AS 2024 Elections Results: Presidential Race Goes to Run-Off

AS 2024 Elections Results: Presidential Race Goes to Run-Off
Image by Sarah He for The UCSD Guardian

The Associated Students 2024 student government general elections ended with the announcement of run-off elections for the Presidency, a newly-formed Senate, and eight elected councils for each college. Results for the 2024-2025 term were publicly released on April 12 at Dirty Birds La Jolla.

With an unmet majority of votes, ASCEND Presidential candidate Leslie Vallejo-Avila is set to compete against Independent Elizabeth G. Lopez in run-off elections scheduled for this week. The former candidate came closest to a simple majority with 40% of the votes or 1,834 ballots.

Elections Manager Madeline Pitkin said that further information on the run-off elections will be released through the Associated Students Instagram platform or website.

Campus-wide voter turnout improved from 12.51% in 2023 and reached a total of 14.46% this year, with 4,559 students of the 31,526 enrolled individuals casting a ballot. Eighth College had the highest voter turnout among its seven counterparts, at 20.91%. The lowest turnout was attributed to Revelle College’s 11.62%. The 2024 ballot featured more than 100 candidates.

The Campus Organizers Revitalizing Grassroots Initiative and ASCEND were the two prominent candidate slates competing for campus-wide offices. ASCEND claimed seven positions, including four of the five Campus-wide Senator seats, while C.O.R.G.I. claimed three.

The Associated Students electoral system requires executive candidates to receive a simple majority of the votes to be elected into office. Candidates running for the rest of the positions, including those postulated in offices requiring more than one official, including college or campus Senators, must acquire the plurality of votes for induction. 

The newly elected campus-wide officials are as follows:

  • AS Executive Vice President – Vanna Hoang
  • AS Vice President, External Affairs – Eduardo Tapia-jr-Urbieta
  • AS Vice President, Academic Affairs – Rishi Yalamarty
  • AS Senators: Campus-Wide – Elena Padilla Macias, Nelly Zapata-Castillo, Alex Lujan, Lizbeth M. Diaz, & Wuyi D. Heryadi
  • AS Senators: Off Campus Representative – Ruby I. Garcia & Ashlyn Bautista
  • AS Senator: Transfer Representative – Jennifer Ruiz
  • AS Senator: International Representative – Dannie Zhu
  • AS Senator: Out of State Representative – Daniel Perez
Photo by Sarah He

Throughout Week 1, Pitkin organized open forums and debates for campus-wide and college senator candidates. Seventh College, Sixth College, and Revelle College Council’s A.S. Senator candidates did not attend their respective forums. All discussions followed a similar format beginning with the candidates’ opening statements, followed by a questioning period based on predetermined questions from the A.S. body, and 20-minute slots for questions submitted by an in-person student audience.

The UCSD Guardian Editor-in-Chief Raymond Tran and Design Co-Editor Adalia Luo hosted the forums and debates as moderators. 

In the executive vice president debate’s predetermined discussion for “Financial Management and Student Funding,” the elected candidate, Vanna Hoang, addressed the importance of scholarships and their equal distribution across the UCSD community.

“A lot of [the current scholarships] are really competitive. There are 40,000 students [in UCSD] and not 40,000 scholarships … [A.S. needs] to increase the amount of scholarships, giving more opportunities for low-income students to get financial aid [and additionally] offer training for senators,” Hoang said in the debate. 

Hoang’s slate, C.O.R.G.I., sought to re-classify A.S., a current official branch of the UCSD administration, as a 501(c)(3) organization, further modeling a non-profit. Through such, C.O.R.G.I. is expected to use Associated Students to individually raise funds to achieve the aforementioned goals through means separate from the university’s administration.

In light of recent worker labor protests, the unopposed independent candidate for the office of vice president of external affairs, Eduardo Tapia-Jr-Urbieta, emphasized plans for student involvement in housing matters and possible collaborations with organizations beyond UCSD’s official control, including AFSCME 3299 and the University of California Student Association.

During his respective debate, newly-elected Vice President of Academic Affairs Rishi Yalamarty said he would use his term to aim for increased inclusiveness, transparency, and connectedness among students.

“You’ve heard about the time it takes to get accommodations through OSD, the amount of time it takes to retest, the lack of resources undocumented students have, the limitations people have because of their race and ethnicity, and [none] of this should be a problem,” he said. “[I want] to help students grow and connect with other students. Create a campus-wide Discord channel managed by A.S., with every class offered, every single quarter, so students are able to meet up [and collaborate].”

The ASCEND-affiliated elected Campus-Wide Senators include Lizbeth M. Diaz, Wuyi D. Heryadi, Alex Lujan, and Elena Padilla Macias. The ASCEND slate focuses on ensuring students’ basic needs are met, establishing an equitable funding process for student organizations, and increasing engagement with existing student services while generating new avenues of communication between student governments and the student population. 

