Setting into motion the Associated Students (A.S.) Elections, candidates for the internal vice president position took the stage Monday morning in the Hub to discuss qualifications, senator training and increased efficiency at Senate meetings.
Jasmine Sandhu, third-year political science and biology double major, is the Campus United candidate for internal vice president. She currently represents the College of Letters & Sciences on the A.S. Senate.
Lesly Silva, second-year political science and sociology double major, is the Isla Vista Party candidate for internal vice president. She currently serves as an on-campus senator.
The first to deliver opening remarks, Silva said she was inspired to run for the position after seeing the work of other students on Senate.
“I feel that students are always historically underrated — especially under the administration — on the state level and national level,” she said. “We really need to tap into the potential, and as a candidate, I feel like that would really be a great role of mine.”
Sandhu, in her opening remarks, said she decided to run for office after learning from her friends of the different ways that UCSB can improve.
“I see so much potential in this school, and that’s why I want to continue running with the association,” she said. “I know there are so many changes I could make here that would positively impact students and the campus.”
Andy Doerr, manager of the A.S. Media Center, moderated the forum. He posed six questions, formed by the A.S. Elections Board, and gave the candidates one minute each to answer. Doerr also relayed questions asked anonymously by audience members.
Here are the highlights of Monday’s IVP candidate forum:
- When asked about the largest problem with A.S., Sandhu cited what she called the “inability” of new senators to become comfortable and accustomed to their new position. Silva, meanwhile, said A.S. should “step up on accountability by making the association more public” and increase transparency with the work on-campus senators participate in.
- Both candidates listed passion as an important quality to have as an IVP. “Those with passion can dedicate themselves to the job can do it well effectively and efficiently,” Sandhu said.
- When asked how they would preserve a civil environment in Senate, Silva said she would make the senators “feel validated” for their work. Sandhu said she would “empower” senators to serve their constituents.
- When asked how they would train new senators, Sandhu said she would “revamp” senator training in the summer and focus on building strong connections with Boards and Commissions. Silva said she wants outgoing senators to train incoming senators through “informative workshops.”
- In terms of the connections that each candidate had for both student leaders and administrators around campus, Silva cited her working relationships with administrative officials like Assistant Director for Government Affairs LaDonte King, Executive Director Marisela Marquez and her history with student groups like the Black Student Union. Sandhu emphasized on the importance of maintaining these relationships and said she was “fortunate to have connected with different students on campus.”
- An audience member asked the candidates how familiar they are with the internal workings of an organization. Sandhu said she was the class president through fifth grade and high school and served as a senator this year. Silva said she has been “privileged” to have mentors within the association and understands the different perspectives of members of the association through their work on the budget.
- In her closing remarks, Silva said she is grateful for the opportunity to run for office and for those who have supported her. Sandhu said she loves UCSB and wants all students to have a positive experience.
Campaigning for A.S. Elections began 8 p.m. Sunday and will continue for the next two weeks until voting results are announced on the night of Apr. 27.
Profiles of all 51 A.S. candidates can be found here.