2015-16 Guardian Voter Guide

President Dominick Suvonnasupa

Tritons United presidential candidate Dominick Suvonnasupa has the experience, ideas and enthusiasm to propel A.S. Council and UCSD in a positive direction. Originally from California, he moved to Maine after high school to open up his own restaurant and never planned on attending college. He decided to pursue economics and to be part of A.S. Council because, as a professor told him, “Where you put your money matters.”

With his background in economics, we believe Suvonnasupa is the right choice to keep A.S. Council on a steady fiscal path without hurting students. Also a member of the Undergraduate Investment Society, Suvonnasupa has experience in finance and understands the current problems Council has with funding. Furthermore, his plans to restructure Council will improve its efficiency when making decisions, as well as open up several opportunities for the student body as a whole to become involved with A.S Council. Historically, Council has had problems with transparency and voter turnout, and the liaison, marketing and research departments that Suvonnasupa hopes to create will rectify this. Instead of becoming a member of an organization just to put it on your resume, these departments will give undergraduate students real-life experience within the realm of A.S. Council to pursue their interests.

The UCSD Guardian appreciates Suvonnasupa’s experience with A.S. Council, as well as his background in finance. His concrete ideas and plans for Council make him the best choice for A.S. president.

VP Campus Affairs Taylor Valdivia

A.S. Council, the administration and everything else on campus tend to be at odds with each other on more than enough issues. However, in order for UCSD to function, productive discussion is imperative. Taylor Valdivia embodies an arguably unique form of passion, determination and knowledge when it comes to UCSD and, most importantly, students. In the time she spent with us, Valdivia was able to answer and thoroughly address all of our queries in a balanced, precise manner. She stated that she was drawn to the position of VP Campus Affairs because she believed in empowerment and community, a theme that reflected in her approaches and thoughts relating to campus issues.

Regarding the UCEN referendum, Valdivia recognized that the fee adds to the burden students bear because of the increasing costs of higher education. However, she also said that it was necessary in order to ensure students are able to continue using highly frequented places like Price Center. The Che Cafe issue demonstrated a significant need for campus funding. Valdivia understands the administration’s position but believes the Collective should retain its space and that renovations should be made. She proposed examining current policies and increasing funds from outside sources. Another issue students have expressed interest in is Greek housing. Although the task would be very difficult to accomplish in La Jolla, Valdivia said she would work with HDH to develop and expand themed-housing programs.

As far as A.S. Council is concerned, in general, Valdivia discussed how she would reach out to students and college councils more by physically attending the meetings and interacting with students frequently. Valdivia has worked extensively with communities outside A.S. Council, such as the OASIS community, which is why we are confident that she is an invaluable asset to our community and a leader that corroborates her words with actions, not solely arguments.

VP External Affairs Krystl Fabella

If there’s one view we would want our Vice President of External Affairs to have, it’s a strong desire to change the way the UC Office of the President and the UC Board of Regents interact with the students they govern. And although Krystl Fabella is running unopposed, we were impressed with her knowledge of what she calls the dysfunctional relationship between UCOP and UC students. Fabella is an activist who traveled to San Francisco to protest the tuition increases during last year’s Board of Regents meeting.

She also supports legislative measures to increase the California legislature’s control over the UC system, which could change the way tuition increases are imposed on students. As our liaison to the UC Student Association, Fabella believes that she’ll be able to bring increased transparency to the position by involving students in the campaigns UCSA is running. Fabella already has a background in advocating for critical student issues through her work with UConsent, the systemwide campaign to educate students about sexual assault. She furthermore believes that students’ legislative concerns can be addressed through increased cooperation with local legislators via the Office of Local Affairs.

We believe Fabella is highly aware of the issues that are most important to students and will work to implement policies that serve their collective interests. For those reasons, the UCSD Guardian endorses Krystl Fabella for VP External Affairs.

ALSO RUNNING
President Travis Miller

Students Determined presidential candidate Travis Miller has served on A.S. Council for three years. As a political science major, business minor, Eleanor Roosevelt College senior, Sigma Nu brother and study-abroad returnee, Miller brings a wide perspective to the table. His first goal is reforming the on-campus housing situation, which Miller calls “a mess” for forcing two students into single-sized rooms and three — or sometimes even four — students into double-sized rooms.

He plans to lock the university into five and ten-year housing reform plans, including new themed housing that would allow students from similar organizations, clubs and communities to live together without restriction because of differences in gender or college. Miller also plans to push for more academic support outside of the classroom by building off of programs like OASIS. He intends to create an internship database within A.S. Council that would help UCSD students get internships by connecting them with alumni and students who previously held those jobs. His other goal is to vivify campus spirit by creating a Triton loyalty program linked to students’ ID cards and reward sports attendance with points that can be later cashed in for substantial prizes, including paid vacations.

Overall, Miller is adamant that A.S. Council should be held accountable for using student fees to accurately reflect the desires and concerns of the student body. He plans to open up more conversations with the various student communities on campus by visiting them quarterly for feedback and giving them the voice they deserve.

VP Campus Bryan Dierking

Aerospace engineering junior Bryan Dierking is currently a campuswide senator and has also served as an A.S. representative to the A.S./ GSA Co-op Advisory Committee, the Library Student Advisory Committee, the University Centers Advisory Board and the Food Insecurity Committee. He founded the Triton Food Pantry and laid the groundwork for it by traveling to UC Santa Barbara and figuring out the logistics based on the existing model in place there.

Bryan plans to tackle the issues surrounding housing on the UCSD campus, but is against the idea of designated campus residential areas for Greek life, and feels that it would do more harm than good.

He wants to implement an A.S. structure with two separate councils, in order to reduce the size of any given central voting body and increase efficiency. One council would consist of senators, vice presidents and voting members, and the other would consist of everyone else who currently holds seats in the bigger A.S. Council.

Overall, Bryan believes that efficiency should come first and foremost on the list of A.S. Council’s priorities. He is also very passionate about moving UCSD toward Division-I sports, and says that, if elected, he will have a Division-I referendum on the ballot by next spring.