2020 AS Elections Candidates: On-Campus Senators

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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, on-campus residents will be allowed to rank up to five residential senators to represent them on the 71st AS Senate.

These interviews have been lightly edited for clarity and formatting.

1. Taylor Tait

Taylor Tait

Campus United

First-Year Sociology & Geography Double Major

She/Her/Hers 

What made you decide to run for Associated Students (AS) Senate?

“I decided to run for Senate because I believe our campus needs someone who is compassionate, driven, and will listen to and value the ideas of all Gauchos, not only a few select groups. For the past six years, I’ve worked with a variety of organizations (WE Charity, Special Olympics, and Residential Housing Association (RHA) to name a few) that have taught me what it means to be a leader and how to become a just voice for the people. I want to use these experiences to provide a platform for people to feel connected to, as well as help to provide more transparency of all our boards, commissions, units, and other organizations. I have a detailed vision of how I can make UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) a better place. Overall, I believe that I’m well qualified and have a lot of outstanding ideas that have pushed me to pursue a spot in the 71st Senate.” 

Which communities do you hope to represent on AS Senate?

“On AS Senate, I hope to represent the ideals and concerns of on-campus residents mainly. Aside from this group, I share a lot of hopes for making UCSB a greener campus, much like the environmental boards and organizations we have. I also play a club sport, so I feel that I can reflect on some aspects of being a student-athlete at UCSB. And, although I don’t personally identify with, I hope to support historically underrepresented communities and help them further their voices on our campus.” 

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

“There are so many things I plan on accomplishing in my term, including making the interworking of AS more accessible and transparent and advocating for improving our student health systems. But if I had to prioritize one, it would be to increase funding for organizations that aid against food insecurity. Specifically expanding resources and accessibility to the AS Food Bank, farmers market, and more. I feel that this is a priority of mine because food insecurity is a huge concern for many students, especially for those who cannot afford the lofty costs of meal plans. Students should have to focus on their studies and getting involved in our incredible community, not worrying over where their next meals are coming from.” 

2. Gurleen Pabla

Gurleen Pabla

Campus United

First-Year Political Science Major

 She/Her/Hers

What made you decide to run for AS Senate?

“I always wanted to participate in our student government. Throughout high school, I was fairly involved in activities and leadership, but I realize the professionalism that comes with our university’s Associated Students. There are so many people involved in making change at this school and as someone who truly advocates for change especially where we can help our fellow students, I was so excited to jump in at first opportunity. I was so lucky to have this opportunity present itself to me because above all, I just want to do everything I can to make students feel like UCSB is here for them. AS Senate represents so many groups throughout our community and it truly is a group of students working for something bigger than them, and that is something I am so excited to become a part of.”

Which communities do you hope to represent on AS Senate?

“As an on-campus senator, I am well aware that I am going to be the voice for students from many different communities and backgrounds. Not only am I representing students living on campus as freshmen and sophomores, but I will also be considering their groups ranging from sexuality, gender, race, and even political backgrounds. I know that I cannot personally say I have experience from every single group, but the beauty of working as a student for students is that I can actually listen to what they have to say regarding improving life on campus. We can all agree that there is always work to be done, and I hope that I can give a voice to everyone I am representing to ensure that they feel at home here regardless of who they are.”

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

“I constantly emphasize prioritizing mental health throughout campus. As a freshman, I was not aware of current efforts to improve mental health facilities until I became involved with AS, and that is not an opportunity that most students get. I think one of the main priorities for me would be to make sure students are constantly updated on the resources available to them. As someone who plans on focusing a lot of my time and energy into efforts to improve the quality of the mental health care facilities we have to offer to students, I want to ensure that they are also kept informed about what is available for them.”

3. Adam Majcher

Adam Majcher

Campus United

First-Year Political Science and History Double Major

He/Him/His

What made you decide to run for AS Senate?

“I have decided to run for AS Senate because I want to make UCSB a better place than it was when I arrived. Throughout my first year, I have listened to my friends and peers talk about problems they are having, and have noticed problems myself such as the neglected club system, the ridiculous wait times for Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS), and the very reactive stance UCSB has on physical and sexual violence.

Additionally, I have been a part of the AS Fellowship Program this school year and was partnered with a senator, so I have attended many Senate meetings and seen individual students make tangible and real change on campus. Seeing students make these positive changes inspired me to run myself to tackle the problems that the student body and I have noticed and make UCSB a better place for all students.”

