Soon after A.S. elections week took off, nine candidates for on-campus and university-owned housing senators discussed resident assistant welfare during a public forum in the Hub on Monday.
Participating in the on-campus senator forum were four I.V. Party candidates — Steven Ho, Jorge Santos, Dylan Goldman and Vanessa Maldonado — and four Campus United candidates — Charles Neumann, Alexa Hernandez, Derek Yang, and Kia Sadeghi.
Campus United’s Juan Perez Tejada also participated as a candidate for university-owned housing senator.
Salvador Hernandez-Arellano, a first-year political science major running for on-campus senator, and Andrea Reyes, a third-year communication major running for university-owned housing senator, did not attend the forum.
Each candidate had one minute to make an opening statement about their platform. Andrew Doerr, the forum moderator, then asked each candidate two questions and each candidate had thirty seconds to make a concluding statement.
Doerr first asked the candidates to identify the most important issue affecting on-campus residents. The second question, posed by the audience, addressed resident assistant (R.A.) welfare.
Each prospective senator identified a set of issues that they wanted to address. Listed below are some of their goals.
- Ho, a first-year biology and Asian-American studies double major, said he wants to help underrepresented students feel more comfortable on campus. He said he wants to focus his efforts as a senator on food insecurity, allocating student fees for R.A. programs and increasing transparency in the senate.
- Neumann, a first-year global studies major, said if elected, he hopes to increase the representation of the international student community. He said he plans to work on making college more affordable and hopes to create a liaison position to strengthen the relationship between A.S. and R.A.s.
- Hernandez, a first-year economics and accounting major, said he is “passionate about making college more affordable for everyone.” If elected, she hopes to designate a C.A.P.S. counselor for R.A.s and personally reach out to them herself.
- Tejada Mir, a second-year economics and accounting major, said he wants to address tuition hikes with the state. When asked about R.A. welfare, he said “being there for them is a huge deal,” and wants residents to reach out to R.A.s to “lend them a hand … and acknowledge their presence.”
- Yang, a first-year political science and chemistry double major, said he wants to implement rollover and guest meal swipes for the dining commons, as well as increase the number of study spaces on campus. If elected, Yang said he wants to be a liaison for R.A.s and provide a specific C.A.P.S. counselor to address their needs.
- Santos, a first-year political science major, said he plans to improve the mental health resources on campus. When asked about R.A. welfare, Santos said he wants to create an A.S.-funded “mental-health social” for the R.A.s.
- Sadeghi, a first-year political science major, stated he wants to limit the amount of stress for students and increase convenience on campus through providing more water stations in the resident halls and bike lanes at the Arbor. Sadeghi said he wants to partner with C.A.P.S. to provide a program for R.A.s as well as improve the relationship between R.A.s and residents.
- Goldman, a first-year physics major, said he wants to increase the amount of diversity in S.T.E.M. classes. He also said the rising cost of tuition is the most important issue affecting UCSB students. If elected, he said wants to create a catered mental health group and change the drug and alcohol policy to help R.A.s become healthier leaders.
- Maldonado, a first-year undeclared student, said she wants to revise UCSB’s alcohol and drug program, which puts “unnecessary stress on student’s mental health.” When asked about R.A. welfare, she said she wants to increase R.A. approachability for students by changing the alcohol and drug policy for residents.
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.