In contrast to last year’s highly disputed Associated Students of UC Irvine election results, this year’s spring election results were officially ratified on April 28 after a complaint for the executive vice president’s seat was withdrawn.
The executive board for this coming fall will consist of President-elect Carlos Feliciano, Executive Vice President-elect Zachary Avallone, Academic Vice President-elect Joel Crespo, Administrative Affairs Vice President-elect Raymond Giang and Student Services Vice President-elect Nathan Lee.
The executive board expressed their gratitude and excitement for being elected to serve UCI. Feliciano stated his feelings on being elected president.
‘I feel very honored, very privileged,’ Feliciano said. ‘There are so [many] things that need to be done. There’s a huge responsibility. I’m really excited about taking on these challenges, about empowering students on this campus to make the changes they want to see.’
The position of executive vice president was originally under review following a complaint after the election results were first posted on April 26. According to Alex Fuqua, current executive vice president, the complaint was not deemed valid by the Elections Commission to disqualify a candidate.
‘[The Elections Commission] dismissed the complaint,’ Fuqua said. ‘At that time the individual [who filed the complaint] could file a petition to the judicial board. That person had [48 hours] to do it, and that person told me today that they weren’t going to move forward to the judicial board.’
When asked why the complaint was made, Fuqua did not go into details. However, he did state that it was due to violation of campaigning policy.
‘I don’t want to talk so much about the complaint,’ Fuqua said. ‘But it was in regards to campaigning near a polling station and violation of posting policy.’
As executive vice president-elect, Avallone expressed his feelings in regard to the filed complaint.
‘It was kind of like a heartbreaker because everyone else got to see their results,’ Avallone stated. ‘I was waiting around at 4 o’clock hoping to see if I won, but it was under review. I knew I had to wait 48 hours, which is no big deal. But then, I was very excited when I found out.’
Each of the executive board members spoke about the goals they wish to accomplish during the following academic school year. Goals that were continually mentioned were the desire to serve the interests of students, and to open an on-campus pub in the fall.
‘One of my big goals is to develop a plan and process that represents what students want and not necessarily what I want,’ Feliciano said. ‘I want students [to] have this university going the direction they want, have housing going the direction they want, have all these different issues representing their priorities and interests.’
In addition to this, Feliciano expressed some immediate, short-term projects that he plans to accomplish.
‘Having the Pub back in the fall, having a fair budget process and trying to fund as many programs as possible are the big things that I want to make a really immediate impact on,’ Feliciano said. ‘[I want to] give students the results that I promised with my campaign.’
Avallone stated his desire to strengthen the Legislative Council and educate students through lobbying courses on issues regarding UCI.
‘I want the people in [Legislative] Council to take much more leadership roles,’ Avallone said. ‘In the past, a lot of times executive vice presidents seem to have dominated the students and tried to push council with what they wanted to do.’
Crespo, academic vice president-elect, stated that his main goal is to concentrate on funding for Student-Initiated Outreach, a program geared toward educating high school students about higher education.
‘In previous years we’ve had state funding,’ Crespo said. ‘The outreach programs cost thousands of dollars, and sometimes we have to work with a limited budget, and next year it doesn’t even look like we might even have a budget. So that’s why the Student-Initiated Outreach [funding] from the administration is very important.’
Giang, who successfully defended his seat as administrative affairs vice president, focused his goals on the general interests of many UCI students.
‘We still want to keep fighting for lower textbook costs. We [are also] still working on reopening the Pub,’ Giang said. ‘We want to create a new program called ‘My University’ or ‘My UCI.’ We want students to understand that they pay into this university and that it is [their] university. So whatever you want to happen, needs to happen.’
Lee, student services vice president-elect, hopes to provide activities and events that appeal to students.
‘I am [currently] working on getting a huge concert for next year,’ Lee said. ‘I want a huge concert that sells out the Bren Center and every student can enjoy. I am also with athletics, so [I hope] that we can get more students to athletic events because that is also a huge avenue to get school spirit. My goals are to bring big events for students next year and have fun while doing it.’
In regard to how ASUCI is viewed by students, the executive committee stated that they all wanted to bring ASUCI into a better light.
‘I know students want to see the budget online, they want to see how we allocate money,’ Giang said. ‘Everyone says, ‘ASUCI may be shady.’ I want to alleviate that, [and make] people understand that we are regular students and that everything is open to other students.’
Feliciano also expressed his desire for students to see the accountability that exists in ASUCI, and have assurance that their $50 fee for ASUCI is well invested.
‘ASUCI has over a million-dollar budget,’ Feliciano said. ‘It goes to various services such as the shuttle service and events. There is about $100,000 that go into clubs, I believe, that goes into funding clubs and organizations.’
Feliciano stated further that ASUCI has made negotiations with the Bren Events Center to allow clubs and organizations to rent the facility for free once this year.
‘One of the big things that I don’t think a lot of people know about is that we just negotiated with the Bren Events Center that when clubs and organizations use the [facility], they can rent it one time for free,’ Feliciano stated. ‘That’s huge for clubs, and we want to try to do that each year.’