The Associated Students (A.S.) UCSB Senate has undergone monumental shifts in the last few years, transforming from primarily single-party executive boards into an election season with three strong parties running for office along with independent candidates.
Running as an independent write-in candidate for Internal Vice Preisdent, Nushi Yapabandara has focused her campaign on restructuring A.S. to make it more accessible and approachable for all students.
Yapabandara is an advocate for underrepresented students and plans to work with the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) to provide travel accommodations for low income students so they can provide for their families by traveling to and from home.
Focusing on transfer and international students, Yapabandara proposes the creation of an A.S. unit to provide specific representation for transitioning students. Although the details of the new A.S. unit are not fully formed, the Nexus commends Yapabandara’s awareness and dedication to nontraditional students.
Having experienced the logistics of Counseling and Psychological Services (C.A.P.S.) resources, Yapabandara understands the challenge of sharing mental health concerns with a stranger. She plans to work with C.A.P.S. administration to make the mental health center feel safe for students of all backgrounds, pushing for a more culturally diverse staff of counselors.
As the head of the A.S. Senate, Yapabandara will need to be attentive to the senators as well community members. Because Yapabandara has not been involved in the Senate, she will face a strong learning curve in becoming a diplomatic leader. However, she has a foundation of organizational experience from the Residence Hall Association and other student groups and will succeed as IVP if she is able to prioritize the work of the senate.