The Associated Students of UC Santa Barbara is holding a special election to install a new internal vice president, following Associated Students President Gurleen Pabla’s fall quarter removal of Bee Schaefer. Voting opened on Jan. 30 at 8 a.m. and closes on Feb. 2 at 4 p.m.
The candidates running for the position are third-year political science major Coleton Cristiani, third-year communication major Gabrielle Diaz and third-year economics and communication double major Sydney Kupsh.
As of 10:41 a.m. Feb. 1, 574 students had cast their votes, A.S. Elections Board said in a statement to the Nexus. The voting threshold is currently 3% of the UCSB student population, requiring roughly 700 votes.
The Associated Students (A.S.) Internal Vice President (IVP) is one of five executive A.S. positions and holds the primary responsibilities of chairing the Senate, facilitating the distribution of student fees and representing A.S. in internal affairs.
The A.S. Judicial Council placed an injunction on the election results, which will be withheld pending the resolution of a case filed by A.S. Senator Sohum Kalia regarding the election’s legitimacy. In the case Kalia v. Stankiewicz, the plaintiff argued that the current election is illegal because the Senate did not formally recognize the IVP position as vacant, which is a requirement to hold a special election. The case will be heard on Feb. 5, Kalia told the Nexus.
Kupsh is currently an officer in the A.S. Finance and Business Committee and treasurer for the Basic Needs Committee. If elected, Kupsh said she will focus on “uphold[ing] legal code to the highest degree” when chairing the Senate and ensure Senators are fully informed on their stipulated duties.
“It is essential for the legislative branch of our student government to have proper training to make informed decisions about student life, fees and everything in between,” Kupsh said in a statement to the Nexus.
Cristiani did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Diaz did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
A version of this article appeared on p. 1 of the Feb. 2, 2023, print edition of the Daily Nexus.