If elected, REBUILD candidate Derek Imai certainly has his work cut out for him, but his authenticity and previous experiences as an ASUC senator seem to have prepared him for the position.
Imai’s plans include motivating students to contribute toward advocacy, making the office’s work more equitable and enacting lasting structural change. His goals — engage students and promote a wider variety of students’ needs — definitely follow in the footsteps of past EAVPs. If these plans pan out, he will be able to focus on maintaining and upholding the power that students have in the federal and local levels of government, an intrinsic key to success for the EAVP position.
People’s Party candidate Augusto Gonzalez is a strong opponent to Imai but struggled to describe actionable solutions to his platforms and didn’t seem to grasp the EAVP’s student-facing roles. He does boast a lengthy resume of external advocacy and spoke at length about establishing a campus housing collective list to help address student housing issues. What Gonzalez falls short on is his ability to pinpoint how to rally the student body. Gonzalez is still an admirable candidate and definitely deserves your second vote.
DAAP/FIRE candidate Abel De La Cruz touted platforms that were not in the EAVP’s authority to grant, talking at length about his party’s goal to turn Eshleman Hall into a sanctuary. De La Cruz was also unable to articulate how his office would tangibly achieve any of the plans he listed.
Imai continues to voice optimism for the possible collaborations and relationships with student leaders that could be built to ensure that marginalized students’ voices are at the center of policymaking. In a radical attempt to make the EAVP’s office more accessible to community members at all localities of government, Imai described organizational efforts to develop necessary relationships and publicize the EAVP’s agendas. While Imai’s tangible goals may be flimsy, his dedication to the office and to the student body has earned him our endorsement.
Vote Derek Imai for external affairs vice president.
Editorial Board member Kaitlan Tseng recused herself from the interview and discussion of this endorsement due to her social relationship with Derek Imai.
Editorials represent the majority opinion of the editorial board as written by the spring 2020 opinion editor, Simmy Khetpal.