ASSU elections see higher grad student turnout

Fourteen graduate students were elected to Graduate Student Council (GSC) seats in this year’s ASSU elections, with the Graduate School of Business (GSB)’s seat still pending because of a five-way tie — with one write-in vote each — for first place.

Graduate student turnout increased slightly over recent year, but the 1,078 votes cast represents just 9.7 percent of the University’s 11,154 graduate students. Turnout has almost been halved over the last three years, from the 2,053 graduate students who voted in 2010.

Consistent with past years, engineering students made up about 40 percent of the graduate student electorate. The race for engineering seats was also the most hotly contested, with nine students running for two seats.

A number of students won election with limited support. Petr Johanes won election to the Graduate School of Education’s seat with only 15 votes, Adrienne Johnson was elected to represent the School of Humanities and Sciences’ humanities students with 17 votes and Ashveer Singh will represent the social sciences after earning 37 votes. Johnson will be the only returning member of this year’s GSC.

By some measures, this year’s campaign was much more competitive than last year’s, when only seven candidates ran for the 10 district seats allotted to the University’s nine schools. This year, 21 candidates stood for election.

Bryce Anzelmo was elected for the School of Earth Sciences, Wendy Ni and Ateeq Suria for the School of Engineering, Eduardo Gonzalez-Maldonado for the School of Medicine, Susie Choi for the Law School and Trevor Martin for the natural sciences section of the School of Humanities and Sciences. David Hsu, Paul Harold, Austin Hay, Adam Xu and Saad Bhamla were elected to at-large seats.

Graduate students also voted on five special fee groups that sought joint special fees. The ASSU Legal Counseling Office, which provides confidential legal advice to Stanford students, was the only group to be denied special fees by the electorate, failing to garner the support of 15 percent of the combined graduate and undergraduate student bodies. In the end, they fell 16 votes short of the necessary 2,329 votes.

About Edward Ngai

Edward Ngai is a senior staff writer at The Stanford Daily. Previously, he has worked as a news desk editor, staff development editor and columnist. He was president and editor-in-chief of The Daily for Vol. 244 (2013-2014). Edward is a junior from Vancouver, Canada studying political science. This summer, he is the Daniel Pearl Memorial Intern at the Wall Street Journal.
  • bittergradguy

    People often forget that the only reason why the 2010 election was such a large deal was because of the head to head battle with GSC members Ryan Peacock and Jon Bakke running against a SOCC endorsed ASSU candidates Cardona and Wharton. When graduate students were involved in the elections, chances are they’ll be voting more.

    The most was in 2008 when 2675 graduate students voted in the elections.