independent, student-run news source at the University of California, San Diego
May 18, 2020

The Current #4: A Guide to A.S. Elections 

By Ella Chen, Editor-in-Chief of The Triton



Spring Quarter is slowly winding down, but that does not mean we have been slacking in our coverage! With Memorial Day and virtual commencement right around the corner, I wanted to ease us into this year’s Associated Students of UC San Diego (ASUCSD) elections. Candidates have spent Week 7 campaigning through social media, and this week the student body gets to cast votes. 

While student government operates on a much smaller scale than other forms of government, it is a vital part of the UCSD community. It is also on this level of government that we, the students, have a voice in choosing who represents us to administrators and politicians. This is our way to have a direct say in what happens to our campus, and as one of the media outlets at UCSD, it is our duty to help you access all this information so that you can make the most informed decision when you cast your ballot this week. 

This guide will go over the roles of each executive office, basic slate platform information, and all candidates running this year. 

Remember: Voting is now open and closes on Friday, May 22. Election results will be available at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 22. You can vote on TritonLink

This week, The Triton’s Editorial Board has released endorsements for executive candidates and will be moderating the Presidential Debate today. So tune in or read, but most importantly, go out and vote for your student body representatives today! 

Ready to vote, 

Ella Chen

Editor-in-Chief 2020–21

The Slates

The Triton has already released the campaign kickoff article detailing each slate’s platform, but I will summarize the key points here. 

This year, there are two slates running, Forward! and BOLD. There are four candidates and 13 candidates running for each slate respectively. Five of the candidates on the ballot are running as independents. Here, I’ll provide a brief description of each slate’s platform before I outline the positions available. 


  • Restructure AS by implementing a parliamentary system

  • Would require more than one term to fully implement, particularly for student body to vote on new structure

  • Has a budget reform plan to do a spending review to reallocate costs in AS budget

  • Revamp Triton Food Pantry and reinstitute student-controlled television service

  • Platform website describes plans to increase ASUCSD transparency, publish a financial management guide, form a peer counselling program, increase the student organization budget to $600,000, create avenues for student artistic expression, and research a student-oriented rideshare service


  • Three major principles: basic needs issues, advocating for inclusivity and belonging, and promoting outreach initiatives

  • Alleviate housing and food insecurity by increasing accessibility to established institutions 

  • Online forums where students feel comfortable presenting their ideas and critiques

  • Intends to support students of all backgrounds to advocate for inclusivity

  • Platform does not list specific action plans for these goals 

Executive Offices 

President: As the chief executive officer, the president serves as the official representative of ASUCSD. Furthermore, the president works with the financial controller to propose an annual budget for ASUCSD. The president runs council meetings and oversees the Office of the President and its staff. 


  • Patrick Miencharoen (Forward!)

  • Kimberly Thien Giangtran (BOLD)

Vice President of Campus Affairs (VPCA): The VPCA is the next in line if there is a vacancy in the presidency. In terms of duties, the VPCA is responsible for sitting in campus committee meetings to represent ASUCSD. Furthermore, the VPCA chairs the Senate. 


  • Samuel J-W Fleet (Forward!)

  • Hannah R Kreitman (BOLD)

Vice President of External Affairs (VPEA): The VPEA is responsible for representing the UCSD student body at the University of California Student Association (UCSA), serving as the voting member from ASUCSD. As the largest student advocating body, UCSA sits at Board of Regents meetings and presents student concerns to administrators regarding UC policies. These issues include tuition, basic needs resources, Title IX, and student health. 


Senator Candidate List 

The ASUCSD Senate is the legislative body of the student government. Senators control student government funds, voting on the annual budget that the President and Financial Controller propose. The composition of the Senate encompasses academic departments and the general student body. As such, the Senate writes and maintains rules and policies of ASUCSD. Here is the list of all the candidates running for senator positions this election:

Campus-Wide Senator (5)

Off-Campus Senator (2)

  • Harper Estus (BOLD)

  • Chitra Kulkarni (BOLD)

Arts and Humanities Senator

  • Deena Gharibian (BOLD)

Biological Sciences Senator

Physical Sciences Senator

  • Isabella Ying (BOLD)

Social Sciences Senator

  • Jamila Francisco (BOLD) 


The last thing on the ballot this year is the CAPS fee referendum. If the referendum passes, an additional student fee will be added to fund mental health services and programs on our campus. For the referendum to pass, at least 20% of the student body must participate in the election in general or else it will automatically fail. If a majority of that 20% support the new fee, it will pass and be added to future student fees.

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Content Copyright © 2016-2020 The Triton. The Triton is not in anyway affiliated with UC San Diego and the opinions expressed therein are not the overall public opinions of UCSD, ASUCSD, or our staff. Materials produced by The Triton do not reflect the views of the Regents of the University of California and the Regents do not endorse, warrant, or otherwise take responsibility for said content. Editorials represent the majority opinion of The Triton Editorial Board.

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