As UC Santa Cruz prepares for its spring 2023 Student Union Assembly (SUA) elections, a diverse group of candidates are vying for positions.

Representing a broad range of academic backgrounds and areas of interest, these candidates put forth distinct visions for improving the campus community, with a focus on issues like student welfare, diversity and inclusion, and academic policies.

SUA elections will take place from May 15 to May 22, and currently enrolled UCSC students will be able to access ballots virtually through the campus elections website here

The current SUA positions up for vote are President, Vice President for Internal Affairs (VPIA), Vice President for External Affairs (VPEA), Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA), Vice President for Student Life (VPSL), and Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion (VPDI). 

City on a Hill Press (CHP) asked SUA candidates questions you want to know the answers to: why they chose to run, what their priorities are, how they plan to enact change, and what they would adjust about how the current SUA operates.

CHP has fact-checked each statement and noted factual inaccuracies.

Candidates for SUA President

As principal spokesperson and leader of the undergraduate student body, the SUA President facilitates collaboration between the SUA and students. They also serve as the undergraduate representative in communication with UCSC administration. 

The candidates running for this position are Airielle Silva, Alfredo Gama Salmeron, Daniel Halpern-DeVries, Mailynn Flores, and Miguel Salcedo Maciel.

SUA Vice President for Internal Affairs (VPIA)

The Vice President for Internal Affairs oversees all internal workings of the SUA. As chair of the Student Committee on Committees (SCOC), they ensure there is a student voice in various campus committees that work on education policy, financial aid and grants, the university budget, and more. Any campus issues brought forth by the SCOC, engaging education (e2), or the Campus Sustainability Council go through the VPIA.

The candidates running are Audrey Avelino, Favian Miramontes Villalpando, and Aadity Sharma.

SUA Vice President for External Affairs (VPEA)

The Vice President for External Affairs is the SUA representative to the UC Student Association and the U.S. Student Association. They advocate for undergraduate students outside of the campus sphere at the local, state, and national levels.

The candidates running are Alisa Johnson-Vela and Andres Martinez-Sabino.

Note: Statements from candidates running for the following positions are included in one singular blog post embedded below the last position.

SUA Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA)

The Vice President for Academic Affairs is the main contact between the student body, faculty, and administration regarding academics. They sit on the Education Policy Committee for the Student Academic Senate, meeting twice quarterly to hear student concerns about academic policy.

The candidates running are Jamie Nelson Hindery and Stephanie Sanchez Toscano.

SUA Vice President for Student Life (VPSL)

The VPSL is responsible for communicating between the SUA and various student organizations. They also coordinate student events throughout the year and strive to improve the student experience.

The candidates running are Alicia Anyanwu, Jesus Medina, and Akira Swan.

SUA Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion (VPDI)

The VPDI communicates with the campus’ resource centers, outreach, and retention programs, and Educational Opportunities Program (EOP). Their responsibilities include chairing the Diversity Commission and communicating with offices that handle Title IX hate/bias reports.

The sole candidate running is Leslie Marquez.

More City on a Hill Press coverage, as well as voter resources and information, on this year’s campus elections can be found here.