DAAP Finalizes Executive Slate Following Last-Minute Switch

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After an unprecedented last-minute switch in office order, the Defend Affirmative Action Party finalized its executive slate for the 2011 ASUC General Election at the March 15 Candidates' Meeting.

The DAAP slate consists of senior Lauren Ballard, junior Katie Gilmore, freshman James Gambrell, senior Brian Mosley and junior Raul Sanchez, running for the offices of president, executive vice president, external affairs vice president, academic affairs vice president and student advocate, respectively. Ballard, Gilmore, Gambrell and Sanchez are also running for ASUC Senate positions.

At Tuesday's meeting, Mosley - originally a senatorial candidate - switched offices with Talya Hezi, who had filed to run for academic affairs vice president. The DAAP members traded positions because Hezi's schedule next year would be better suited to take on senatorial responsibilities, Mosley said.

This change surprised ASUC Attorney General Nathan Rahmanou and Elections Council Chair Shivom Sinha, who said while they had never heard of candidates switching offices after the filing date, they interpreted the ASUC Constitution and Bylaws to allow it.

"The person running the Candidates' Meeting shall announce the approach of the Point of No Return fifteen (15) minutes prior to the arrangement of the ballot," the bylaws state. "There shall then follow a fifteen minute (15) recess of the Candidates' Meeting during which last minute changes may be made."

In another rare move, Ballard, Gilmore, Gambrell and Sanchez are also running for senate. Gilmore said this is an attempt to increase visibility for party members.

"I'm a third-party candidate, so if presidential elections are really competitive, I just want to serve as a senator to serve as a voice for the students who agree with our platform," Ballard said.

If elected president, Ballard said her goals will include doubling the enrollment of minority students, opposing Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed budget cuts and supporting the passage of the California DREAM Act, which would allow undocumented students to receive financial aid.

"I don't have right now a tangible plan for how to implement those things," she said. "I think the main thing that I want to focus on is working with the leadership of other student organizations and other leaders in the ASUC to come up with a plan because I feel like these are really common goals."

According to Gambrell, DAAP's campaign strategy will focus on making grassroots connections with voters in order to most effectively represent the student body.

"This campaign is going to be personal," he said. "It's about building a movement. We're building a movement around defense for public education and education that is built and designed for the student."


Contact Kate Randle at [email protected]

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