The UC Santa Barbara Associated Students Senate unanimously passed the Candidate Endorsement Act, amending legal code to allow candidates in Associated Students elections to endorse one another, at its Feb. 14 meeting.

The Associated Students (A.S.) Senate also indefinitely tabled a bill that aimed to provide funding to local Isla Vista-based bands.

The A.S. Senate convenes weekly on Wednesdays in the University Center Flying A Studios Room to pass legislation and discuss campus and student issues. 

This was the second Senate meeting that has taken place since A.S. Internal Vice President Sohum Kalia announced his intention to yield his duty as chair of the Senate.

Kalia did not immediately respond to the Nexus’ request for comment on the topic of Senate chairship.

The Candidate Endorsement Act, co-authored by Senators Eric Carlson and Amelia Rowe, will amend Article XVIII, Section 2. Candidates, B.5.C of A.S. Legal Code, which formerly prohibited endorsements. The code now reads that independent candidates “can be endorsed by other Candidates, who are currently running in the election.”

A.S. previously used a two-party system for elections — with the Isla Vista Party and the Storke Party — but ultimately dissolved the system to discourage partisanship among students both in and out of A.S.

“The Candidate Endorsement Act is an improvement to our elections legal code that allows candidates to endorse one another, which enables coalition building which lets people know who they’re actually electing,” A.S. Off-Campus Senator, Senate First President pro-tempore and second-year computer science major Ephraim Shalunov said. “There’s no legitimate reason to prevent candidates from endorsing one another.”

The bill references an A.S. at UC Berkeley (ASUC) Senate bill that prohibited candidates from forming coalitions or supporting other candidates. ASUC President Chaka Tellem vetoed the bill on April 22, 2023.

The second bill, titled “A Resolution to Open a Funding Stream for Local Isla Vista-based Bands,” was written by Carlson and Senator Jeff Adler, and attempted to create procedures for local bands to receive funding from A.S.

“We’re working hard with our staff advisors and colleagues to ensure we get this right,” Carlson said. “By having to create an accounting process from the ground up, we have to make sure we are in the legal clear.” 

A version of this article appeared on p. 3 of the Feb. 22, 2024, print edition of the Daily Nexus.


Alex Levin
Alex Levin (he/him) is the University News Editor for the 2023-24 school year. Previously, Levin was the Assistant News Editor for the 2022-2023 school year. He can be reached at