Board the Wing Sweeps Elections

“I’m still kind of in the shock stage, because it’s a surreal feeling,” Wing said. “Just because you put so much time into the process of elections and making sure you’re doing everything you can to get yourself out there. And when the results come out, you’re kinda shock[ed] that you’re even to that point.”

Of the 30 candidates who ran under Wing’s Board the Wing slate, 27 were elected.

“From the get-go, that was something that I made sure would separate us from the other slates,” Wing said. “We were the largest slate this election season and, as you know, maintaining anybody is difficult, so I made sure that everyone was on the same page, that we really had a unified vision and that every member on our slate was dedicated to this vision we share.”

The executive board will be composed solely of BTW members, all of whom are currently serving on council: Speaker Meredith Madnick will be the Vice President of Student Life, Warren College Senator Kevin Hoang will be Vice President of Finance and Resources and current Transfer Senator Samer Naji will take on the role of Vice President of External Affairs.

In addition, seven out of the eight campuswide senators will be from BTW, with the sole exception being current Marshall College Senator Annie Yu, who ran on Tritons First.

This year’s election featured three new slates, 140 candidates and six presidential candidates, including Warren College junior Marc Chew, who dropped out on April 3.

A.S. elections use the single-transferable voting system, in which voters are asked to rank the candidates in order of preference. If a student’s first-ranked candidate is eliminated, her vote is transferred to the second-ranked candidate and so on.

In the final round of the voting system, Wing — who is currently Warren College Student Council president — won the election ahead of Students First! runner-up Jasmine Phillips.

“Board the Wing swept in almost every major position,” We Are Tritons presidential candidate Parminder Sandhu said. “It shows that they have a tremendous ability to get things done. I’ve known [Wing] for a long time. She’s going to be an amazing president.”

Phillips noted that other UC campuses also have Students First! slates, and said her slate is beneficial in establishing relationships with other schools.

“We already have the established connection and bonds, so I’m hoping that next year, [Wing] is able to facilitate that connectedness,” she said.

The Students First! slate will have three members on council: Biological Sciences Senator Randze Palmaira, Marshall College Senator Summer Perez and Muir College Senator Elizabeth Garcia. Aside from Yu, Tritons First! will have one other member, Revelle College Senator Meena Kaushik.

No members of slates We Are Tritons or Flush the John were elected into council.

“I’m pretty happy with the election results,” Flush the John presidential candidate John Tran said. “I know Alyssa Wing personally, so I think she’d do a great job.”

The results were delayed for three days as the A.S. Elections Committee discussed 22 grievances out of a total 28 from April 8 to 9, according to A.S. Elections Manager Senam Payandeh. Students First! filed 10 of the grievances.

“As a slate, we essentially wanted to process a lot of the other slates who weren’t following the election bylaws and other rules that the election committee and election manager put forth,” Phillips said. “We thought that it wasn’t fair for people to essentially cheat and not receive any type of sanction. [We wanted] to hold people accountable.”

In addition, the A.S. Judicial Board deliberated seven grievance appeals on April 10. Four of the appeals were made by Students First!.

Two of the grievances from Students First! accused the BTW slate of interfering with voting and having a polling station in Muir College, but the slate was ultimately not sanctioned.

“The process really revealed how much internal reform that we really do need,” Wing said. “In terms of our rules, we need to ensure that our own members [of] the judicial board and elections board know the rules.”

Another appeal was filed by the pro-University Centers Fee Referendum campaign, which was not in favor of the elections committee nullifying the referendum. The elections committee invalidated the referendum because University Centers Director Paul Terzino gave the con campaign incorrect numbers on the amount of campaign funds they could spend. Acting judicial board chair Shounak Ghosh said the board upheld the committee’s decision.

In another appeal, Graduate Student Association representative Garo Bournoutian accused A.S. Elections Manager Senam Payandeh of being biased in favor of the pro campaign for the University Centers referendum. Payandeh was not sanctioned.

“Elections this year was an interesting process,” Sandhu said. “Students First! grievances were unfair — they were long and they didn’t have grievances in a timely manner. It held up the elections process and it seemed as if they were using grievances as a tool for disqualification.”

Judicial board chair Polina Tsvetikova said the board focused on considering all sides of the appeals.

“There’s been a lot of talk that we were favoring one slate over the other, and I know it’s hard for people to actually understand our perspective because they weren’t in the room with us,” Tsvetikova said.

Payandeh said 27.5 percent of the student population — or 7,443 out of 27,008 students — voted in the election. This is more than last year’s student voter turnout of 22.7 percent. Revelle College had the highest college turnout at 29.5 percent while Warren College had the lowest turnout at 25.3 percent. Payandeh said the turnout was one of the largest ever recorded.

The Canyonview fee referendum passed with 3,793 out of 7,376 votes. It will charge students an additional $10 per quarter to maintain student recreation facilities.

The University Centers fee and CPI referendum was invalidated in the grievance process because both the pro and con campaigns were not notified of and did not receive campaign funds from Terzino at equal times.

The fee would have charged students an additional $5 per quarter to sustain Price Center and Old Student Center facilities. Despite the invalidation, the referendum would not have passed because 54 percent of the voters were against it.

Wing said that her first priority, before taking office May 6, will be to appoint associate vice presidents.

“Making sure that we have appointments on time and that the process is done right, as they have not been done in years past [is first priority],” Wing said. “First and foremost is getting a full council [and] ensuring that our appointments go well and that we advertise the heck out of it.”

Her future goals include increasing the visibilities of council and Triton Tide, in addition to a rules committee, in light of the grievances incident.

Tritons First! presidential candidate Ryan O’Rear could not be reached for comment.

Readers can contact Regina Ip at [email protected]. 

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