Meet the Candidates

Meet your 2020-2021 Associated Student Government candidates for Academic, Residential, and At-Large Senators!

Save the date for these important election events:

Friday/Saturday, September 4-5

48 Hour Voting Window

Tuesday, September 8

Announcement of Election Results

Thursday, September 17


Associated Student Government 2020-2021

Candidates for Academic Senators

AJ Armenta

I am currently a senior at USD with a double major in Marketing and International Business with a minor in Leadership Studies. I am originally from Grand Prairie, TX and found my way to USD after being recruited to the rowing program. My hobbies outside of school are yoga, where I am currently instructing for CorePower Yoga.

Arianaz Ahmadi

My name is Arianaz Ahmadi, I'm from Salem, Oregon, and I'm a freshman at USD this year. I'm planning on majoring in behavioral neuroscience with a pre-med track. I was ASB President, National Honors Society President, and the captain of the speech and debate team.

Carter Lawton

My name is Carter Lawton, I am a junior. I am a political science major and history minor. I was informed about asg by Justice Zoto and I have been in student government before. I was the president of my house in high school and I honestly want to get involved with student life on campus and hopefully make some great changes. I am ready for the work ahead and I believe I will be a great contribution to ASG.

Kevin Suimanjaya

I am a transfer student who is looking to interact and engage with the community. Understanding the feeling of not being heard is something I resonate with on a deep level. I want to be able to listen and act for those who feel like they aren’t being heard. I want to create an inclusive place for students, faculty and families at USD.

Lauren Fettes

I am a sophomore on the USD Women's Rowing team. I am double majoring in Political Science and French with a minor in Psychology. I hope to make USD inclusive of every identity that steps foot on our campus.

Associated Student Government 2020-2021

Candidates for At-Large Senators

Ari Sambrano

Hello, my name is Ari. I am an International Relations Major and a new transfer student at USD. I have previous experience in Student Government from my local community college, I enjoyed having the ability to be involved on campus, help make a difference for students, and most of all meeting new people. I am applying to ASG, so I may continue my student involvement on campus, I've made so many great memories and met so many amazing people at my previous institution. I would love the opportunity to continue at USD, my platform stems from a passion simply want to help others and make a difference.

Alexa Andrade

I am a first-generation student who transferred from the University of California, Riverside. I am going into my third year of college as a Psychology major and plan on becoming a professor in the future. If elected, I would like to be a leader that students can trust as well as a leader that promotes diversity and inclusion. I would love to be the voice for those who may feel as though they are not heard or excluded and give them the representation they need.

Benjamin Thibeau

I am a Senior from Massachusetts and I am running on a platform of improved university sustainability and quality of life for students. There has been some incredible work done on both these fronts in the past few years, but there is always more that can be done. I would be honored to ensure that current and future students thrive on a beautiful and efficient campus.

Carly Coberly

My name is Carly and I am a senior transfer student. I want to make sure that our campus is a place where all people feel safe and heard. During these crucial times in our country, we need to create an atmosphere of equality and understanding.

Catalina Carbajal

I’m a sophomore/senior, I’m 19, (she/her), from Chicago/Edoméx, I have parakeets, and I work at a political startup. I wanna be in ASG to continue initiatives I already started and also start new ones. My intentions for this position include making ASG more responsive and representative of students by catering to student needs, being an advocate for change and making USD better.

Christian Soldier Welch

Hi my name is Christian Welch. It's not about position or pride of becoming a senator, it's about humility, service, and representation. I look to become an at large senator so that I may represent a common problem here at USD and in the surrounding area. Trash litters the grounds destroys the natural landscape, and makes our beautiful city look nothing akin to its full ability. I look to represent the surrounding environment around our campus by contending for trash clean-ups and environmental awareness run through our ASG in order to make it a cleaner and more environmentally friendly place in the future.

