The candidates running for transfer senator, the College of Letters and Science senators, the College of Creative Studies senator and the College of Engineering senator took to the stage Tuesday afternoon as A.S. election candidate forums continued for a second day in The Hub.
Candidates for transfer senator included Naia Al-Anbar, running with the Isla Vista Party, and Kian Maalizadeh, running with Campus United.
Campus United candidates running for College of Letters and Science senator included Stoddy Carey, Grayson Hernandez, Brooke Kopel and Andrew Banicki. Isla Vista Party candidates included Grecia Martinez.
Bongi Makatini, a second-year biology major running for L&S senator with the Isla Vista Party, did not attend the forum.
Sophia Uemura is the unopposed Isla Vista Party candidate for the College of Creative Studies senator.
Micah Almas is the Isla Vista Party candidate for the College of Engineering senator and Blake Diamond is the Campus United candidate.
Steven Kwok mediated the forum and asked the candidates two questions created by audience members. The first question pertained to the use of hate speech on campus, while the second one asked the candidates how they plan to work with the administration to achieve their goals as senators.
The candidates were given 30 seconds for opening and closing remarks.
The candidates explained to audience members their plans for improving the lives of UCSB students. Here are some of the highlights:
- Al-Anbar, a third-year anthropology major, said she wants to “pioneer” a transfer commission and help marginalized students feel more represented on campus. She said she believes that while there is a constitutional right to free speech, the university should “not entertain” hate speech and help maintain an environment free from violence.
- Maalizadeh, a third-year biology major, said he wants to improve CLAS access for transfer students and expand transfer orientation, two issues he wants to work on with the university administrators. He said it is an “amazing time” to be a transfer student, and he wants to focus his efforts on increasing support for them.
- Carey, a second-year global studies and geography double major, said he wants to use his “passion for academics” and “ability to strive as a leader” to serve his community. According to Carey, hate speech should not be tolerated on campus, and he hopes he can “use existing channels” of communication with campus administrators to achieve his goals as a senator.
- Hernandez, a third-year political science major, said she wants students to know how A.S. can affect change on campus. She also said she wants to “streamline” the dialogue between A.S. and university administrators and work to decrease tuition and increase class enrollment availability.
- Kopel, a second-year political science major, said she wants to ensure that student fees are seen through student resources. Kopel said she believes hate speech can make some students “feel alienated” on campus and wants to help facilitate productive dialogue between differing groups.
- Banicki, a first-year biology major, said he wants to create more outdoor study spaces and hammocks on campus. He also said he wants to emphasize mental health and extend resources to students who may feel overwhelmed. As the president of the Santa Catalina South Residence Hall, he said he already “has a foot in the door” to work with university administrators.
- Martinez, a second-year sociology and economics double major, said she wants to increase representation of minority groups on campus. If elected, she said, she hopes to make college life more affordable and accessible to students.
- Uemura, a first-year chemistry major, said she wants to implement a mental health counselor for CCS and ensure an open dialogue with campus administrators. She said she believes there is a “fine line” between hate speech and free speech and said she hopes to maintain CCS as a “very safe space” that is welcome to everyone.
- Almas, a second-year chemical engineering major, said he wants to work on making college more affordable for students, citing the high costs of tutoring and textbooks. He said he wants to create an open dialogue with administrators to ensure that the College of Engineering can be a safe and affordable environment.
- Diamond, a second-year electrical engineering major, said he is excited about the future of A.S. and wants to increase students’ awareness about the university’s “incredible” resources including UCIV and the Community Housing Office. He said he believes engineers are underrepresented and wants to increase mental health resources for them.
Campaigning for A.S. Elections began Sunday and will continue for the next two weeks until voting results are announced on the night of April 27.
Profiles of all 51 A.S. candidates can be found here.