USG candidates announce 2015-2016 campaigns

The presidential tickets for 2015-2016 Undergraduate Student Government officially announced their candidacies on Wednesday at midnight.

The tickets are as follows: current USG Vice President Rini Sampath and current USG Director of University Affairs Jordan Fowler; current USG Greek Senator Providence Illisevich and former Interfraternity Council Executive Vice President of Administrative Affairs Ehren Elder; and Devon Manny and Sharon Oh, sophomores majoring in animation and digital art.

The candidates all hold a diverse array of platform points, spanning from improving library hours to implementing a university fall break.

Some of Sampath’s and Fowler’s platform points advocate for the implementation of fall housing for spring admits, a mental health awareness campaign and improved campus disability access. Illisevich’s and Elder’s platform advocate extended dining hall hours on campus, improving campus sustainability efforts and extending class drop deadlines, among others. Manny and Oh, the only ticket with no previous USG affiliation, are campaigning on abolishing or minimizing the fraternity system, reducing USG and USC expenditures and having “dogs on campus at ALL [sic] times.”

All the candidates endorse improvements to the school’s current sexual assault policy, with Sampath and Fowler and Illisevich and Elder overlapping on issues such as improved disability access and expanding campus mental health resources.

Additionally, the senatorial positions were announced. The official candidates for Greek Senator are Sanjay Mahboobani, Chris Fong, Darian Nourian, Sean Salisbury and Ricky Oakley. Those for residential senator are Aaron Rifkind, Eric Dubbury, Giuseppe Robalino, Sabrina Enriquez, Rhea Lafleur, Dan Li and Alec White. Commuter senator candidates are Cassandra Aguayo, Bulk Lao and Jacob Ellenhorn.

Jan. 21 marks the beginning of a month-long campaign window for the USG presidential, vice presidential and senatorial candidates. Physical campaigning will officially begin on Feb. 3., with elections running from Feb. 10 through Feb. 12.

Candidates will be restricted from distributing physical materials and can only campaign through meetings with recognized student organizations, according to the 2015 USG election codes.

Christine Hennes, USG senior director of communications, shared that the organization has been planning for the elections since last spring, and they are anticipating a heavily contested campaign from all sides.

“The presidential candidates are all extremely qualified, and we really want to see how the election unfolds,” she said. “It’s going to be a very competitive race.”

Editor’s note: Darian Nourian, a candidate for Greek senator, is also the sports editor of the Daily Trojan.