Interview: Alex Forster


PARTY: Independent
YEAR: Second
MAJOR: Business Economics – Accounting

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

I think AS can improve the most at trying to make students aware of what AS does for them and serving the general student body, not just a select group of student organizations that seem to get most of the funding.

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

To help improve AS’s finances and budget so there is not so much wasteful spending and so people understand what their fees are going towards.

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? The difference in energy exists because many students do not realize the impact AS has on their lives. When AS raises fees, like they did with the Students Initiative, they are essentially telling the student body that AS knows how to spend student money better then the students do. It takes 13 hours of work, at minimum wage, for a student to afford a $100 fee increase imposed by AS. If the student body realized that AS was making them work an extra 13 hours a quarter, they would start to become more involved.

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

Being on the Investment Advisory Committee on Income and Recharge, I’ve definitely seen how much wasteful spending goes on. I am also involved in the Greek community and appreciate many of the services AS offers. My involvement as a Greek and on both these committees has given me a thorough understanding of AS finances and the wherewithal to produce change within AS.

5) What kind of student resources (organizations, events, etc.) that approach AS for funding do you think most directly serve students?

Any organization or event that promotes Gaucho spirit I am a big proponent of including free admissions to Gaucho sport events.

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 student fees and what makes your plan the best?

AS should focus on preventing more direct fee increases like the Students Initiative. AS can’t be for reduced UC fees and then increase AS fees to the Student body at the same time – it is hypocritical and doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Once they start reducing those kinds of fees, then they should focus on decreasing tuition by working with other Associated Student groups within the UC system.