Which communities do you hope to represent on AS Senate?

“While I do plan on listening to and working with ALL students at UCSB, I will be directly representing the students living in on-campus dorms due to the nature of the position I am running for, on-campus Senator, and who is able to vote for me. Due to this, most of my platform points aim to help first and second-year students living in the dorms. Furthermore, as a gay man, I am a part of the LGBTQ+ community and would be a voice for this community during my time as a senator. However, I am just one member of this community on campus and, because of this, I would work diligently to communicate with and listen to LGBTQ+ students. Furthermore, I will be in contact with students from ALL backgrounds in order to ensure every student has a voice, feels safe, and is represented at UCSB.”

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

“If I could only accomplish one thing in my term, I would overhaul the campus club system to make it easier to join, learn about, and advertise clubs and club events. In order to do this, I would organize a massive, weekend-long club advertisement event in the fall quarter in which all clubs are invited to one of the grass lots by the freshman dorms and able to advertise and inform any students who come. This event would be advertised throughout the school, and would be a great way for new and ongoing students to engage in school activities! Furthermore, I would overhaul the neglected campus club website and add club events to Go Gaucho in order for clubs to be more easily accessible and have an easier time advertising events. Having tools like these would greatly assist students in knowing what clubs exist and what they do!”

4. Adam Bagul

Adam Bagul

Campus United

First-Year History of Public Policy and Law Major

He/Him/His

What made you decide to run for AS Senate?

“I decided to run for the AS Senate for many reasons. Civic service is an incredibly powerful idea and practice, and is a significant ideal that I foresee continuing to drive me in my life. However, it’s only worthwhile if there are people and ideas that are worth serving and there is no shortage of that at UCSB. AS Senate is a wonderful place to serve through advocating for those students and issues that deserve it. I love being a part of something bigger than myself and holding responsibilities that leadership positions include. Leaving high school I joined the Marine Corps, where I realized my passion for leadership. This carried on to this school year at UCSB when I was San Rafael hall council president. While there are many reasons I decided to run, the most concise answer would be it is something I find worthwhile and enjoyable.”

Which communities do you hope to represent on AS Senate?

“Simply put, I hope to represent all UCSB students. There is not a single community that I do not wish to represent as a senator, senators should always be advocating and working for all UCSB students. In regards to some specific communities that I wish to represent, some are but are not limited to on-campus students (obviously), environmentally conscientious students, and student veterans/dependents. All of the aforementioned communities and their concerns directly relate to my main four platform points. However, I want to reiterate that my interest does not stop at these communities and I want to champion and advocate for any groups that feel underrepresented and/or have pressing issues as well as continue to better the experiences for all Gauchos as a whole!”

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

“This is a difficult question because there are so many worthwhile issues to tackle and resolve, making trying to prioritize many of these necessary resolutions tough. However, if I had to choose one it would be resolving the issue of student veterans getting their tuition benefits late as well as securing funding for the Veteran Resource Center. As it currently stands student veterans are receiving their earned benefits late every quarter, which affects them academically, mentally, and of course financially. Additionally, the Veteran Resource Center receives absolutely ZERO funding from UCSB. Yes, you read that correctly, NONE. I would personally prioritize the issues surrounding student veterans because, if not me then who? No one else is committed to resolving these issues compared to other issues or pursuits (which are important and valid as well) which have more support and exposure.”

5. Dania DeRamon

Danie DeRamon

Isla Vista Party

First-Year Pre-Communication Major

She/Her/Hers

What made you decide to run for AS Senate?

“Throughout my first few months at UCSB, I noticed how we were constantly told about the many resources available to us on campus — CAPS, the AS Food Bank, etc. Something else I noticed, however, was how many of my friends, and myself, were discouraged from going to CAPS because of their limited hours of operation and the long wait times. I also noticed how my roommate and I often ended up rationing our 10 weekly meal swipes and leftover meal swipes, for those who had any, vanished at the end of the week. I decided to run for AS Senate because I want to be able to do my part in creating changes that make resources equitable and easily accessible to all students and ensuring that the basic needs of students are adequately met without having to increase student fees.”

Which communities do you hope to represent on AS Senate?

“I hope to represent the communities whose voices and experiences have often not been heard or even been silenced by the university. This includes my fellow first-generation, Latinx community, but every other community as well. Many of our struggles are interconnected and I firmly believe that it’s important to always stand up and fight for your community, but also for every community who has been marginalized and those you don’t know.”

