The ASUCD Senate consists of 22 elected and non-elected students who collectively adopt and manage the association's 11.1 million dollar budget, considers bills and resolutions and individually and jointly undertake various projects designed to enhance the quality of life for students on campus . Senate meetings are open to the public, and held every Thursday during the school year, in the Mee Room (3rd floor Memorial Union) starting at 6:10pm. Minutes of each meeting are typically available in SGAO (also 3rd floor Memorial Union).
As for elections, all undergraduate students at UCD can vote for anyone they want. In addition to independent candidates, there are "slates" here at UC Davis — akin to political parties. Slates with current officials are:
||Current ASUCD Scandal Level|
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Senators (12, elected, voting)
|Senator||E-mail address||Slate||Office Hours|
|Liam Burke||<lmburke AT ucdavis DOT edu>||Independent; BEST friend||MW 4-6 pm|
|Armando Figueroa||<armfigueroa AT ucdavis DOT edu>||SMART||Unknown|
|Maxwell Kappes||<makappes AT ucdavis DOT edu>||FUCK, formerly S.L.A.T.E., & Independent; BEST friend||Unknown|
|Pamela Nonga||<pamnonga AT ucdavis DOT edu>||NOW||Unknown|
|Felicia Ong||<fong AT ucdavis DOT edu>||NOW||Unknown|
|Alyson Noele Sagala||<ansagala AT ucdavis DOT edu>||SMART||Unknown|
|Amrit Kaur Sahota||<aksahota AT ucdavis DOT edu>||NOW||Unknown|
|Miles Thomas||<mrthomas AT ucdavis DOT edu>||BEST||MWF 1-4pm|
|Tal Topf*||<tetopf AT ucdavis DOT edu>||NOW||Unknown|
|Reuben Torres||<unknown AT ucdavis DOT edu>||SMART||Unknown|
|Ryan Wonders||<rpwonders AT ucdavis DOT edu>||NOW||Unknown|
|Yee Xiong||<xiong AT ucdavis DOT edu>||SMART||Unknown|
* President Pro Tempore of the Senate
Commission Chairs (7, appointed, non-voting)
Commission Chairs are ex-officio members of the senate and senators are ex-officio members of commissions.
|Commission Chair||E-mail address||Commission||Office Hours|
|Desirae Costello||<dkcostello AT ucdavis DOT edu>||Academic Affairs||unknown|
|Mani Diaz-Ordaz||<ediazordaz AT ucdavis DOT edu>||Ethnic and Cultural Affairs||unknown|
|Chucha Marquez||<jdmarquez AT ucdavis DOT edu>||Gender and Sexualities||unknown|
|Sergio Cano||<secano AT ucdavis DOT edu>||Internal Affairs||unknown|
|Emily Gerhart||<eagerhart AT ucdavis DOT edu>||External Affairs||unknown|
|Tanzi Jackson||<tpjackson AT gmail DOT com>||Environmental Policy and Planning||unknown|
|Rylan Schaeffer||<ryschaeffer AT ucdavis DOT edu>||Business and Finance||unknown|
Other Ex-Officio Members (2, appointed, non-voting)
The Senate is responsible for voting on and creating bills and orders that say how ASUCD should operate. Being a Senator is a very important job because of the sheer size of ASUCD. Also, ASUCD Senators and other executives are often invited, through the University, to various important social and political functions. An example of this is the summer 2005 function "Perspectives on Poverty", which featured Colin Powell, John Edwards, and John Ashcroft.
A past senate seems to have had a bit of an attendance problem. This led 4 past senators to write a letter to the editor in the Aggie.
Senators also hire Senate Interns, who serve as volunteer assistants. Despite the fact that these are always advertised in elections as qualifications, they are typically sinecure offices.
Disclaimer: This was written by Maxwell Kappes. He takes pride in being a special snowflake with his votes and is known in senate for either being a joke or hating everyone depending on how the person feels about him at any given point. As such this may or may not be an ego stroke for him more than a quality power structure. But then again, do you see any other political scientists in senate?
