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'Treated fairly': ASUC candidates reflect on campaign funding

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The spending of ASUC candidates is restricted by a spending cap, as well as the fact that all funds must be provided by the candidate themself.


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APRIL 24, 2023

Despite an increase in the number of candidates in the past ASUC election, previous candidates noted that a lack of resources was not a problem they faced in their campaigns.

Executive vice president, or EVP, elect Shri Gopal said her financial budget was $500 as an EVP candidate, and previously $100 as a senate candidate, which had come out of her own pocket or donations from her family or friends.

“(The ASUC) have specific finance guidelines that they set about,” Gopal said. “There’s a candidate information meeting when you first start; it’s mandatory and we go over all of the finance information.”

Past senate candidate Daelynn Castillo-Delgado noted that candidates are not provided with funding for their campaigns, instead paying out of pocket and recording their spending. Castillo-Delgado said she felt like she was treated fairly during the election process.

Gopal said while she recognizes the funding being a barrier for candidates who are newer or with lower socioeconomic backgrounds, she was not sure what the process for giving ASUC election candidates financial resources would look like.

Gopal spent most of her money on flyers and printing logos on T-shirts for her team.

“I honestly didn’t spend too much for the campaign because I realized that social media campaigning and speaking to people and going to events are much more effective than handing out flyers,” Gopal said. “It is very possible to still get elected without spending an exorbitant amount of money.”

Gopal said the election and judicial councils in the past year were extremely helpful, being able to communicate necessary information in an appropriate manner.

She noted that, as the resources each candidate is given do not come from a commonly shared pool but rather must be secured by themselves, more candidates does not mean less support. According to Gopal, the increase in the number of candidates did not have an impact on the resources she was able to obtain.

According to Castillo-Delgado, funding did not have a big impact on the final result of the election. She noted that the spending limit set a “pretty even playing field” for senate candidates, adding that she felt adequately supported during her campaign.

Castillo-Delgado said she does not know of any candidates who used paid promotions during the campaign period.

The judicial council chair Stephen Dai said the judicial council faced no case that was related to funding this year. According to Dai, a 2022 candidate forgot to report some of their expenditures, leading to a case that ended in a plea bargain.

Dai said the spending cap set by ASUC bylaws does a good job of preventing disproportionate spending from candidates.

“I felt like I was treated fairly and was able to get access to resources,” Gopal said.

Contact Jingxing Wang at 


APRIL 24, 2023