Interview: Bay Grabowski


PARTY: Independent
YEAR: Third
MAJOR: Physics

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

I think the issue that AS can most improve upon is coordination, knowing what everyone is doing. I believe that great strides can be made by helping people to work with each other to better utilize their unique skills.

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

I think there is a problem with people knowing what everyone is doing in AS. There are a lot of committees, so while the academic affairs board is working on textbooks, at the same time there is a textbook committee, and they may not even be aware of each other’s existence much less be working together. I noticed that there are a lot of committees that have overlapping goals, but I haven’t noticed many people working together. On top of that, working with the entire UCSB community is really important. There are a ton of administrative groups on campus, like the Financial Aid Office, full of people who essentially run the school, and there are not a lot of people in AS who have contacts there or know who to talk to. So that’s what I would like, for people to work together and have a sort of unified goal or thrust.

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 possibility that accounts for the disparity between registered students and AS election turn-out is that a great deal of the voter registration push was done by Associated Students. During elections, these students can get caught up in partisan politics, working to defeat their opponents by focusing on getting people to vote for their party, not just to vote. This aggressive mentality can drive off students from voting in the final election.

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

I’ve had a fair amount of experience within AS and about a year and a half ago I started doing serious internal work within AS. I worked with the Constitution and By-Laws Committee which works to make sure that the bills going through adhere to the Legal Code, which sounds boring but it is important to make sure that we’re cohesive and follow our own rules as well as rules outside of the campus itself. I’ve also worked to restart the Academic Affairs board. I also founded the Technological sSrvices Committee, which works with other groups on campus to improve student access to the internet and other technological issues and through that I got to talk different groups on campus. Having a chance to work with them gave me an idea of just how immense the beaurucracy on campus and is and helped me to group people together to allow them to work together. Again, my experience with the Legal Code stuff is important because IVP requires a very intuitive knowledge of how the rules and Legal Code work.

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

There are a few, although not as many as I would like, that work toward the academic goal of the university. As much as we like to go out on Friday nights and party, we still have to attend classes, do our homework, and pass our tests, and it’s important that we recognize that and offer students the services that they need. If we offer someone tutoring through CLAS, it gives them the chance to get the degree they need and do well in life. We have the tendency to focus purely on the fun side of things, which is important, but we need to remember that we are a university and need to work on academic issues, so I think that resources such as CLAS, with academic value, are especially important.

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?

I don’t agree with it, it is probably counterproductive to raise salary at such a time, but it is going to be a drop in the bucket. The budget of the UC system is millions of dollars. The larger issue is that UCSB isn’t getting the money it used to and the California budget is in shambles right now. The money has to come from somewhere and get cut from somewhere. We just can’t say we’ll reduce student fees because that money has to come from somewhere. The more important thing we need to do is work on research, finding where the money is going, and where it can be cut. I do have a plan to research the issue, to find what can be done, work to give lasting improvements to how students pay for college, and greater oversight into where that money goes.