PARTY: Student Voice!
MAJOR: Political Science – International Relations
1) Where do you think AS has the most room for improvement?
In the past three years Iâ€™ve learned so much about what AS has done through methods of activism, and AS has really pushed for students rights on this campus. Itâ€™s honorable for me to be part of this association, but nonetheless, like in every organization, with the time of progress, there comes improvements in its ability to work with students, and I think one of the major improvements is student involvement on the part of BCCs and long term and short term issues on campus from a variety of perspectives. I think thatâ€™s a major part of what AS can improve on, especially having an active presidential office. I really respect the presidentâ€™s office for the past so many years, but I think making it a lot more accessible on the part of students is really important. There are so many resources the president has in working with administrators, and officials on major issues. Itâ€™s so important to open the office so students can come and work on those issues because really when it comes down to AS, itâ€™s not just about the individual, but itâ€™s about the association of 20,000 students here on campus. There needs to be a realization on the part of the president that its not their office, itâ€™s the students taking that office.
2) What is the primary issue that you hope to tackle during your tenure?
I think the first thing would be the campus experience here. Itâ€™s a bigger issue, but it encompasses so much. Through my involvement on campus being an RA, a part of Residential Life, working in RHA and even as a reporter at KCSB, the major thing Iâ€™ve come across has been the campus experience on part of the student. it can be the transitionary experience on part of freshmen or transfer student coming in, it can be a safer Isla Vista, it can be to improve rent control, meeting with the Board of Supervisors every two weeks, or the MCP, for example. Tackling these issues really will make for a better experience for students here at UCSB.
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?
It all comes down to the awareness factor and I think itâ€™s ASâ€™s job to really push for that. Itâ€™s an awesome association, itâ€™s done so much, and like many recruits, my process about learning about what AS has done has been through my involvement. We need to communicate to students what AS is, what AS has done, and how it affects them. Students donâ€™t realize that AS has such a large impact on part of CLAS, of Rec Sports, of major departments like Student Health, for example. Each of these organizations receives funding through AS to make the campus experience easier and accessible to them. UCSB has been forefront in a lot (Continued on next page) of the issues in higher education in the state and the nation and also here on campus. What we can do is really bring in the sense of awareness that your money goes into AS and trickles back down to you through programs and events, and that AS is not just Leg council, but is the BCCâ€™s that also do the events.
4) Discuss any experiences in the campus community that you feel will inform your work as a campus leader.
Iâ€™ve been involved as a student since the first day I came here. I started off as a hall council member and worked on events from there on in regards to how to improve the experience of freshmen through a transitionary process. I became a Desk Attendant where I was the centerfold of a residential hall, providing the safety, security and programming needs for the building. I then joined KCSB as an investigative reporter, getting involved issues pertaining to Isla Vista community, UCSB, the administration, the students, the city, and the county, and I learned so much in regards to how it all affects the students. I was also the Associate News Director at KCSB for one year. Iâ€™ve worked to understand housing issues on campus and IV, from tripling dorms, to rent control, to the tenant situation, and Iâ€™ve met with housing management companies to find out what we can do together, bringing them a perspective on living for students in Isla Vista. I joined FSSP one year as an RA, and the other as a Program Assistant. Iâ€™ve also gotten students involved in the voting process, working with the External Vice President for Local Affairs office. Getting involved in Leg Council, re-involved in the Student Commission on Racial Equality and Finance Board and other organizations that make the campus experience a lot easier for students here, has brought about a sense of experience on part of myself.
5) What kinds of student resources (organizations, events, etc.) that come to AS for funding do you feel most directly serve students?
Iâ€™ve been on Finance Board for the past year and a lot of student organizations come to the board for resources to help their events. I think every event definitely has an aspect of serving the students and I canâ€™t help to reiterate that, even if its educational, if itâ€™s awareness, or if its social. I feel every single one has a purpose to make the campus experience and the students feel welcome and they really serve the students. In the end what happens is the money that students put into the association is given back to them through these resources. We would never ever to any extent differentiate whatâ€™s important and whatâ€™s not, because in the end all they all go back to the students and itâ€™s so important to recognize that. I think finance board has a great policy in keep those events open to everyone.
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 students fees and what makes your plan the best?
What is really important and what we need to recognize is that this campus has been the front ground on the part of really fighting for student fees. Weâ€™ve been supporting the UC Students Association and the United States Student Association at a state and national level, and these organizations are extremely important on part of fighting for student fees in Sacramento, Washington D.C., and at UC Regents meetings. Keeping these lobbying and campaigning efforts accessible to alls students is important, because I feel that if we get all of these students involved in this process thereâ€™s so much of a stronger student voice. Supporting the EVAP office itself, their ventures and their campaigns on the part of decreasing student fees and making college accessible for all of us is so important, as well as keeping the chancellor accountable for students and asking him to talk against these fees at UC Regents meetings.