Dot Adedigba

I am a junior here at USD, but I am originally from Thousand Oaks California. I consider myself an extroverted person who takes pride in getting people out of their shell. One of the reasons why I joined ASG last year was to make a difference although it was cut a little short due to COVID-19, I ran for Vistas senator because I was always talking to people, hearing their complaints and knowing that I could make difference for the better.

Elena Cruz

My name is Dulce Elena Cruz but I go by Elena. I am an incoming Transfer Student that looks to represent and speak for those who are silenced. As a First Generation Student, I also want to represent my community that aspires to become "successful" people but more so become people that have made a change.

Emily Ridley-Zecos

I am a first-generation immigrant from West England so this has influenced my platform to be geared towards inclusivity and diversity. I am a very spirited and energetic individual. I plan to go to Law school after my undergraduate degree to create positive political change.

Ezra Wheeler Vanderburg (they/them)

I am a second-year at USD majoring in Ethnic Studies and Sociology. I am deeply invested in creating a campus community that actively engages with the voices most often gone unheard; we can only grow stronger as a campus together. I am particularly interested in using this platform to uplift and empower members of our LGBTQ+ community, with a focus on intersectionality as a foundation, and creating substantial change that will remain apparent on and off our campus for generations to come.

Jamie Appleton

I am active within the USD community, participating in various clubs, service organizations, athletics, and NROTC. I firmly believe in the change-making environment our university embodies and seek to build and improve upon the tenets of our foundation. In times such as these, the USD community is in need of action-oriented and decisive leaders. As an ambitious and active school senator, I will implement initiatives to ensure Academic/Professional Success, Extending our Community Partnerships and Engagements and Expanding Tram hours of Operation.

Max Donahoe

I am from Omaha, Nebraska and I think that embodiment of being from the Midwest can bring a great traits like being kind, open to all, nice, and determined to get things do in time. I love playing sports, like soccer and beach volleyball. Being active in the community is something I want to continue to do as I am a second year student and to be able to help out the school as a whole.

Sean Kenney

I am a junior majoring in International Relations. I want to serve as a senator for ASG because I want to be a representative for all students on campus. Especially during these times, I would like to focus on amplifying the voices of those who feel marginalized or unheard on campus and use my position to address their needs and help create a better USD experience for all.

Associated Student Government 2020-2021

Candidates for Residential Senators

Alana De La Torre

I am a second year and although I’m currently undeclared, I am interested in joining the School of Business as either an accounting or finance major with a minor in environmental studies. I’m involved with a variety of orgs on campus like the Association of Chicanx Activists and Phi Chi Theta to name a few. You might have also seen me on campus last year as a freshman residential senator where I worked with a group of talented women to bring the OZZI program to USD. I hope to bring my passion for social justice to ASG again this year!

Alanna Bledman

I am a double major, Sociology and Theatre, whose sole passion is to find the bridge between the arts and activism. My platform has always been about justice and reform; most all of my work has a geared towards social activism and equity. My time at USD has been transformative and I want to make sure to create an arena for my constituents to safely (mentally and physically) transform. I know what it is like to feel unheard and neglected-- my hopes are to fill in the empty spaces where the rights of even the smallest are cared for and the individual is nurtured in the way they see best.

Brooke Powell

I'm a sophomore at USD who has loved this school more than I have ever thought possible, but I have also seen that the beauty of the campus cannot cover up the fact that the culture is not always the most inclusive place. As someone who wants to work on human rights policy research and development in the future, I can't expect to see change on a large scale if I still see the problems on our tight knit campus. I think USD has so much opportunity to be leaders in positive environmental policy, racial justice, and gender inclusion if we only take the right steps and listen to our community.

Chidi Okaru

I am a Third-Year, majoring in International Relations and minoring in Environmental Studies and Non-Profit/Social Enterprise. I am going into my 3rd year of working at the Black Student Resource Commons and my 2nd year of serving on the executive board for the African Student Union, in addition to being heavily involved with the Black Student Union. My platform and reasons for running are centered in amplifying and uplifting the voices and concerns of all students, particularly those who are often ignored and underrepresented in the Student Government, especially at USD.