There are currently three slates at the senate table: NOW, BEST, and SMART. There are also two independents. NOW has 5 seats, BEST has 1, and SMART has 4. Unlike the Fall 2012 senators, who are more "ideologically pure" to their respective slates, the new senators are not so. NOW suffered in the Fall election, only gaining 2 seats. In the election, by not forcing their ideology as much they managed to win a third seat. SMART as well only elected one pure SMART senator. This means that while there are more senators aligned with parties in this table than the last there are many who seem to not feel story ties to their parties or ideology.
The Fall senators have sat through 21 contentious votes. Some votes are dividing the house, some are for pro-temp, some are for vetoes, and some are on bills. 10 with the Winter 2012 senators and 11 with the Winter 2013 senators. At the first table much of the disagreement as on party lines, making it difficult to vote against both parties simultaneously. On the second table less votes have been forced by parties than by senators Maxwell Kappes and Miles Thomas, making many of the votes more-or-less bipartisan. Because of this the Winter senators aggregate votes are generally more in line with the bipartisanship than the Fall senators.
And then there is this handy graph. The percentages indicate now often each senator votes with each party. 3 NOW senators are highly partisan, voting with their party at least 90% of the time (Felicia Ong (35,96), Tal Topf (43,96), and Ryan Wonders (55,100)). Likewise, all SMART senators vote with their party at least 90% of the time(Armando Figueroa (91,26), Alyson Noele Sagala (96,35), Reuben Torres (91,64), and Yee Xiong (91,45)). This creates a fast 3-4 split in the senate in favor of SMART. From there Pamela Nonga (82,55) lies closer to the SMART party center (92,43) and Amrit Kaur Sahota (64,73) lies closer to the NOW party center (56, 84), meaning both parties can sway their senators to their side. This creates the 4-5 split. From there Liam Burke (74,65) lies closest to the table center (68,56) and is not particularly close to either side, making him a swing vote. On the other side Maxwell Kappes (43,9) is more of a contrarian who votes with SMART more than NOW but can not be relied upon. Miles Thomas (45,9) is similarly contrarian but is also a former member of SMART and has consistently voted with them on NOW v SMART votes, allowing SMART to count on him in deciding votes. This brings the table to a 4-6 split in favor of SMART with Kappes and Burke running the center on partisan votes.
The ASUCD Senate has generated some interesting scandals recently. These include:
The Fall 2005 ASUCD Election/Unqualified Candidates Scandal - ineligibility of elected candidates
The ASUCD Senator Ackerman Scandal - theft of books by a senator
Lamargate - IRS investigation of illegal endorsement of political candidates
Fall 2012 ASUCD Election, the NOW Slate and the SMART Slate were involved in election complaint controversy, aptly titled Beergate by an anonymous member of the public. An outlandish assessment by the Elections Committee resulted in the disqualification of candidate Alyson Noele Sagala, who was later reinstated after all allegations against all Senator-elects were dropped before being sworn in as originally planned.
Former ASUCD Elections Committee Chair, Jonathon Leathers, provides all of the ballot data for Senate and Presidential Elections since Fall 2003 as well as a couple of programs to run the election data. With this data you can rerun as many fantasy elections as you like or simply verify the election results for yourself. The Davis College Green Party formerly provided this information on their website but Leathers consolidated the information and gave it a separate home.
Common Beginnings and Campus Affiliations
ΔΣ: Darnell Holloway#
ΣΧ: Andrew Bianchi, Danny Garrett, Lamar Heystek, Trevor Taylor, Devin Whitney*
ΦΑΔ: Lula Ahmed-Falol, Naomi Amaha, Sergio Blanco, Aarom Bloom*, [Users/StevenLee]*, Eli Yani#, Tracey Zeng
Davis Anime Club: Miles Thomas, Maxwell Kappes, and Alyson Noele Sagala
* Served as ex-officio members
# Served as both ex-officio member and elected official
See ASUCD Elections for more in-depth information on past elections.