13 new candidates, two incumbents elected to Undergraduate Senate

April 25, 2022, 8:28 p.m.

After a 17-way race, incumbents Amira Dehmani ’24 and Aden Beyene ’24 retained their seats, and Nikhil Lyles ’24 was unseated in this year’s Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) Undergraduate Senate elections.

The newly elected senators are mostly first- and second-year students, who now occupy 12 of the 15 Senate seats, alongside the incumbents and Donya Sarrafian ’23.

This year’s election had an undergraduate voter turnout of 26.77%, which is a slight decrease from last year’s 27.88%. There was also a decrease in the number of candidates running for Senate, with 17 this year compared to 21 last year and 31 in 2020.

Josie Amoo ’25 garnered 588 votes — the most out of all the candidates — with Gurmenjit Bahia ’24 and Mikayla Tillery ’24 following close behind with 584 votes each.

Dehmani’s and Beyene’s platforms shared prioritization of increased accessibility and ASSU outreach to the broader community, including expansion of the Marguerite, parking accessibility and academic accommodations, as well as improvements to the Senate’s website and social media presence. Beyene also advocated for the establishment of a bi-racial community space and the diversification of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) personnel.

Stanford’s new alcohol and drug policy, which went into effect on Sep. 1, 2021 was also a centerpiece of candidates’ platforms. The policy evoked protests at Sophomore Convocation and a strike from Resident Assistants (RAs) earlier this year, among other widespread criticism. Dehmani advocated for ending the mandatory reporting system of the policy, and Gurmenjit Bahia ’24, Mark Huerta ’24 and Sarrafian all supported the policy’s reform or repeal.

Many candidates expressed support for increasing mental health services and diversifying mental health resources to increase accessibility to those who hold marginalized identities. Tillery and Ritwik Tati ’25 echoed Beyene’s support for CAPS’s diversification. Tati also advocated for Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) and first-generation and/or low-income (FLI) students to be paired with mental health counselors with similar backgrounds. He also pushed for the reallocation of Stanford police department funds to mental health resources. Tati has previously written for The Daily.

Another priority among elected senators was improving accommodations and support for FLI students. Multiple candidates supported eliminating course fees or providing fee waivers for FLI students, as well as proposals promising to amplify the voices of FLI students and increase accessibility campuswide. Amoo, Bahia, Kyle Becerra ’24, Joy Molloy ’25, Diego Kagurabadza ’25, Tillery and Tati were endorsed by the First-Generation and/or Low Income Partnership (FLIP).

The election results are unofficial until they are confirmed by the Senate.

Jessica Zhu '24 is a Copy Editor and a Desk Editor for the Campus Life desk. She is majoring in International Relations with minors in Human Rights and French, and can be found at CoHo with at least three espresso shots in her system.Victoria Hsieh '24 is a Desk Editor for the Business and Technology Desk looking to major in Computer Science and minor in Political Science. She is from Seattle and thereby a caffeine and hiking fanatic. Contact The Daily’s News section at news ‘at’ stanforddaily.com.

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