Historically satirical SQUELCH! files as ASUC party but runs no candidates

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Campus political party SQUELCH! did not file any candidate for this year’s ASUC elections, but Marandah Field-Elliot registered as the party’s signatory for this year.

SQUELCH! has historically supported nonsatirical senate candidates and has also run satirical executive candidates, such as Ghost and Kira the Husky. In a previous interview with The Daily Californian, former SQUELCH! party chair Henry Foote said the party’s aim was to give the student body a moment of respite during elections.

“As SQUELCH! we like to give not only the student body a break from the intensity (of campaigning), but … we aim to give other candidates from other parties a break from it as well,” Foote said in the interview. “We’re all students and that’s what comes first.”

In the past, SQUELCH! has run nonsatirical senate candidates whose platforms focused on a diverse spectrum of topics. These candidates include Hayley Krieger and JJ Lamas, who ran on platforms to support survivors of sexual assault and represent students of many intersectionalities. While two SQUELCH! candidates held seats in the senate during the 2016-17 school year, no SQUELCH! candidates were elected in the 2017 elections.

The Daily Californian contacted Field-Elliott multiple times but has not been able to reach her for comment.

In the 2017 elections, SQUELCH! announced a satirical presidential candidate, Ghost, who ran on platforms to increase transparency in the ASUC.

Field-Elliott, who ran with SQUELCH! in 2016 and became an ASUC senator after another senator-elect resigned, became the party signatory in order for SQUELCH! to stay intact through this year.

Party signatories are often party chairs — members who take on the role of organizing both the party’s currently elected officials and its candidates during elections, according to Student Action party co-chair Paul Iskajyan.

Iskajyan, who is the current signatory for Student Action, stated in an email that he couldn’t recall an instance in which a party has filed to stay intact while not running a candidate. He suggested that by filing, an existing party would not have to reregister as a party and legitimize the use of the party’s name in the future.

The process of choosing candidates differs among parties, Iskajyan added, but some common methods include internal deliberations, community endorsements or caucuses, nominations, and open applications.

Although Iskajyan said the political parties within the ASUC currently do not communicate formally, he noted that parties have had varying levels of communication. In regard to SQUELCH!, he said it is “good that they’ve chosen to keep going” because he’s enjoyed what the party has brought to the table in the past.

“As a party, we tend to not worry too much about what other parties do,” Iskajyan said. “I always liked SQUELCH! because they brought humor to the election and have a history of satire in their candidates.”

Contact Janani Natarajan at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @jrnatarajan.

Correction(s):
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Marandah Field-Elliott became an ASUC senator after another senator resigned. In fact, Field-Elliott replaced a senator-elect who resigned.

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