Over the course of political campaigns and elections, power is gained and power is lost.
“That’s just politics,” said Marwa Kaisey, a former Bruins United undergraduate student government president from 2006-2007.
Bruins United gained just three seats in last week’s student government elections in what could be viewed as a disappointment for a slate that has dominated the student council since their founding in 2005.
However, current and past members of Bruins United agree that the vision of the slate will enable the party to carry on its traditions of fighting for equality on campus.
“Our core values have always been fairness, equality for all, transparency and diversity,” said Addison Huddy, the newly elected Bruins United general representative. “These ideas will never go away.”
Bruins United ran as a slate for the first time in 2005, when they won seven seats on council.
“Bruins United was started by Bruin Democrats and Bruin Republicans coming together to fight for equal funding for all student groups,” Kaisey said.
“The goal was to unite students who were very different together under one slate.”
Members acknowledged that emphasis must be placed on the fact that Bruins United is a relatively young party when compared to Students First!
“I am very optimistic, and being a younger slate just means we have more to prove,” said Tim Mullins, Bruins United Facilities Commissioner-elect.
“We have a history of supporting campus traditions and advocating on behalf of all Bruins,” Mullins added.
In 2006, Bruins United secured five seats, and in 2007, they surpassed party goals when they gained eight seats on council. However, despite these gains, Bruins United gained only two seats last year.
“It always goes back and forth,” Kaisey said.
“Just because one party loses seats one year does not mean they are done,” she said.
Bruins United members also noted the impressive turnout they received this year as a sign of party endurance for the future.
“When you look at the numbers, we received 46 percent of the votes,” Huddy said. “We plan to represent not only those 46 percent who voted for us but the entire student body.”
Bruins United was responsible for changing the Undergraduate Students Association Council bylaws to secure more funding for a wider range of student groups in 2005.
“Before the bylaw changes took place, only 42 groups could legally apply for USAC funds,” Huddy said. “It took a lot of work by some incredible Bruins United councilmembers to open up funding for all student groups.”
Representatives of Bruins United emphasized that gains were in fact made in this election as compared to last year, and they look forward to working with other councilmembers.
“The election revitalized the party and showed the student body our desire to make UCLA and the surrounding community a better place,” Mullins said. “As facilities commissioner, I will have a great open door policy in regards to all students.”
Although elected members acknowledged that there is always room for improvement and growth, they wanted to assure the student body that Bruins United will continue to grow in the coming years.
“We believe in what we do and we’re here to stay,” Mullins said.