechanical engineering major Cesar Castillo and Isla Vista Party candidate and second-year pre-biology major Jessy Gonzalez are running for Internal Vice President. 

Third-year political science and sociology double major Hailey Stankiewicz is running as an independent and unopposed candidate for External Vice President for Local Affairs. 

Third-year sociology major Marvia Cunanan is running unopposed with the Isla Vista Party for External Vice President for Statewide Affairs. 

Second-year statistics and data science major Kristen Wu and sixth-year earth science major Shva Star are both running independently for Student Advocate General. 

Second-year psychological & brain sciences and sociology double major Ava Gurwitz, first-year environmental studies major Faith Johnson, second-year history of public policy and law major Mina Matta and second-year political science and communication double major Tessa Veksler are running for College of Letters and Science Senators — for which there are four seats — with Storke Party. 

Second-year creative writing and literature and political science major Kellen Beckett is running for College of Creative Studies Senator — for which there is one seat — with Storke Party.

There are no candidates for College of Engineering Senator — for which there is one seat. 

Third-year political science and history double major Adam Majcher, third-year political science major Alexa Grines, first-year political science major Avery Walters, first-year global studies major Jessica Klein, second-year biochemistry major Sohum Kalia, first-year undeclared major Yael Berukhim and third-year political science major Zachary Orsinelli are running for Off-Campus Senators — for which there are twelve seats — with Storke Party.

First-year economics major Eddie Zong, second-year Middle East studies major Ehsan Varnous and second-year political science major Jeffrey Adler are running for On-Campus Senators — for which there are five seats — with Storke Party.

Second-year economics and history double major Nathan Lee is running for University-Owned Off-Campus Senator — for which there is one seat — with Storke Party.

Third-year political science major Jay Schmidt is running for Transfer Senator — for which there is one seat — with Storke Party.

First-year political science majors Billy Wu and MingJun Zha are running independently, and Xiaoyang Hua is running with Storke Party for International Senator — for which there are two seats. 

There are 20 candidates for Senate — the majority of whom come from Storke Party — for the 2022-23 year, in contrast to the 38 candidates that ran for Senate last year. Currently, there are not enough candidates for a full Senate slate, which consists of 27 seats. 

Shannon Hollingsworth, chair of the A.S. Elections Board, attributed the low candidate turnout to UCSB’s return to in-person instruction after years of being online from COVID-19. 

“We believe the low turnout in general this season is heavily due to the return from online instruction and the large number of student population that has never seen an in person election,” she said in a statement to the Nexus.  

“We saw so many candidates working so hard to advertise voting online these last few years and we hope that in the coming weeks we will see all the candidates and members of Elections Board working hard to promote voting across campus through boards, flyers, class shout outs, social media, posters, and more and that we build new traditions for future elections together,” Hollingsworth continued in the statement.

In a previous interview with the Nexus, Hollingsworth also expressed trepidation about the current phase-out of the party system in regards to voter turnout. 

“[Banning parties] affects voter turnout so heavily and it affects participation, among the student body, so heavily,” Hollingsworth said. “Parties, as a larger group, they’re just able to reach more people … than, say, one person campaigning. And in that way, the elections just get bigger.”

Last year, elections received a 24.16% voter turnout, the lowest in five years. 


Holly Rusch
Holly Rusch (she/her) is the Lead News Editor for the 2022-23 school year. Previously, Rusch was the University News Editor and co-Lead News Editor for the 2020-21 school year. She can be reached at news@dailynexus.com or hollyrusch@dailynexus.com.