2020 AS Election Candidates: Engineering Senator

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Beginning at 8 a.m. on April 20 until 4 p.m. on April 24, UCSB students have the opportunity to vote in the AS spring general election. On the ballot, students in the College of Engineering will be able to select a collegiate senator to represent them on the 71st AS Senate.

These interviews have been lightly edited for clarity and formatting.

1. Calvin Jenkins

Calvin Jenkins

Campus United

Second-Year Computer Engineering Major

He/Him/His

What made you decide to run for AS Senate?

“I wanted to run for AS Senate because I feel that many engineering students at UCSB could significantly benefit from increased support from AS. I think many engineers need more mental health resources and support, with many unhealthy standards normalized in engineering based on the idea that engineering students ‘just have to be’ always doing schoolwork or giving up sleep to get through their courseload; there are a lot of dangerous pressures on students, and there needs to be increased awareness and support for these students. Besides mental health support, I think engineering organizations on campus could be receiving more support from AS, as these organizations are the groups that provide some of the best opportunities for career advancement and networking to students in engineering, while often hosting workshops to teach invaluable skills as well.”

Which communities do you hope to represent on AS Senate?

“Well, primarily I hope to represent UCSB’s engineering students on AS Senate; this includes all the diverse and varied communities and organizations within engineering. Beyond just representing engineering, I hope to represent every student’s need for mental health resources, especially anyone that has experienced undue stress from their schooling, something that I think many students can relate to. I also want to push for more career-advancement opportunities for all students on campus, as UCSB has highly-qualified students and they deserve to get the best jobs in their field.”

If you could only accomplish one thing in your term, what would you prioritize?

“Mental health. If I could only pass one bill it would be to create a committee, either as a part of the current AS Mental Health Task Force or separately, to deal with mental health awareness and support, specifically for engineering/schooling and career related stresses. I think there are no issues more critical than this.”

2. Gabriel Bravo

Gabriel Bravo

Isla Vista Party

Second-Year Mechanical Engineering Major

He/Him/His

What made you decide to run for AS Senate?

“There is a plethora of resources, provided by AS and other entities, that engineers can benefit from. Additionally, students within the College of Engineering need CLAS [Campus Learning Assistance Services]/tutorial services for major engineering courses. These additional services would help students with knowledge retention and academic success. Equally, these students need improvements in mental health services. Finding effective ways to develop a healthy mind will create a healthier life. Moreover, I would love to help out the entire student body with food insecurity! I am here to make positive change in the areas that are most needed for the student body at UCSB. Therefore, the aspirations for making these changes are what drive me to serve as UCSB’s next College of Engineering senator!”

Which communities do you hope to represent on AS Senate?

“I plan to be a senator for all students who want to be represented and have their voices and concerns heard. I am here to make sure these students have any issues addressed and resolved. I stand for our underrepresented students, our students of color, our first-generation students, our LGBTQ+ students, and many more.”

If you could only accomplish one thing in your term, what would you prioritize?

“I strongly want to enforce change within the food security at UCSB. I will make sure to work the best that I can to get meal swipes to roll over for the UCSB student body; I will work to get these students the ability to swipe in any guests as well. For those without meal plans, I will push to open up more food pantries and keep those pantries open for the entire week. A large population of students are affected by food insecurity. This is detrimental to their mental and physical health. If students don’t have enough proper fuel for their bodies, they can’t perform to the best of their abilities (in their academics). All in all, I will keep pushing through for these changes to ensure an alleviation of stress for these students in need.”

3. Nadav Kempinski

Nadav Kempinski

Independent

Third-Year Human Centered Engineering Major (Individual Major)

He/Him/His

What made you decide to run for AS Senate?

“I was an AS fellow my first year on campus, and have been keeping an eye on the Senate ever since. This past year, given my various engagements on campus and the hurdles I jumped through in order to create the first individual major in the college, I’ve heard from students across the college that there’s much to be done in order for us to feel taken care of in our college. There are non-alignments between what we learn and what is expected from us by internships, there are projects we want to work on and no place or resources to do so, and there are basic needs that aren’t being met. I chose to run because most engineering students don’t see the impact that AS can have towards our campus experiences, and I believe I can focus its resources to support its students.”

Which communities do you hope to represent on AS Senate?

“The engineering community is diverse, with many first generation students and international students who are too often unequally represented, we have students part of professional organizations and engineering clubs who are yearning for access to resources and expertise to take on as many learning experiences as possible while here, and we have students who try to just enjoy their lives when not swamped with engineering assignments. Our 1,700 students are represented by one senator — it’s going to require being receptive to all students, to actively engaging the communities surrounding our college, and to proactively creating a group of campus leaders who are connected to our students and can quickly come together to advocate for change. Finding students who are not connected to campus orgs is just as important — all students need a voice. All one senator can do is try their hardest to hear it all and advocate for change.”

If you could only accomplish one thing in your term, what would you prioritize?

“Increase opportunities for self-interest projects on campus for engineers. Capstone projects are overwhelmingly decided by outside firms as a lack of financial assets exists for self-determined projects. There are students across campus who everyday are coming up with new ways to better society, protect the planet and improve quality of life — there should be increased access to developing these ideas to improve our campus, and to change the entire world for the better. NVC [New Venture Competition] and capstone aren’t enough — it’s time for AS to step in. My second goal would be to ensure access to food is spread evenly across campus to reach the engineering areas as well.”

Noe Padilla
Noe Padilla is a fourth year philosophy major. He joined The Bottom Line his first year after transferring to UCSB. He is looking to pursue a career in journalism after graduation, specifically focusing on housing issues within communities. If he’s not following a story or talking to people in the community, he’s probably taking photos or listening to music.