Endorsements for ASUCR Elections 2024-2025

Endorsements for ASUCR Elections 2024-2025

With the upcoming election season at the University of California, Riverside, it is pertinent to stay updated with potential representatives of next year’s student body. The purpose of newspaper endorsements is to help inform the public on candidates for various positions and help them come to better-informed decisions when the time to vote comes. Here are the endorsements for the 2024-2025 Associated Students of the University of California, Riverside (ASUCR) elections candidates that the Highlander Editorial Board believes are especially qualified.


President: Abby Choy

Current President Pro Tempore Abby Choy understands the importance of providing ASUCR with the structural support to effectively serve the student body and hold ASUCR accountable, with a unique focus on long-term viability. Choy is committed to ensuring that projects undertaken by ASUCR are continued by future elected officials and has a clear roadmap for doing so. As the most experienced member of the ASUCR Senate, Choy has a deep understanding of the administrative structure of student government and knows how to leverage that to achieve her goals of implementing structural change and continuing work on initiatives such as combating food insecurity. Choy has led by example during Senate meetings, providing thoughtful insight during them when tackling agenda items and effectively communicating progress on her various initiatives, such as working on the Food Recovery Program and assisting with the R’Garden referendum.


Executive Vice President: Ray Khan

Ray Khan, current College of Humanities Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS) Senator, is resolved to make internal changes within ASUCR to increase transparency to ensure that the government accurately reflects the interests of the student body. Khan is determined to first increase communication within ASUCR, specifically between the Legislative and Executive, to hold those within the organization accountable, and understands the importance of collaborating with others. He has a proven track record within the Senate of following through with the commitments that he has made and being transparent on where he is in terms of progress for those initiatives, providing updates during Senate meetings and on social media. Even more, through his initiatives this year, Khan has shown that he is proactive in reaching out to campus partners and developing relationships with the administration. Khan has demonstrated this through initiatives such as hosting an event promoting Breast Cancer Awareness and having conversations with officials like the Chancellor.


Vice President of Campus Internal Affairs: Anjana Narasimhan

Anjana Narasimhan, current Bourns College of Engineering (BCOE) Senator, has demonstrated an active commitment to the campus community, fostering connections with student clubs and organizations on campus, and promoting initiatives on student empowerment and campus safety. Her campaign is focused on important issues that align with the duties of the Vice President of Campus Internal Affairs, including academic affairs and basic needs. As Senator, Narasimhan has demonstrated a strong capability of tackling these issues; she has worked with campus partners and administration to develop initiatives, including the Global Fair and various legislations. Most importantly, through her student engagement and initiatives, Narasimhan has proven that she understands the diverse needs of a diverse campus and is eager to take the initiative and proactively build relationships with the student body she will be representing. Narasimhan is committed to creating an environment on campus where students feel seen, and their concerns are heard.


Vice President of External Affairs: Vivian Herrera

Vivian Herrera, current Civic Engagement Director, has shown her dedication to amplifying student voices on campus and is willing to speak up for the issues that matter to students in the role of Vice President of External Affairs. She has demonstrated this in a supportive role by providing organizational support to various communities on campus during student action movements as well as speaking out during various protests regarding undocumented student rights, calling for the administration to take action. Herrera is passionate about serving the diverse needs of the student body, as seen from her encouraging students to register to vote and participate in local ballots through various social media and in-person initiatives that External undertakes throughout the year. Herrera is determined to hold the administration accountable and make the bureaucratic education system better known to students by informing them about student charges like the Cohort system, which makes incoming freshmen pay more in tuition than the previous year.


Vice President of Finance: Cooper Kumar

Cooper Kumar, through his campaign and work as the current Director of Campus Partnerships in the External Branch, has proven his ability to support and engage with the student communities that he would be serving as the Vice President of Finance. Through his experience in working closely alongside student organizations in Costo Hall, Kumar comprehends how receiving funding is a complicated process and wants to streamline it and make it more accessible. He has clear and achievable goals, one being to create a more personal relationship between the finance committee and these clubs through active outreach and support tailored to each club’s needs. Kumar seeks to financially empower students beyond campus affairs and prepare them for the future through various workshops surrounding topics such as Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) preparation, tax filing and investing. 


International Student Director: Michelle Wang

Michelle Wang has a unique understanding of issues pertinent to the international student body, with clear initiatives ranging from connecting students with campus organizations to foster a sense of community to finding employment opportunities while on a visa. Through her experience working with the International Affairs Department on campus, she has built connections with administration and outside agencies to support and provide programming tailored to the international population, such as creating more accessible career fairs for international students. Wang shows a deep interest in connecting with international students and hearing out their concerns.


From the Editorial Board: Behind the Endorsement Process

To maintain transparency on how we endorsed candidates, The Highlander is releasing the steps we took to ensure that the process was fair and unbiased. Prior to the beginning of the campaign season, The Highlander reached out to ASUCR’s Election Committee and requested the contact information of every candidate as well as the positions that they were running for. An email was sent out at the start of campaign season to every candidate, offering them the opportunity to follow up with the paper to schedule an endorsement interview at their own discretion. These interviews act as a method of information for the Editorial Board to understand a candidate’s goals and the experience they have gained over the years. Using this information, as well as supplemental information from reports and meetings throughout the year, a profile was made for each candidate who had come for an interview. During an editorial meeting, the Editorial Board discussed each of the interviewed candidates at length in order to determine who we would want to endorse as a paper. In order to receive an endorsement, a candidate needed to receive approval from 80% of the Editorial Board.


Here are a list of candidates that reached out to the paper for endorsements:

  • For the position of President, Abby Choy and Adam Ramirez were interviewed.
  • For the position of Executive Vice President, Ray Khan and Naia Pizarro were interviewed.
  • For the position of Vice President of Campus Internal Affairs, Leila Haidar and Anjana Narasimhan were interviewed.
  • For the position of Vice President of External Affairs, Vivian Herrara was interviewed.
  • For the position of Vice President of Finance, Cooper Kumar and Philson Ho were interviewed.
  • For the position of Vice President of Marketing & Promotions, Ashley Estrella and Ian Tjan were interviewed.
  • For the position of International Student Director, Michelle Wang was interviewed.
  • For the position of First-Time College Student Director, Juan Campos was interviewed.
  • For the position of SPP Senator, Sofia Jimenez was interviewed.
  • For the position of CHASS Senator, Braydon Cabanilla and Sai Reddy were interviewed.
  • For the position of CNAS Senator, Anthony Ching was interviewed.
  • For the position of BCOE Senator, Uma Akundi was interviewed.

Photo credits: ASUCR Candidate Website

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