Fanisee Bias

My name is Fanisee and I consider myself to be a youth activist and organizer in my communities of Boise, Idaho and now, San Diego, at the University of San Diego. My activism developed when I was diagnosed with a spinal disease called Transverse Myelitis; I had to learn how to advocate for myself and my disability which made me passionate about advocating for others. I am a low-income, first-generation college student with a disability studying Sociology with a concentration in Social Justice at USD to educate myself on everything justice-related and develop my advocacy in a new environment with new communities. For my first two years at USD, all of the opportunities I have involved myself in helping me focus on liberating people of marginalized identities and being a resource to underserved students.

Harrison Tarbox

Hi, my name is Harrison Tarbox, I am from Santa Cruz California where I attended Pacific Collegiate School from 7th to 12 grade and served as a grade senator in 7th and 11th grade as well as co-head of the culture committee in 12th grade (the large gap inactivity is due to me being unable to do student government until I could drive myself). I want to run with the intention of helping the community grow and remain connected, which I feel is even more important now than ever. This could take the form of hearing student feedback about events held by our RA and TPB, then relating them back as well as discussing ideas for new social amenities that can be accessed in a COVID safe manner (think a setup for outdoor movie viewing). I would also like to get involved with USD’s sustainability efforts, like the OZZI program, to continue to improve the campus’s sustainability.

Jay Johnson

As someone who was eagerly captivated by USD and welcomed thoroughly even amidst the crisis, I feel it is more than appropriate for myself to be able to help represent and help all those currently living and who will live in the residential area I am in. This community has done more than welcome me, and I would be even happier to help serve that community and more!

Jessica Lefford

My name is Jessica Lefford, and I am from Colorado. I love the outdoors, hiking, and being mindful about how my actions can affect others. I advocate for mental health awareness, inclusion, and sustainability within the environment that we live in. I think with just a few amount of small steps, everyone can help preserve our planet by promoting sustainability.

Madeleine Woo

In high school, I transferred from a public school to a private school because I lacked good community and support. I understand the importance of inclusivity and will ensure that everyone on campus feels accepted and welcome. Sustainability has also come to be highly important to me after my time volunteering at a nature center.

Mia Soto

My name is Mia Soto and I am first year student at USD planning on majoring in both Real Estate and Business Economics and minoring in Leadership. I am from San Diego and USD's campus is one of my favorite parts of the city. I have a true passion for leadership and I am excited to be able to utilize my leadership skills as possibly being a senator for commuter students. I am a very creative person and love working with other people, so USD ASG is the perfect environment for me. I believe in making USD a space where all students feel they can be themselves and let their voices be heard, and ASG truly serves as the amplified voice for our students.

Maya De La Torre

My name is Maya De La Torre, my pronouns are she/her/hers, and I believe that activism is a vehicle for creating tangible change at all levels. A few items on my leadership platform are: amplify and advocate for historically marginalized voices on campus; promote a culture of respect and transparency; hold leadership accountable, including myself. I feel that these views shape who I am presently and who I hope to become, as a public servant. My learning and development as a student leader is never finished.

Meg McWilliams

My name is Meagan McWilliams, I am from Dallas, TX and am currently a member of the USD women's rowing team. I am a freshman at USD and I am running for senator of Valley A. I am an advocate for mental health and body image as I have been through my fair share of struggles.

Tiana Fee

My name is Tiana Fee, and I enjoy road trips, crafts and art, cooking, photography, beach walks, sunsets, and spending time with people that make me smile. While involved in ASG, and also in my everyday life, I aspire to create an environment where all voices are heard and respected, and every individual feels comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings. Equality and support are crucial to maintaining a prosperous and successful platform.

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