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CalSERVE announces executive candidates

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CalSERVE senators Sydney Fang, Anthony Galace and Andrew Albright and co-chair of the campus Black Student Union Naomi Wilson comprise the CalSERVE executive slate.


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Former editor in chief and president

FEBRUARY 27, 2012

After not running an executive slate in last year’s ASUC election, the CalSERVE party announced its four executive candidates Monday for the upcoming general election.

Current CalSERVE Senators Andrew Albright, Anthony Galace and Sydney Fang will run for the offices of president, executive vice president and external affairs vice president, respectively. Naomi Wilson, co-chair of the campus Black Student Union, will run for academic affairs vice president.

Albright said he is running on a three-pronged platform, focusing on affordability, efficiency of the ASUC and student safety. He said his focus on affordability will include looking at the cost of textbooks and residence halls as well as the overall cost of higher education.

Albright said he has used his time as a senator and as a student to connect with student groups on campus.

“I want my office … to focus on the needs of students,” Albright said of his presidential campaign.

Fang said she was “excited and nervous” to begin the process of running for external affairs vice president.

Her individual goals build off of Albright’s platform — emphasizing affordability, making Berkeley a more accommodating city for students and student empowerment and civil engagement, she said.

Founded in 1984 as part of a systemwide effort to divest from Apartheid-era South Africa, CalSERVE is the longest-lived ASUC party. According to the CalSERVE  website,the party ran the first openly gay male and female candidates for ASUC Senate in 1987 and 1988 and also supported the election of the first black ASUC president in 1984.

“Our coalition stands in strong support of our four Executive Candidates,” said CalSERVE party signatory and former senator Courtney McDonald in a statement. “They are extremely capable of effectively representing and remaining accountable to all students.”

But the party is facing an uphill battle in getting its executive candidates elected, based on an analysis of past election data.

In the last 16 years, CalSERVE won the presidential seat three times, while candidates from Student Action — the student political party that has seen the most wins in recent history and currently holds four of five executive seats — won the seat 13 times.

However, the CalSERVE party has not always run an executive slate. In the 2011 general election, the party decided not to run executives in order to focus more on work within the communities that form the traditionally coalition-style makeup of the party.

In 2006, the party similarly  did not run executive candidates in order to focus on campus issues outside the ASUC. The 2006 presidential winner was Student Action candidate Oren Gabriel, who unsuccessfully sued the ASUC during his term and tried to bill it for his legal costs.

After that, the CalSERVE party won three executive positions in the 2007 election and swept four positions in the 2008 election.

The party last won executive seats in the 2010 election, when the executive offices were split between two Student Action and two CalSERVE candidates. Albright said he had high hopes for this year’s candidates.

CalSERVE has not yet announced its slate for senate.

Last year, the party won six senate seats out of a possible 20 while Student Action won 11. In the past six election cycles, CalSERVE consistently won four to seven seats, and Student Action won seven to 11 seats.

Voting for the election will occur April 10, 11 and 12.

Chloe Hunt is the lead student government reporter.

FEBRUARY 28, 2012

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