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Female duo Sydney Roberts, Shri Gopal to lead ASUC next term

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Note: Elections results are preliminary as of press time, and will be finalized by the Elections Council and the Judicial Council in the coming days. 

Despite recent conversations surrounding the merits of political parties within the ASUC, ElevateCal secured two major positions within the ASUC executive slate at Friday’s tabulation ceremony. 

Sydney Roberts won the ASUC presidential election, marking ElevateCal’s third-year sweep in the Office of President. Roberts will head the ASUC alongside the executive vice president, or EVP, elect Shri Gopal, also with ElevateCal. 

For the remaining executive positions, Kenny Ng was elected as academic affairs vice president, or AAVP, and the external affairs vice president, or EAVP, position went to Alex Edgar, who ran unopposed. Ariana Kretz will serve as the next student advocate.

Roberts will lead the ASUC’s 2023-24 term after securing the presidency with 4,256 votes, or 35.3% of the undergraduate votes. 

“I feel really honored to be chosen by the student body and to be the representative for the student body,” Roberts said. “I feel really grateful for my team and all the support and everything they did for me throughout this entire process. I also feel really eager to work with all the amazing senators that were elected this year.”

As president, Roberts hopes to implement ASUC Senate initiatives centered on student belonging, professional development and environmental justice. Students’ financial health, mental health and housing security were also at the forefront of her campaign. 

Roberts said she will prioritize making existing campus resources more accessible and providing financial assistance for multicultural registered student organizations, or RSOs. 

She will take over the office of current president Chaka Tellem, after serving as his chief of staff during the 2022-23 term and campaign manager for two years. Her experience working under Tellem has prepared Roberts to make the leap to the presidency, she said. 

When asked about his thoughts on the elections, Tellem said he was “really happy” and felt good about “passing down the keys” to Roberts.

“She has shown her dedication to meeting the intersectional needs of our community,” Tellem said. “There is no one better to lead the campus.” 

The candidacy for president was well-contested, with five candidates running for the position. 

The second runner-up was Catherine Bauer, with a strong showing of 3,059 votes. This was Bauer’s second bid for president after losing against then-incumbent Tellem last year.

“UC Berkeley students do want change, and one way or another I know that in some time that will come,” Bauer said. “For now, I’m very thankful to be surrounded by people who worked their butt off to get us in this room today.”

As president next term, Roberts will work towards implementing her goals alongside her new second in command, the EVP elect. 

After heated debates during the race to EVP, the results were equally close. Gopal came out on top, securing 2,650 votes, or 21.9% of the undergraduate vote

Gopal narrowly beat out second-place competitor Tyler Mahomes, who received a total of 2,457 votes. In response to his loss, Mahomes said his advocacy work is not done, and he will continue working with the administration using the connections he has already built. He noted feeling “proud” of the senate candidates he ran alongside this election season. 

Likewise, Gopal relayed gratitude to her fellow candidates for engaging in discussions and debates.

“I would also like to express my appreciation to my opponents for running a spirited campaign and for bringing important ideas and perspectives to the table,” Gopal said. “In this role, I pledge to work tirelessly to represent the voices of all students, and to advocate for policies and initiatives that I have promised to you all.”

Gopal emphasized her commitment to creating a welcoming and diverse culture on campus. Her focus on marginalized communities, financial support and professional development resources for RSOs will supplement Roberts’ agenda. 

Unlike last year’s uncontested election with James Weichert, AAVP had a close race with two candidates this cycle, Mia Shelton and Kenny Ng. Ng came out ahead with 3,833 votes, or  31.8%, compared to Shelton’s 3,705.

An independent candidate, Ng ran on student-centered platforms including accessibility and accommodations, financial integrity and equity. 

“The hard work starts now,” Ng said. “Students put me in office for a reason. I want to make sure to give back and make students across campus proud.”

Alex Edgar ran unopposed for EAVP, securing 6,988 votes. Edgar ran on a platform focused on political advocacy at the local, state and national levels. As EAVP, he said he hopes to increase voter engagement, establish productive relationships with campus administration and connect students to a broader political community. 

Edgar noted his gratitude for the number of votes he received, despite running uncontested, and is excited to start working. 

The student advocate position was snagged by Ariana Kretz, who garnered a total of 4,778 of votes, or 39.6%, to surpass competitor Ava Moudi. In the new role, Kretz is eager to continue the office’s 60-year momentum and implement platforms of campus accountability, student empowerment and racial equity.

Voter turnout saw a 71.46% increase from 2021, according to Elections Council Chair Lillian Chang. 

Chang attributed the increases in voter turnout to a variety of efforts made by the ASUC Elections Council and its partners. She also attributed the turnout to the senate candidates themselves, who rallied voters during their campaign. 

“We had a lot of amazing candidates and an amazing team. We really focused on marketing this semester and got a lot more people engaged,” Chang said. “We created more visibility.”

Results for the 2023-2024 ASUC Senate and referenda are also available on The Daily Californian’s website.

News editors Anna Armstrong and Lily Button contributed to this report.

Contact The Daily Californian News Staff at 


APRIL 15, 2023