Interview by Parisa Mirzadegan, Advertising Director
Photo provided by the candidate.
Why do you want to be IVP?
The reason I ran for IVP started from the passion I gained when I proxied my first senate meeting my first year. I knew I wanted to be a part of the discussions and be able to make changes on this campus. I was given the opportunity to run as on On-Campus Senator with the Open People’s Party my first year and once elected I made sure to work hard to get my projects completed. My IVP at that time was influential on me because she gave me the guidance and resources any senator needs to be successful. And that’s the IVP I want to be. I will give the senators the tools they need to be successful. This means meeting with senators during Spring and Summer to get an idea on what are the projects they want to complete and to set goals. I will keep them accountable and make sure I set my goals/expectations and they’ll keep me accountable.
What is the number one issue at UCSB that you want to solve as IVP? How would you go about solving it?
Student Engagement. Every student pays $181.44 into AS but not every student is involved. This is a issue we need to address. How I plan on doing so is collaborating with entrepreneurial students and AS through a Craft Fair. This means that those students who are selling their own products can come table at Storke plaza along side AS groups. This will bring a new crowd into spaces they’ve most likely never been in before. This will attract students to see what the other tables have to offer and give them a step into AS. It will also promote small businesses and help students use college as a time to work on their own business/products. The more students we get excited about getting involved the better retention rates we have. I plan on promoting AS from the first day new students move into the residential halls by having the informational flyer be a part of the packet RAs give their residents. AS isn’t just elections or the senate. AS is YOU. AS is the boards, commission, and units. AS is exclusively for everyone.
What will you do to ensure the effective and accountable use of student fees?
If someone were to ask you to borrow $181.44 every three months, would you willingly give it to them no questions asked? Of course not! You would want to know why they need it, what will the money be used for, how will it benefit them? More students need to be critical of this. They need to be informed by AS, exactly where the money goes and is it being used efficiently. I plan to work with the President elect and Chief Financial Officer on creating a check on student fees. This means that any AS BCU that wants a reaffirmation or introduce a student fee must be checked by Finance and Business Committee. They will be financially analyzed to make sure that they are requesting the money they will use. By looking at past budgets F&B will see what is needed. The BCU can agree or not. However, F&B will be working with Elections Committee to make sure there is a pro and con list of voting yes/no on a student fee. We pay the highest amount in student fees compared to other UCs. By working and collaborating together we can help possibly reduce student fees while keeping the same resources AS currently offers.
How do you plan to make AS more accessible and open?
By making Senate more transparent through live streaming the senate meetings. I know this has been said year after year but I will stick with it. My year on Senate we had senate room reports where we videoed one senator recapping what had happened in the previous week. This year the resolution was shut down on video taping due to issues with waiver signing. However, I plan on learning how live streaming works and then renting out the equipment to make it happen. And I will make sure our first senate meeting is streamed. Also, AS needs to be accessible online by revamping the website. I will make sure the Chief Marketing Officer works during the summer to improve the website. I plan on having a project tracker where students can see what projects are being worked on and how far along the process they are. If a student is interested they can email the respective executive officer and help with the process. Lastly, most students don’t know what AS is. Like I mentioned before, I will collaborate with RAs, OSLs, and other AS entities to make sure all students are informed about what AS has to offer. I will also use Week of Welcome as a chance for AS to work along side residential housing to have more informational sessions and more tabling, to make sure first years and transfers always feel well informed.
Photo by Matthew Santos; graphics by Emani Oakley