In four rounds of voting last Tuesday, the Graduate Student Council (GSC) elected Paul Markley, a second-year Ph.D. student in biology, and Áron Ricardo Perez-Lopez, a second-year Ph.D. student in computer science, to two of its open seats.
GSC is composed of nine members. Five candidates sought nomination for two of the at-large seats at Tuesday’s meeting. GSC co-chair Emmit Pert initiated the voting process by asking the candidates to deliver a two-minute speech.
Markley, who cited his experience in the Parliamentarian Society at University of California, Riverside, said he was especially passionate about lowering housing prices.
“I’d like to go ahead and make sure that housing is affordable for everyone and [make sure] we have better ways to get to campus for everyone who lives off-campus and needs to [use] public transit,” Markley said. He described the frequent tardiness of buses and trains, adding that he would support either expanding the Marguerite or introducing a taxi service.
Perez-Lopez, who is a Daily staffer, said in his speech that he was particularly interested in transportation on campus and issues affecting international students. Perez-Lopez said that parking options, Marguerite shuttles and pedestrian facilities all require improvement.
He added that he was committed to getting international students all the support he could. “They come to a foreign country where they have no idea how anything works, and then there are a bunch of restrictions on them that make their lives even harder,” Perez-Lopez said.
Voting began after each of the five candidates had finished giving their initial pitches. A majority of the GSC’s membership elected Markley to the first seat. For the second seat, Perez-Lopez and Boris Beltinoff, a sixth-year Ph.D. student in computational and mathematical engineering, tied in two consecutive votes.
Beltinoff, whose campaign focused on providing a voice for families on campus, noted that none the current councillors had children. After an additional round of questions, however, two of Beltinoff’s voters switched to Perez-Lopez, granting Perez-Lopez a majority.
The other two candidates were Cesar Lema, a third-year Ph.D. student in physics, and Camilla van Oost, a first-year Ph.D. student in environmental engineering.
Markley and Perez-Lopez will take their seats at the GSC next meeting, which is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 23.