Interview: Alessandra Baer


POSITION: President
PARTY: Independent
YEAR: Fourth
MAJOR: Business Economics
MINOR: Personal Training

1) Where do you think AS has the most room for improvement?

I think one of the main areas where AS could improve is relating to other students around the campus. A lot of people come to AS for funding for different projects or events, but they don’t really know if AS can make a difference, and I think AS does make a difference every day, but could do more. It’s partly getting the word out and being responsible. AS is a huge resource with a million dollar budget every single year, so it’s a real opportunity to make change within this campus,

2) What is the primary issue that you hope to tackle during your tenure?

One of the important things is to have the money that’s going into AS be allocated responsibly and in a well-rounded manner so that all different areas of what we’re studying or different areas where we can really make change are addressed. I would encourage any student to come and either e-mail me, even if I don’t make it to office, or anybody and let them know what you would do if you could make that big difference in all people’s lives.

3) While UCSB has the highest per capita of registered students voters of any US university, only 21.95% of undergraduates participated in last year’s AS Elections. What do you think accounts for this difference in energy? Why should students vote and how will you encourage them to do so?

One would be responsible well-rounded spending. My vision would be something longer lasting that could be here to help the students and change the campus and or community, a collaborative, cooperative project that all of us do together. I’m also interested in improvements on or around this campus in sustainability and more specifically solar panels, organic foods, and making those more readily available because they help people both physically and mentally.

4) Discuss any experiences in the campus community that you feel will inform your work as a campus leader.

I think what accounts for the difference in energy is if you look at how many people are actually participating. There are people out everyday before an election trying to get people to register to vote, and I think that’s a big visibility and communication issue. There are different groups that are part of the AS elections, but there is no one cohesive group encouraging voting. It would be great to have a separate group to encourage students to vote. Also, making clear what AS is actually doing for each student would really help, as well as encouraging a conversation between students to be part of AS or say something about what it is that they want to see us change.

5) What kinds of student resources (organizations, events, etc.) that come to AS for funding do you feel most directly serve students?

For the first 3 years of my UC career, I was involved in the Environmental Affairs Board and learned a lot about communication, working in groups, and environmental issues. I became very interested in bringing together people that normally wouldn’t. I also just started a group through OSL called From Soul to Sunrise, which through things like our current speaker series at Eclectic IV, brings together different people from the community to encourage discussion and keep the learning we experience on campus coming, but in a fun atmosphere. It really goes with my theme of “solutions for all.” Everyone is part of this world.

6) It was recently announced that the next UC President’s base salary is jumping to $591,000, while student fees continue to rise. How will you address the issue of rising students fees and what makes your plan the best?

Something to take into consideration is that our student fees are going up way more than the inflation rate. What this means is we all need to look at where that money is going. The next UC President’s salary falls below the median salaries for similar offices in the state of California, so for a similar profession it looks reasonable, but this is a state university. I would want to make sure that the money being increased is used responsibly, because it’s obvious that it’s not being adjusted just because of inflation. The current economy is affecting all types of business, but that doesn’t mean our fees need to increase by an exorbitant amount. I’d like to propose to have a more cohesive discussion with administration and the UC about what we can do together to make this university work for all of us, because we all work for each other.