Students First dominates elections

    The 2002 A.S. Council elections concluded Friday with the Students First slate winning most seats on the council after a four-week campaign that pitted four slates against each other and saw above-average voter turnout.

    Lyon Liew
    Guardian

    Some described the election as an upset for the Action and New Wave slates, as victories in the election came as close as one vote.

    Students First candidate and current Vice President Internal Jenn Brown was elected A.S. President by a margin wider than 500 votes.

    “”I’m really honored that the students of UCSD saw the passion of Students First and the dedication to our issues,”” Brown said.

    Tyler Huff
    Guardian

    Kevin Hsu, Dave Ian Beza and Steve Klass will be next year’s vice president internal, vice president finance and vice president external, respectively.

    Hsu described himself as “”nauseous”” after the results were announced. “”I think that with as many Students First people in office as we have, we’re really going to be able to do what we promised,”” he said.

    Klass said he is excited to be vice president external.

    “”I’m just really, really glad,”” he said. “”It’s a really important position.””

    He said he plans to continue the fight against UC Regent Ward Connerly’s Racial Privacy Initiative that current Vice President External Dylan deKervor began last week, as well as raise awareness about the gubernatorial race next year.

    “”It’s going to be a beautiful year,”” Klass said.

    The Students First commissioners elected were Brie Finegold for student advocacy, Halle Beitollahi for academic affairs, Navneet Grewal for communications, David Mitchell for diversity affairs and Jeremy Gallagher for services and enterprises.

    “”I’m overjoyed,”” Gallagher said. “”I’m shocked. We worked really hard to win, and we’re going to continue to work really hard in the office.””

    Independent candidate Robin Shelton was elected commissioner of athletics and Action slate member Gabe Grossman won commissioner of programming.

    Grossman said he hopes for programming’s best year ever, despite his slate members’ losses.

    “”I’ve got to represent,”” he said. “”I’ve got to come through with everything I said I’d do. I’m going to do it for everyone who should have won and didn’t.””

    The final cabinet position, the senate chair, is elected by the senators when the council takes office.

    The elected senators included nine from the Students First slate and six from Action.

    The Students First senators are Desiree Jabson from Eleanor Roosevelt College; Amy Uyeshima from Revelle College; Jessica Kepford from Earl Warren College; Corrine Hart, Dan Gershon and Jeremy Cogan from John Muir College; and Bryce Boucher, Philip Ngai and Jeff Le from Thurgood Marshall College.

    The Action senators elected are Wendy Ho and Cassie Pataky from Roosevelt college, Bishoy Said and Achim Lyon from Revelle college, and Lauren Lee and Kirsten Bowen from Warren.

    Lyon defeated Students First candidate Kirti Yelamanchili by one vote.

    No candidates from the New Wave slate were elected.

    “”A lot of our people are still going to be involved,”” said New Wave’s election manager Vince Vasquez. “”We have a commitment to UCSD, election or no election. Expect to see New Wave in college councils, A.S. committees, everywhere on campus.””

    Members of the New Wave slate expressed disbelief at the results.

    “”It was a huge blowout,”” said New Wave presidential candidate Dave Hansen.

    Hansen said that he feels like the work spent campaigning and postering was in vain.

    “”It really comes down to the connections you have,”” he said. “”It makes it seem like none of [New Wave and Action] had a chance from the start.””

    Action presidential candidate Colin Parent said he does not regret the campaign he ran.

    “”Electorally, we made the mistake of valuing experience and qualifications over interest group affiliation, but I am proud to have made that mistake,”” Parent said.

    Parent said he has high expectations for the members of his slate elected to next year’s council.

    “”I think a lot of the people who won on the Action team are going to feel responsible for ensuring that the other people elected to council fulfill their responsibilities to the students of UCSD,”” Parent said.

    About 4,750 students turned out to vote on the A.S. Council for next year and the athletics fee referendum. The 27.6 percent turnout was higher than average.

    “”It’s a record,”” said A.S. representative to the elections committee Kyle Biebesheimer.

    Despite the high turnout, many races were laden with voters who abstained from choosing a candidate.

    Current A.S. President Jeff Dodge was pleased with the election outcome.

    “”I think that [Brown] is best going to be able to carry forward the things that I’ve worked on,”” he said. “”I think both Jenn and Colin would have done a great job, but this was the decision of the students.””

    Brown is the first female A.S. president in six years. The last woman elected also ran on the Students First slate.

    “”The election was really tough,”” Brown said. “”The competition was really good. I think we should all be proud of the effort that was put into it.””

    Brown said she is looking forward to the year in office.

    “”Athletics will be a big focus of our council,”” she said. “”We’ll be continuing to work to improve school spirit.””

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