Independent Executive Candidates Plan to Collaborate on Campaigns

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As the 2011 ASUC election approaches and as the candidate competitions begin to shape up in the absence of a CalSERVE executive slate, four independent and third-party executive candidates are planning on collaborating with their campaigns.

Stefan Montouth, Elliot Goldstein, Rachel Horning and Ratha Lai - running for president, executive vice president, academic affairs vice president and external affairs vice president, respectively - have said that though they will not be appearing as an official slate, they intend to support each other's individual campaigns throughout the elections process.

"Without strong executive candidates working toward progressive change on this campus ... you have a system that's worth nothing, and we want people to know ... that Student Action is not offering that," said Marco Amaral, student activist and campaign manager for Lai. "These four independent candidates are offering this."

Montouth, Goldstein and Horning are each currently serving as ASUC senators, while Lai is the organizing and community development director at the Bridges Multicultural Center on campus.

Currently a CalSERVE senator but running for president independently, Montouth said one of his primary concerns as president would be working to make sure the student voice is not lost during "this time of confusion" and in issues such as the campus cost-cutting Operational Excellence initiative.

Citing his work on projects such as a student review board to the UC Office of the President's hate crime reporting system and working to find a space for reflection on campus, Montouth said he has already been advocating for student voices as a senator.

"I also look at this as an opportunity to really expand my horizons a little bit and be open to working with different people," Montouth said.

Members of the Student Action slate have maintained that both the lack of opposition from CalSERVE and the competition from independent and third-party candidates have not changed their campaign strategies.

"I don't think it changes anything," said Vishalli Loomba, current Student Action senator and the party's candidate for president. "I haven't really looked at it as a competition, (but) more as I have a vision of what I want to do as president."

As executive vice president, Goldstein said he would not only work toward a more efficient senate, but also encourage increased senate participation. He said he would encourage the senate to be more active in the Store Operations Board, which oversees commercial spaces run by the ASUC Auxiliary, including those in the Bear's Lair Food Court. Though all senators are ex-officio members of the board, Goldstein said he has been the only one to attend all but one meeting.

"There's a lot of great work that EVPs can do outside of the senate space, but I also value as much the facilitative aspect within the senate space and I think that needs someone who has a strong voice," he said.

If elected, Lai said he would advocate for transparency and proper student representation. As someone who has been involved in past protests, he said he would continue some of the office's involvement in activism, but also advocate on students' behalf.

In May 2009, the board forgave The Daily Californian a portion of its rent for the office it leases. As part of the agreement, a nonpolitical student member of the board sits on The Daily Californian's Board of Operations, which has no control over the paper's editorial content.


J.D. Morris is the lead student government reporter. Contact him at [email protected]

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