Rhandy Siordia, Candidate for External Vice President of Local Affairs

Interviewed by Annalise Domenighini

What experience do you have working in both the Isla Vista community and the broader Goleta and Santa Barbara area?

As a freshman I joined Isla Vista Community Relations Committee (IVCRC), last year I was the Vice Chair of IVCRC and the major events coordinator in the EVPLA office so I worked on things like Chillavista, Halloween, Floatopia. For Halloween I compiled and sent out a postcard with a lot of different information that residents should know and sent it to each UCSB student and I also planned an alternative event for Halloween held in Embarcadero Hall, meant to be just a space for students and community members in general to come and gather themselves after a long or short night of reveling in IV for Halloween. I also co-created Chillavista with IVCRC and for the past two years have helped plan Pardall Carnival. This year I’ve been elected Off-Campus Representative on Legislative Council, so I’m continuing to go to all the meetings, stay informed about what’s happening in Isla Vista. I helped to create a brochure with information about IV and its history that I want to put in orientation packets and then distribute it at IV store counters and various front desks around campus, and also table and give it to people as well. As far as Goleta goes I attended the Goleta city town hall forum last year for Halloween as part of my position with a lot of key players to just talk about how Halloween affects IV and Goleta.

How will you work to get more students involved and aware of what your office is doing?

The brochure I think is a great way to showcase what students can do. As far as the EVPLA office goes there’s currently a publicity coordinator so I’d like to continue that. Last year when I worked in the office we did a periodic newsletter about what EVPLA was working on and had that sent out, I think that’s a great idea. I also want to continue to do tabling next year as the EVPLA to make sure people know what the EVPLA can do, what the office can do, and how they can work with them and get involved. I think it’s very important that students are involved so that student voices can be heard and student input can be acknowledged especially in a place like IV.

What plans do you have to improve safety for LGBTQ students, students of color and other at risk students?

This is an issue I’m very passionate about. I’m gay, and have experienced and been exposed to those kinds of issues and I know what it’s like to be an underrepresented community. The idea of safe spaces in IV has been an issue for such a long time and its been tossed around and its about time that something is done about it. What I’d like to do is use the vacated Isla Vista Tenants Union space above Grafikart as a meeting space there for anybody, students or non-students, on a sign in basis, and have it staffed by a student during the day and by someone who has experience with mental health and wellness issues during the evening so that students can go there and have a space where they can be safe and get help if they need it.

Do you have any plans regarding dealing with the situation of parking in Isla Vista?

The main issue is that students that live on campus are parking their cars in IV because they don’t want to pay the fees to park on campus or the parking structure. I guess the best that I would be able to do as a student advocate would be to continue working with the successor committee of the Redevelopment Agency, so hopefully the parking permit program will be continued. I’m not necessarily in support of it but if we would be able to find a common ground between a reasonable fee and creating better parking that would be ideal.

What are your plans for dealing with the issue of Halloween in Isla Vista?
All the same campaigns I did last year I’d like to continue except I would like to spruce up the alternative event for Halloween a little bit more. The density of the crowds on Del Playa is a huge issue so if we could find a way to lessen the crowds I think that would be great. Intoxicated people need food water and to use the rest room so if we can provide all those three things in one space that’s near DP, that would be really useful.