Two-Way Race Set for Presidential Spot

    Only two candidates will face off for the office of A.S. president next year, marking the first two-way race in nearly a decade.

    Kunal Sukhija/Guardian
    Current A.S. Vice President of Academic Affairs Harry Khanna (left) and Earl Warren College senior Daniel Watts will compete for the A.S. president position in the upcoming A.S. election.

    Current A.S. Vice President of Academic Affairs Harry Khanna has 10 other executive candidates running under his Student Voice! slate, mirroring the structure of Earl Warren College senior Daniel Watts’ Tritons United! slate, which also has 10 candidates for top A.S. Council positions.

    Khanna, a Warren junior, was elected on the Revolution! platform during last year’s election, and spearheaded the creation of a new Student-Run Television charter.

    Watts, who is in his fifth year at UCSD, has been heavily involved in campus politics, and ran for A.S. president last year, taking second place.

    While there are only two candidates, Watts said that it doesn’t necessarily mean only two parties will be running in the entire election.

    “There are college council parties that are running against Tritons United!’s senate and college council candidates,” he said. “As far as the all-campus races go, the one-on-one face-offs will ensure that the winning candidate receives a majority of the votes, which hasn’t usually happened in previous years because of third-party candidates.”

    Khanna agreed that only having two “parties” was not necessarily an anomaly. In fact, last year’s elections were more abnormal, with three slates on the ballot, he said.

    Khanna declined to offer specifics about his platform, citing possible violation of an A.S. elections bylaw that prohibits early campaigning.

    Those restrictions are ludicrious, Watts said, and proceeded to answer questions on some general council issues.

    “A.S. is full of bureacracy, inefficiency, unfairness and corruption,” he said. “There is a hugely restrictive bureacracy at the A.S. level, and over my five years at UCSD, it’s only gotten worse. It’s hurting the students.”

    The next A.S. president will deal with many contentious issues, including Student-Run Television, which has been shut off since November.

    Watts and other SRTV supporters have blamed A.S. councilmembers and current A.S. President Christopher Sweeten for not being active in their approach in reactivating the station’s signal.

    In addition, funding for campus entities like the Office of Academic Support and Instructional Services, which provides tutoring services to students, will be a hot topic.

    The program has experienced recent funding cuts that put its future in jeopardy.

    Despite the competition, Watts said that Khanna is his personal friend and is anticipating a fair fight for the office.

    “I expect [Khanna] to run a clean campaign, and we’ve already talked about trying to resolve bylaw infractions informally without resorting to formal hearings,” Watts said.

    Readers can contact Matt L’Heureux at [email protected].

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