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

“I would prioritize urging the housing department to implement a system of rollover and transferable meal swipes by collaborating with RHA [Resident Housing Association] and the Food Security & Basic Needs Taskforce. This is something students have been asking for for years, and this year’s Senate passed a resolution in favor of this change. I think the resolution being passed is great, but I think it’s important to continue advocating for this change and working with the housing department in order to make this happen. I’d prioritize this because I’ve witnessed how food insecurity can impact students and also because I believe that the $1,000+ students pay per quarter shouldn’t be going to waste. This change would be beneficial to every student, but even more so to students who are faced with financial burdens and are food insecure.”

6. Anusikha Halder

Anusikha Halder

Isla Vista Party

First-Year English Major

She/Her/Hers

What made you decide to run for AS Senate?

“I decided to run for AS Senate because I lie at the intersection of a lot of communities I see underrepresented and underserved on campus. I’ve personally grappled with problems with food security and mental health at a level not often understood by those outside of the QTPOC community. While I occupy positions that allow me to help and am involved in making positive changes in the community, I want to do more.  At the upper levels of the university’s policy-making and programs, I don’t always feel represented and heard — and I know so many of my peers feel the same way. I know I have what it takes to make sure marginalized voices are actively involved in the decisions made to improve the quality of life and education for the student body. I’m determined to give the changes that the student body is demanding.” 

Which communities do you hope to represent on AS Senate?

“For me, the community I most hope to represent is the QTPOC community. This community has done so much for me — and yet the university has done little to support it. The lack of visibility or proper reflection on the complex needs of a group that lies at so many intersections of identities means that we’re often left without proper support for food security, housing, spaces to meet, and programs. We’ve accomplished a lot on our own, but we shouldn’t have to. I also hope to represent survivors of sexual assault, disabled students, students of color, and LGBT students and make sure I don’t co-opt movements for identities I don’t belong to, but simply use my position to lend volume to their voices and support them in their endeavors. There are systems and resources in place for these communities, but they simply are not adequate. I hope to change that.” 

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

“My number one platform is food security. I know what it’s like to be living on 10 meals a week, burnt out, wondering what you’re going to do next. So I would prioritize pushing for rollover swipes (which is an existing resolution in AS but needs to be taken up and pushed for at least one senator). This cuts down on food waste, as well as allowing students to match meals better with their schedule, and give them some stability in regards to food in combination with other resources like the food bank. This would also alleviate the cost of room and board for many who live in residence halls, which require a meal plan. Achieving food security also drastically improves mental health and the ability to focus on your classes. Pushing to make rollover swipes a reality would improve the quality of student life in many ways.” 

7. Katrina Sacluti

Katrina Sacluti

Isla Vista Party

First-Year Political Science Major

She/Her/Hers

What made you decide to run for AS Senate?

“Part of our tuition goes towards Associated Students and as a student, I feel this large expense. I don’t want my money to go to waste — I want AS to be held ACCOUNTABLE, TRANSPARENT, ORGANIZED, and EFFICIENT! Though my time at UCSB has been limited with only two on-campus quarters, I quickly recognized these areas and more that needed improvement. My time in AS and student organizations inspired me to run because I could see what was being done and what more needed to be done. My platform contains ideas that ensure our paid fees are going towards beneficial resources to help all students and as a student, I want to make them happen. I want to be that someone who voices the demands of the student body and serves to assure the institution is serving us.” 

Which communities do you hope to represent on AS Senate?

“Ideally, all of them. I am a first-generation, low-income Filipino woman. From my perspective, I know what I need from the school. However, I refuse to be ignorant towards the other concerns from people of all different backgrounds. I do not just want to represent the communities that I am a part of, but I want to listen to the concerns of everyone in the student body and act upon them. After all, I decided to run as a student, knowing how little the majority of the school knows about AS yet how much money we funnel in it.”

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

“I want to prioritize fighting food insecurity, which does encompass more than one platform item of mine. We’re human, it’s a basic need for us to eat. Yet we have students using sleep as their last meal of the day. It’s unfair that for the swipes we pay for, they cannot be rolled over or used on guests. Last year’s Senate passed a resolution upholding rollover meal swipes and I have every intention to implement this on top of allowing students to use their meal swipes on friends, family, and other students. It is our money and we should be able to use our meal plan as we please. Our swipes should be rolled over until the end of the school year and if we haven’t used them all ourselves or along with our guests, they should be donated as meal tickets with no max amount.”

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.