In their candidate statements, Campus-Wide Senator incumbents, Lujan and Independent-affiliated Nelly Zapata-Castillo, committed to increasing students’ access to resources such as the Basic Needs Hub or OSD and advocating for undocumented students’ workers’ rights, respectively. Diaz and Padilla, first-generation students, along with Heryadi, delved into accessible housing and campus safety while highlighting the importance of amplifying underrepresented voices. 

Elections for Revelle and Warren College Councils were accompanied by voting on corresponding referenda regarding modifications in their students’ Activity Fees. Both of the referenda’s results were invalidated due to the colleges’ low voter turnouts and their failure to meet threshold requirements. 

The Revelle College Student Activity Fee Referendum proposed increasing the Revelle College Student Activity Fee from $9.00 to $11.50 per quarter to “assist with funding for traditional events across Revelle College … open opportunities to plan larger scale events that appeal to the Revelle student population … [and] fund resource centers”. 

Meanwhile, the Warren College Student Activity Fee Referendum argued for a $4.50 increase to their Student Activity Fee given a significant boost in the price of goods and services since the last time the fee’s quantity had been assessed. The proposed Student Activity Fee per quarter, which totaled $14.91, aimed to “support better social events, more funding for student organizations, and increased financial aid for Warren students.”

Photo by Sarah He

The complete list of elected college councils is as follows:

Thurgood Marshall College Council

  • A.S. Senators – Kayla Hyun & Fiza Omer 
  • Chair – Maria Lucilla DL Bernal 
  • Vice Chair Internal – Raigan Johnson 
  • Vice Chair Finance – Sofia Earley
  • Director of Programming – Jessica Mariel N. Pascual
  • Director of Marshall Organizations – Cham Hong 
  • Director of Admin – Isabella Balledon
  • Director of Public Relations – Rogelio Gallardo
  • Student-at-Large: Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (EDI) – Daniel Rodriguez 

Earl Warren College Council

  • President – Aries Cole 
  • A.S. Senators – William Simpson & Nam Nguyen 
  • Out-of-State – Ariel Oppenheim 
  • Counselor Secretary – Analisa Anderson
  • Council Treasurer – Mariah Arteaga 
  • VP External – Julianna Ybarra 
  • VP Internal – Ghazal Saeedi 

Eleanor Roosevelt College Council

  • President – Avian Collins 
  • A.S. Senators – Rhea George & Aasatha Shah 
  • Diversity Advocate – Cecilia Quan 
  • Director of Special Events – Alice Alonzo 
  • VP Finance – Alex Kapnik 
  • VP External – Jasmen Martinez 
  • VP Internal – Mckenna Maloney 

Sixth College Council

  • President – Nicole Pham 
  • A.S. Senator – Kabir Vats 
  • Commuter Student Senator – Denisse Lopez 
  • Fourth Year Senator – Jennifer Ruiz 
  • VP Finance – Lanchi Nguyen 
  • VP External – Mike Borisov 
  • VP Internal – Kevin Dominado 

Muir College Council

  • President – Ariana J. Esparza 
  • A.S. Senators – Wei J Huang & Trinidad Hellman 
  • Student Org Ambassador – Jennifer D. Gonzalez Hernandez 
  • VP Finance – Bianca V. Ortiz 
  • VP External – Anna Dudek 
  • VP Administrative Affairs – Leslie Calderon 
  • VP Internal – Sneha Sairam 

Roger Revelle College Council

  • President – Grace A. Constantian 
  • A.S. Senator – Gage R. Mowrey 
  • Second Year Representative – Isaac Rodriguez 
  • Director of Spirits and Events – Golsa Rabhari 
  • Director of Student Services – Andie M.D. Ongaco 
  • Fourth Year Representative – Kyli Joe 
  • Third Year Representative – Kylie Hickey 
  • VP Finance – Madeline Mercado 
  • VP External – Vickie D. Ngyuen 
  • VP Administrative Affairs – Aileen I. Ocampo 
  • VP Internal – Samantha Parker 

Seventh College Council

  • President – Maya Chang 
  • A.S. Senators – Erika Yu & Jacqueline Chang 
  • Director of Events – Ryan Dagamac 
  • Treasurer – Ethan O’Keefe 
  • Secretary – Alyson Otanez 
  • Student-at-Large – Cody Kim 
  • VP External – Jheel Gandhi
  • VP Internal – Umi Steinwachs

Eight College Council

  • A.S. Senator – Avanthika Ramasamy
Photo by Sarah He
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About the Contributors
Natalia Montero Acevedo, Associate News Editor
A Political Science major, Natalia Montero loves to engage with on-site reporting to connect with communities’ affairs. Be warned, she will bombard you with random facts about whatever book she’s currently reading. She will also make sure to bring up The Sound of Music, Mitski, and Roger Deakins’ or Justine Triet’s work in whatever conversation she’s in.
Sarah He
Sarah He, Co-Webmaster, Photographer & Data Visualizer
1st year | Data Science & Cognitive Science
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    AlumApr 16, 2024 at 8:29 pm

    How did the AS presidential election go to a runoff when you guys use instant runoff voting, also known as single transferable vote? Did AS stop using that for some dumb reason?

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