Campus Beat Reporter
This week, the Associated Students (A.S.) of UC Santa Barbara saw the conclusion of a second unsuccessful Special Election this academic year and the beginnings of a productive A.S. Judicial Council (JC).
Rachel Ng, a fourth-year biological sciences and global studies double major, was the sole candidate for the position of External Vice President of Statewide Affairs (EVPSA) after Richard Zierer, a fourth-year political science and English double major, dropped out of the race just as voting began on Jan. 23.
The final voter turnout failed to meet the eight percent, or 1,783 people, voter threshold required to validate the results.
“The position of External Vice President of Statewide Affairs will remain vacant until a new candidate has been duly elected during the spring General Election,” said A.S. Elections Board Co-Chair John Paul Renteria in an email on Friday.
The position of EVPSA has been vacant for a year, after EVPSA-elect Mayela Morales was retroactively disqualified by the Board due to the fact that Morales was not enrolled during the elections.
The Board hosted a special election in the fall, in which the only candidate was third-year history of public policy major Madeline Loudon. The final voter turnout was 10.55 percent, 5.45 percent shy of the required 16 percent needed to validate the results.
Throughout the vacancy, A.S. entities such as A.S. Senate have been pitching in to fill the duties of the position, writing resolutions that divided up the the work of the EVPSA’s office as well as ensuring that its workers were compensated.
As the winter Special Election come to a close, students can look forward to the spring General Elections which is slated to begin next week. This election will see the appointment of new Senators, a new A.S. President, and new A.S. executives, which will include an EVPSA.
In other news, A.S. Judicial Council has been making headway now that the office is fully staffed after a 225-day hiatus.
JC Chair Raymond Alonso gave a report on the Council’s progress at public forum during Senate’s fifth meeting, citing new website features and the Council’s progress on outreach.
The Council’s website now features a section called “Case History,” which will host cases from the previous school year up to Alonso’s term as Chair and the Council’s decision on the case in accessible PDF format.
“This is important because it promotes accessibility. And it is important to me to ensure that everybody knows about the work that Judicial Council is doing,” said Alonso.
Currently, the only two cases available for view are Morales v. AS Elections Board and the Nemeh v. Campus United. These two petitions have been on the Council’s agenda for over a year, but due to failure to meet quorum, they haven’t been addressed until now.
According to Alonso, fellow Council member Justin Nilsen, a third-year computer science major, has been tremendously helpful by working on the website.
Moreover, fellow Council member Nayely Marron, a fourth-year political science and communication double major, has also been conducting comprehensive reviews of all the information about the Council on their website to ensure that it is up to date and compliant with Legal Code.
In regards to outreach, Alonso reported that Council member Kimi Nasiri, a first-year undeclared major, has helped facilitate outreach with Boards, Commissions, and Units (BCU) by making a spreadsheet of the BCUs’ various meeting times. Council members plan to attend these meetings to explain the Council’s purpose and to make sure that the Association is running smoothly.
Finally, Council member Antony Nguyen, a third-year history major, has been reviewing documents from UC Davis in regards to how their Council is run. Alonso states that they plan to draw inspiration from UC Davis’s Council and see how improvements can be applied to UCSB’s Council.
“I think that Judicial Council in the past has been a quiet body, and I am excited to move it forward,” said Alonso.