Council-Elects Must Follow Through with Campaign Promises

 

After countless hours of interviewing all of the candidates this season including the newly elected, we have two things to say: First, congratulations to all those who won. Second, we have pages and pages of notes listing out what exactly each councilmember plans to do in his/her position, and we are looking forward to some serious follow-through. 

A.S. President-elect Andrew Buselt has a particularly large list of tasks to accomplish when he assumes his position during week five. Buselt has promised to bring more transparency, accessibility and diverse community interaction to A.S. We think he can do it; Buselt does have a track record of completing various senator projects focusing on fostering student discussion and LGBT awareness — let’s see these projects continue during his presidency.

We will also be interested in watching Buselt’s promised efforts to *fix our campus’ most pressing issue: transportation. Buselt believes that the solution to the TPS crisis is a future referendum and has already given himself a name with his somewhat lofty hope to implement a revamped bicycle system on campus. He’s going to face quite a few bumps in the road (literally, given our campus topography) with a Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Planning Study estimate of $13.9 million in improvements, and we’ll see how he attains those funds to make such a crucial part of his presidential campaign a reality.

Like Buselt, vice president of student life Linda Le has a great deal of projects up her sleeve — maybe a little too many to handle. Le is promising a campus culture change, accessibility and increased spirit and A.S. awareness like every other candidate, but we hope that her pledged plans to create student life strategic planning meetings, community building projects and college survival guides will ground these goals and yield some tangible change for student life.

We are also looking forward to our new vice president of finance Sean O’Neal and vice president of external affairs Vanessa Garcia. Being the current chief of staff for the office, O’Neal is starting out with a concrete, long-term plan to make A.S. a fiscally sustainable 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. He has a very comprehensive understanding of the A.S. budget, with ideas to create a greener, more transparent A.S., and we are really, really, hoping to see some actual change from him.

VP External Garcia, like all others, has a great deal of ideas and goals. She also has many potential solutions for issues such as transportation, revamping the external affairs office, increasing student activism, working with UC SHIP and forging connections with university communities. Garcia plans to strengthen GSA and alumni relationships and use untapped power in student organizations to help address council issues. She is a major force, and if the momentum she has now translates into real transformation, we might just be moving toward Division-I athletics sooner than we thought while maintaining fiscal responsibility.

Keep it Real-dominated campus-wide senators, however, are a bit more of a reach. Many of these newly-elects have the goals of increasing accessibility and improving campus climate that seem to be buzz-word requirements when speaking to the Guardian, but we are a little more than anxious to see how they create concrete plans. 

Nevertheless, these fresh faces will bring some new blood and hopefully new ideas to council, which we are in dire need of.