POSITION: External VP for Statewide Affairs
PARTY: Open People’s Party (OPP)
MAJOR: Political Science – International Relations
1) Where do you think AS has the most room for improvement?
I feel like there is a huge disconnection between the student population and us and I think that really coorelates to a lack of ownership and that just has a trickle down effect. How are we supposed to accurately represent our constituents, lobbying for them and fighting for their rights when we donâ€™t know what they are all about? I think we need to make the resources a little more visible, at least make a better connection with the majority of the students.
2) What is the primary issue that you will tackle during your tenure?
Thereâ€™s a wide range. Iâ€™m actually running on a five-point campaign, so I wanted to make sure that the UC regents and the UCOP are kept accountable, in that we just got a new UC president and Iâ€™d like to make a connection with him right off the bat. We really need to utilize our UC Regent connection a lot more and also utilize the highest voter registration turnout. I also really want to fight for increased financial aid, which is going to take a lot of hard work and strategic lobbying. One issue I want to work on is the Return to Aid Program. Another one is diversity and accessibility. Diversity is going to better the experience everyone has here, increase their education, insure that you are a worldly and well-informed citizen and it is going to make you a better person because of it. Accesibility to help the diversity happen isnâ€™t really here. I think two things we should focus on are standardized UC admissions policies and fighting for institutionalized academic preparation funding.
3) While UCSB has the highest per capita of registered students voters of any US university, only 21.95% of undergraduates participated in last yearâ€™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 of the things we pushed for was getting people to register to vote. It was sort of our ammunition, if you will, when we went to lobby. And youâ€™re right, we get a ton of people to vote but in the AS elections, no one really votes. I think that ties into one of my points, that there is a lack of ownership here. People donâ€™t really feel that its their government and that the decisions we make really apply to them or that they have a voice. I think that just really comes down to a lack of visibility and a lack of accessibility to our resources. We really need to do the same thing we do for voter registration. That is, to try to really get the word out in residence halls and push on all fronts.
4) Discuss any experiences in the campus community that you feel will inform your work as a student leader.
I was staff in the EVPSA office last year, so I get the campaigns we work on and how to do the grassroots campaigns here that really affect UCSB. I worked with the UC Studentâ€™s Association, I worked with the US Studentâ€™s Association, the person I interned under is working for USSA international staff, so I already have the network built, which would really help. I know AS, I know the resources, so Iâ€™d be able to hit the ground running. That is, I worked on the finance board my first year so I get the financial end, which is huge. I was on investmentâ€™s advisory, I was a proxy for legislative council, so I definitely know this organization very well. As far as RHA, I think that is really going to help me a ton, because I noticed that AS has been kind of reactionary, that is the administration does something and AS reacts. The fact that Iâ€™ve been able to work on with policy makers here and I already have that relationship built, just as Stephanie and Jordan did. So when I do propose something university wide, Iâ€™m going to be met with support or at least dialogue will already be there. So utilizing RHA, my knowledge of AS, and the knowledge of the position already.
5) What kind of student resources that approach AS for funding do you think most directly serve students?
Thatâ€™s a loaded question. I would tie that back into the pros of having a diverse student population. The more programming you have, the more different types of outlets students have, the more alternative programing. Itâ€™s just really going to enrich our community here. I donâ€™t really think itâ€™s fair to value one program over another. Thereâ€™s just such a wide myriad of issues that are brought forth with programs on campus. Itâ€™s not a fair question. Every one has a different connection to the campus, different values. I would try to help the students any way I can because it is all their funding. Just like having a diverse student population, having diverse programming and student resourcesâ€¦just as important.
6) It was recently announced that the next UC Presidentâ€™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 like that question. The new UC president, he apparently took a pay decrease to do thisâ€¦um, thanks? I think it is still inappropriate at this time. We need to be competitive as a University and we do need to make sure that we get the best possible people, but it I think we could have found someone or negotiated something else. There is always an alternative. I really donâ€™t think this was the right time for it.
How am I going to fight for student fees? We need to lobby the new president and say â€œHey, students are really backing you. UCSA actually gave you their approval, they think you can do a good job, however, we want to make sure that you are really working with us.â€ And, again really get that connection early and utilizing our connection with the UC Student Regent, who I have worked with and who I would love to utilize my connection with, because thatâ€™s our voice. We also have to push that higher voter registration turnout. We need to use all the ammunition available to us.
What makes my plan the best? I am experienced, I am passionate about it. I mean, Iâ€™m here because of financial aid. I have a personal stake in it. Best? I donâ€™t know. We will have to find out. But I will do my best and I think Iâ€™ll do very well.