Elections Guide 2016: Highlander Endorsement Editorial

elections

REFERENDUMS

Highlander Newspaper Reformation — YES
As the only journalism practice on campus, the Highlander was created and is run by UCR students, for UCR students. Although this sounds like we are tooting our own horn, the Highlander is not supported by an official class, major, or program — we rely only on advertisements and the generosity of our readers to continue our work of informing the campus community. With just $2 from students, the Highlander would be able to continue expanding our design, marketing, video and photography departments, which will create more jobs for students within the paper than just writing. In addition, the Highlander has and will continue to better ourselves as an organization by sending staff to conferences and implementing what we learn back into the newspaper. By voting “yes” on this referendum, the Highlander can continue to not only produce projects and content that are important to the UCR community, but also be an avenue for UCR students’ pursuits into journalism.
Student Voice Initiative Resolution — YES
With the University of California Student Association (UCSA) already receiving funds from a $0.75 from a separate referendum, it’s justifiable that the $0.50 given to the association from the Student Voice Initiative should be allocated back to an entity that serves UCR students’ concerns — ASUCR’s VP of External Affairs. We agree that these funds not only go back to the students, but toward empowering students to become advocates for student voices. Because who knows students better than the students themselves? For UCR students’ voices to be heard outside of the university, we need to have students trained in advocacy through attending conferences like the UC Student Lobby Conference or the UCSA Students of Color Conference. Having students interact in advocacy efforts external to the UCR campus will be invaluable especially during the 2017-2018 school year when President Janet Napolitano’s proposal to raise tuition will unfreeze.

 


CANDIDATE ENDORSEMENTS

EXECUTIVE CANBINET

President — Arturo Gomez
ArturoGomez

By serving the student body as the face and voice of ASUCR, the President acts as a liaison for the students to UCR administration and legislators — always keeping the students in mind and heart. With his numerous experience in student advocacy, Arturo Gomez will be a force of nature as ASUCR President, willing to lobby with any entity if students’ needs are on the line. Boasting a long track record in organizing and participating in protests on issues like the impending tuition hikes, he has long acted as a voice for students to the point of arrest in Washington, D.C. during a protest against potential cuts to Pell Grants. Running as an independent, Gomez demonstrates confidence in his own developed platform on issues that UCR faces, but the main two parties have not touched, such as the potential construction projects on the family housing. Although the other candidates prove apt in their own experience in student government, Gomez’s specific, bold vision for ASUCR reflects the students’ needs the best.

Executive Vice President — Wen-Yu Chou
WenYuChou

A connection between ASUCR executive branch and senate, the Executive Vice President leads all senate meetings and all Senators with fair control and openness. By being at the ASUCR horseshoe herself as a CNAS senator and, in the past, attending the meetings as a first-year fellow, Wen-Yu Chou knows firsthand how debates and discussions can go during ASUCR meetings, making her an experienced candidate to trust. Understanding the Executive Vice President must keep senators accountable, her plans to have senators participate in more outreach, such as tabling during office hours, and to expand the duties of the office demonstrate her desire to have ASUCR personally in touch with campus issues. Already demonstrating her passion for outreach by her advocacy for student health and wellness, Chou will lead in this office with UCR students constantly in mind.

Vice President of Internal Affairs — Dalshawn Boson
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The Vice President of Internal Affairs must be constantly aware of issues UCR students face on campus and find creative ways to empower them via coordination of campaigns or services. Not only does Dalshawn Boson articulate his campus-oriented goals during the debates with a presence to remember, he has brought his previous ones to fruition during his term as CHASS senator. From creating the Beyond R’Margins conference to dispel negative characterizations of marginalized communities to starting conversations for a Religious Center due to a resolution he penned, Boson has started to coordinate efforts to fight for issues that specifically pertain to UCR. In addition, his varied platform demonstrates his understanding of the diverse issues that UCR’s diverse student population faces. Although both candidates fit the bill, Boson’s current projects and campaigns already displays responsibilities he would take if elected into office. We see no reason why he shouldn’t continue as the next VP of Internal Affairs.

Vice President of External Affairs — Arman Azedi
 

ArmanAzediArman Azedi is no stranger to advocacy efforts with his participation in such efforts external and internal of UCR — the former being the main responsibility of the Office of External Affairs. While both candidates for this position have extensive leadership experience, Azedi’s platform to tackle issues concerning UCR at a state level rather than a federal level is necessary as the UC tuition freeze will be undone in just a year.  His passionate aspirations to fight against high tuition costs and resource accessibility couldn’t have come at a better time.

 

DIRECTORS

Marketing and Promotions Director —  Joshua Lopez
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We at the Highlander have decided to endorse Joshua Lopez for the position of Marketing and Promotions Director. He has, most importantly to his campaign, prior experience in marketing, notably in his employment at Amazon. This means that he brings real-world knowledge of the field to the game. His campaign platform also demonstrates that he has put thought into the concerns and needs of the student body. His proposals, such as the creation of a live feed of ASUCR meetings on their website, will be critical in increasing transparency in ASUCR actions and student involvement in their government. He furthermore demonstrates the value of his marketing experience by suggesting that certain modes of marketing, such as by email, have failed and should be phased out in favor of new methods that will be more accessible to students.

Outreach Director — Zena Hallack
ZenaHallak

The Highlander has chosen to endorse Zena Hallak for ASUCR’s Outreach Director. We believe she has significant knowledge of the inner workings of ASUCR, which she can use to make the student government more palatable to the student body. She has experience in campus organizing and has worked in several positions with ASUCR before. Her campaign platform covers unique issues, notably women’s health needs, that other candidates have neglected across the board. This demonstrates keen attention to campus needs and concerns. It also shows a level of independent thought in breaking from simply being a mouthpiece for her party’s slogans, plans and propaganda. She has specific goals and plans that can be reasonably achieved during her tenure — she will push for larger investments of time and money for increasing outreach to California students at all grade levels, especially high school. This means she will avoid being generic, setting her apart from other candidates. This also means she realizes that her role as a potential member of ASUCR is to be active in pursuing policy that will benefit the student body.

Personnel Director — No Endorsement
The Highlander has decided to make no endorsement for the position of Personnel Director; we felt that neither candidate met the criteria for receiving our support. No candidate for the job had enough useful experience, nor were their platforms conducive to the expectations of the position they seek to fill.
Transfer and Non-Traditional Student Director — Duane Kim
DuaneKim

We at the Highlander have decided that for the position of Transfer and Non-Traditional Student Director, there is no better candidate than Duane Kim. He has specific and realistic plans, including a festival for transfer students, that are not only feasible, but could be achieved easily enough during his tenure in office. He also articulates these plans well and avoids making vague and general statements in his campaign, which unfortunately cannot be said of many of the candidates in this election. He seems to have a vision in mind for transfer student outreach that is guiding his campaign, which points to his larger plans and shows his care for the position. During his campaign he has expressed genuine concern and care for the office he seeks to attain and therefore has the right attitude toward the students he would specifically serve. This goes with the positive attitude befitting a student leader. He has previously served in the Transfer Student Department he would lead, giving him direct, useful experience that his competitors lack.

 

SENATE

CHASS Senators
Aram Ayrapatham, Semi Cole, Winston Fadeff, Danielle Flores, Jose Cortez Hernandez, Jonathan Javier, Diana Jekki, Dinah Muhammad, Valerie Nunez, Sarah Shahatoo
CNAS Senators
Jasper Kuo, Johnathan Li, Ali Malik, Beau Young
BCOE Senators
Kyle Dansby, Ana-Paolo Laveaga

 

 

 

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