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Graduate Students Association elections result in failed referendum, new leaders

Kerckhoff Hall (pictured) houses the Graduate Students Association. The graduate student body elected its 2022-2023 officers. (Sakshi Joglekar/Assistant Photo editor)

By Alexandra Kaiser and Phoebe Brous

April 13, 2022 11:47 p.m.

Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly stated that Adejah Taylor was elected vice president of external affairs and Ernesto Arciniega was elected vice president of internal affairs. In fact, Taylor was elected vice president of internal affairs and Arciniega was elected vice president of external affairs.

This post was updated April 14 at 1:09 p.m.

The Graduate Students Association election results were announced Wednesday.

Nine candidates ran for four positions – president, vice president of external affairs, vice president of internal affairs and vice president of academic affairs. The internal affairs office was the only uncontested position.

The election saw 8.9% turnout, down from 10.22% the previous year, said Akash Deep Singh, the GSA elections commissioner and an electrical and computer engineering doctoral student. Out of 13,252 graduate students eligible to vote, 1,180 students voted. Last year, out of 12,296 graduate students eligible to vote, 1,257 voted.

The Graduate Opportunity and Learning Experience (GOLD) referendum failed. It would have increased the graduate student fee by $2 per quarter or $3 per semester for programming and services, according to the GSA elections website.

The referendum failed with 613 graduate students voting no and 480 voting yes. Additionally, the election failed to garner a 10% turnout rate, the minimum allowed by the GSA constitution to adopt a referendum.

Election results:

GSA president: Noor Nakhaei

Nakhaei, the current GSA director of campus relations, was elected president. She is a computer science doctoral student.

Vice president of internal affairs: Adejah Taylor

Taylor was elected vice president of internal affairs. She is a social research and methodology doctoral student.

Vice president of external affairs: Ernesto Arciniega

Arciniega, the current GSA director of organizing, was elected vice president of external affairs. He is a ​​Hispanic literatures doctoral student.

Vice president of academic affairs: Candace Wang

Wang, the current vice president of academic affairs, will serve a second term for the upcoming year. She is a graduate student at the David Geffen School of Medicine.

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