We endorse Taylor Bazley because we believe he can bring radical change to the way the Undergraduate Students Association Council operates – change that will bring more students into the USAC discussion and make all councilmembers re-evaluate their priorities and their outreach efforts.
Bazley has cast a critical eye on USAC, using innovative platforms to address organizational inefficiencies and the pettiness of partisan politics. With the possibility of a three-slate council, these are essential traits for a successful presidency.
Unlike the other candidates, Bazley has platforms that are more philosophical than tangible, but we believe this is an effective leadership approach. He thinks the president’s role is to involve as many students in the governing process as possible, and he has feasible plans on how to reach out to untapped student groups.
John Joanino is also a qualified presidential candidate, with three years of varied experience in USAC and involvement in the Student Fee Advisory Committee. His platforms are strong and reflect a knowledge of student needs and the inner workings of USAC.
Although Carly Yoshida has served on the council for a year, her platforms were not as widely relevant as Joanino’s and she did not seem well-prepared for the role of president.
Bazley doesn’t have the long-standing council experience the other two candidates have, but this has not kept him from addressing problems. As a candidate for Financial Supports commissioner last year, Bazley publicly spoke about the need for USAC election code reform after misleading student group endorsements were made by members of Bruins United without the consent of the named organization. He did so despite many others’ reluctance to speak openly about the controversy.
We did not endorse him last year because we felt he was unprepared to take on the responsibilities of a USAC office, but he spent this year identifying and finding solutions to problems within USAC through the Roosevelt Institute, an on-campus think tank. He has also reached out to many current and former members of the council to learn more about its inner workings and has given a voice to many students usually overlooked by USAC. His platforms reflect that.
As a presidential candidate, Bazley wants to reform the USAC appointment process for positions such as the student position on the ASUCLA Board of Directors and the Student Fee Advisory Committee by selecting a third party to revise each candidate for these positions. Bazley sees this as another way to combat the slate politics on council, where there is a perception that many people are only appointed to these positions because of their connections within USAC.
Bazley was also concerned that many paid, appointed positions within counsel offices could be combined with similar appointments to save the council money and time.
Bazley is a USAC outsider, but one with a keen eye that can effect some positive change within the council.