Student government candidates participate in ASUCI debate

By: Emma Springer

Associated Students of UCI held debates on April 10 and 11 in the Student Center to allow the candidates to voice their opinions and make their cases for why the student population should vote for them.

Candidates, Annie Le the current president of ASUCI explained, that anyone is encouraged to run for student government. Candidates are not mandated to have prior experience within ASUCI. However, those who are currently involved with ASUCI cannot use ASUCI materials for their election platforms,according to election rules.  

The debates, which began at 7 p.m., began with opening statements, after which the candidates were asked questions regarding the positions they were running for.

The debates began with general questions, then questions from the current holder of the position, and finally questions from the audience.

The first night of debates focused on the vice presidential positions, the first being Academic Affairs vice president. Candidates running for the position were Peter Trejo and Kevin Dominguez.

As part of his platform, Trejo stated he wanted to make sure student leadership is aware of student needs to insure they are catering to them.

“By working with the academic senate, I plan on creating many polls online and in person to find out what the problems are in regards to academics that the students are worried about,” Trejo said when asked how he plans to work with the academic senate.

Dominguez, being extremely involved on campus, expressed his frustration with the discouragement many students  experience in their academic affairs.

“I want to be your Academic Affairs VP so I can help UCI move to a movement of inclusion as well as integrity,” Dominguez said in his opening statement.

The internal vice president debates were also held the same evening. Candidates Daniela Romero, Brian Damavandi, and Jenna Gotte were each given an opportunity to explain their goals if they were to assume the role of the Internal Vice President.

Romero explained that she wanted to ensure all students’ success by first ensuring basic needs. Damavandi’s platform focused on promoting diverse representation and expanding mental health resources while Gotte highlighted a focus on inclusivity and increased accessibility for disabled students.

The ASUCI presidential debates took place the following evening between candidates Bryant Gunaman, Joshua Scruggs, and Randy Yan.

In his opening statement, Scruggs’ revealed his platform, which centered around the idea of receiving and using information to give back to the student community.

“My whole entire goal is really just to return student government back to students,” Scruggs established.

After being involved in ASUCI throughout his UCI career, Gunaman explained that his goal, if elected, would be to regain students trust in ASUCI and bridge gaps between groups across campus.

Yan built his platform on his three major concerns: addressing basic needs and security, accessibility to better and more affordable higher education for all students, and increased transparency of ASUCI.