UCSA chooses new president in special election

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The UC Student Association elected a new president at its meeting Saturday, following the resignation of its former president last week.

Raquel Morales, a senior at UC San Diego and previously a nonvoting representative on the association’s board of directors, was elected to the position in a special election. The association’s former president, Angelica Salceda, resigned last Tuesday for personal reasons.

Morales said she would continue the agenda laid out by Salceda, which included increasing student input in the selection process of filling three vacant seats on the UC Board of Regents and informing student voters about the effect Proposition 30’s failure at the polls would have on the university.

Prop. 30, which will appear on the November ballot, will temporarily increase the sales tax and taxes on high-income earners in California. If the proposition fails, the university would incur a series of funding cuts that could necessitate a 20.3 percent midyear tuition increase.

“Overall, both my goal and Angelica’s goal is to improve policy and tactics,” she said.

She said she plans to increase outreach to students before big legislative decisions. The move follows criticism the board received for passing a controversial resolution last month with limited input from students.

The board passed a resolution in September claiming that a state assembly resolution condemning anti-Semitism at California’s higher education institutions stifles free speech.

“We all agree that … transparency and accountability is what we want to pursue,” Morales said.

Three others were nominated for the presidency, including ASUC External Affairs Vice President Shahryar Abbasi.

According to UCSA bylaws, the vote was held by a secret ballot, so the final vote count is withheld from the public. Each of the external vice presidents on the board cast ballots on behalf of the student governments at his or her individual campus, according to Darius Kemp, the association’s organizing and communications director.

He added that Morales’ election would not result in drastic changes.

“The UCSA is run by consensus,” Kemp said. “The president carries out the will of the board of directors, and that is still intact.”

Senior staff writer Amruta Trivedi contributed to this report. She is the assistant university news editor. Contact her at [email protected].

Jeremy Gordon covers student government. Contact him at [email protected].