Party Sweeps Top ASUC Seats

Y. Peter Kang of The Daily Californian staff contributed to this report.

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An ASUC political party criticized for being a "machine" swept all five executive seats for the second consecutive year.

Student Action, an umbrella organization encompassing UNITE and Berkeley Engineers and Cal Scientists, is the only party in recent memory to capture all executive positions twice in two years.

Teddy Liaw won a term as president and Alex Ding secured the executive vice presidency. Jen Chang will serve as next year's academic affairs vice president, and Nick Papas will return to the external affairs office as its vice president. Kevin Hammon ran unopposed for Student Advocate.

Liaw said he is proud of his party's success.

"I feel very privileged that the students are confident that I will be able to lead them the best, and it is my promise and commitment to do so," Liaw said. "Throughout this whole campaign period, I have learned that the candidates I ran with were the most qualified and are exceptional individuals and I am glad that I will be able to work with them next year."

Ding said his party's solidarity in the campaign will help the executives collaborate in the future.

"The fact that we've all been working together on the campaign gives us a strong sense of camaraderie, trust and teamwork that we will bring to the ASUC," Ding said. "I think another sweep this year says that students approve of what we are doing and would like Student Action to continue what we are doing."

Chang agreed with Ding's analysis, saying that Student Action's elected executives will build on this year's achievements.

"We're coming in at a time of extreme productivity," Chang said. "We'll be able to capitalize on what the current executives have done."

Papas, who beat his opponents by more than 1,400 votes, said he is satisfied with the results of the election.

"I am happy that I will be able to continue my work in the external affairs office," he said. "I am honored that the students in the University of California have entrusted me with this great responsibility."

But some minor party candidates said they felt shut out by Student Action's sweep.

Presidential hopeful Priscilla Hernandez, a member of the APPLE party, said some of this year's winners had not served the ASUC for a long period of time.

"I think it's unfair that the most experienced people were not given the chance to fill these executive positions," said Hernandez, a two-time senator.

Naked Butt Party vice presidential candidate Shireen Brueggeman said Student Action's victory threatened the division of power within the ASUC.

"I think it's dangerous to have one party so in control of the ASUC," she said. "It gives them too much power and I don't think they are entirely representative of the student body."

APPLE leader and co-founder Jarod Buna said he congratulates Student Action, his former party, on its success.

"My hat goes off to (them)," he said. "The students have spoken and you can't disagree with them."

CalSERVE party leader Cindy Koga said that, although her party lost, her candidates made a good showing.

"I felt that (presidential candidate Evora Griffith) and (academic affairs vice presidential candidate) Jose Luis (Lopez) were so close," Koga said. "Yes, it was a sweep, but in comparison to last year - last year they swept by a lot more."

Liaw won the presidency by more than 300 votes, a far cry from current ASUC President Patrick Campbell's 1,000-vote victory. The closest executive election was the academic affairs race, in which Chang won over Lopez by a mere 130 votes.

APPLE senator-elect Brian Bergman said he is happy for the Student Action party, although he disagreed with some of the results.

"It's unfortunate that the most qualified candidates for executive office do not always win," he said. "I respect the Student Action party and I am happy for many of the executive officers who won."

Matteen Mokalla, another APPLE senator-elect, said his party did well since it is new to the political scene.

"What it means for those of us who are going to be here next year is that we're going to organize better and campaign harder because our pro-student platform is something we believe in," Mokalla said.

Current Senator Ryan Sim said next year's elected senate does not look very promising.

"It's going to be a long year," he said.


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