Max Abrams / Daily Nexus

As the 2018-19 school year came to a close, the five Associated Students (A.S.) executives and the 23 senators making up the 70th Senate were sworn in on May 23, closing off a year in A.S. defined by party politics and two special elections

With the aim of informing the student body about the executive’s goals, the Nexus sat down with the five executives and asked them to speak about their plans for the upcoming year. Read summaries of each executive’s goals below: 

1. President Alison Sir
2. External Vice President for Statewide Affairs Daevionne Beasley
3. External Vice President for Local Affairs Christian Ornelas
4. Student Advocate General Andrew Nguyen
5. Internal Vice President Alli Adam

1. President Alison Sir

As UCSB’s A.S. President for the 2019-20 school year, incoming fourth-year political science major Alison Sir has several main goals for her year-long term: create an A.S. app, find a permanent place for the A.S. Bike Shop, install a meal vending machine for low-income individuals in Isla Vista and create a plan for A.S. known as Strategic Vision 2025.

Max Abrams / Daily Nexus

Her first few weeks in office have been spent “trying to really get my projects already up and running,” particularly in regard to meeting with “key partners” for the vending machine project, she explained. Sir presented the project’s concept to the I.V. Community Services District (I.V. CSD) during its May 18 meeting. 

Sir’s vision for a new A.S. app is to contain all the resources and information she believes UCSB students need about A.S. Sir said she has spoken to A.S. Executive Director Marisela Marquez about the app and plans to work on its implementation throughout the year. 

“I really want to focus on bringing A.S. out of the dark ages and making sure that entities, all the resources, are [available] in one app,” she explained. 

Sir also plans to secure a permanent location for the A.S. Bike Shop, a project which former President Brooke Kopel began in the 2018-19 school year. At the end of her term, Kopel presented several possible permanent locations to the 69th Senate. Sir has met with Kopel regarding the bike shop and plans to implement Kopel’s vision. 

Beside her other projects, Sir’s primary focus for the year is what she calls Strategic Vision 2025, a five-year outline of specific goals for UCSB that would improve future A.S. administrations Her plan expands upon one created by former A.S. President Jonathan Abboud in 2014. 

“I want to audit [A.S.],” Sir explained. “[I want to see] what people think of A.S. now, find the missing gaps and bridge it, and then create the Strategic Vision 2025 to show, ‘I want A.S. to look like this [in 2025].’” 

Sir plans to survey students, asking each, “What do students need right now compared to five years ago?”

For her office, Sir said she has filled the position of chief of staff with former Off-Campus Senator Adam Chohan of the 69th Senate. She noted that she wants to fill her office “with a diverse array of students” and will spend the summer filling the rest of the presidential office staff. 

“I don’t really want to rush and [I want] to make sure that everyone knows my office is open.” 

She is realistic about the time constraints of a one-year term, noting that she has spoken to previous presidents about the limitations. 

“After hearing Brooke and previous presidents, they said, ‘You have so many duties and you can probably only accomplish one. And if you do that, you’re being a good president.’” 

[Back to top]

2. External Vice President for Statewide Affairs Daevionne Beasley

Unlike for other executive offices, summer is the busiest time of the year for the External Vice President for Statewide Affairs (EVPSA). 

Max Abrams / Daily Nexus

Many conferences that the office attends or organizes occur over the summer, and the conferences are one way to get students involved early in the year with the hope that they’ll continue with lobbying work during the school year as well. 

But Daevionne Beasley, who was sworn into the position for the 2019-2020 school year in May, didn’t have a predecessor he could turn to for advice or training. 

The EVPSA position went unfilled for the 2018-2019 school year after the disqualification of EVPSA-elect Mayela Morales in Spring 2018. There were two special election attempts to fill the position in Fall Quarter 2018 and Winter Quarter 2019, both of which failed to meet the minimum threshold of voters to be considered valid. 

“It’s a little rough because there’s not one point person for me to go to,” Beasley said. 

Beasley instead spoke with Emily Quach, the chief of staff for the EVPSA office this past year, and Kristin Hsu, who served as EVPSA during the 2017-2018 school year, to prep for the position. 

Beasley’s first task was hiring his chief of staff, Alya Ruiz, who served as vice president of Students Against Sexual Assault this past year and ran for a position on Senate during this year’s elections. 

Since then, he’s been focused on staffing the rest of his office, which will have 11 positions total. 

While he acknowledged that certain positions, such as the legislative liaison or the campus organizing director, would require more experience navigating the bureaucracy of A.S., Beasley said he believes other positions, and his office as a whole, would benefit from fresher perspectives. 

“I’m mainly looking for people who are just willing to make change. I’m not looking really for people who have experience in A.S., because I didn’t even have any coming in,” he said. “One of my interview questions is, ‘What is your perception of A.S., and how would you like to alter that?’”

Beasley’s priorities going forward are ensuring that summer conferences are organized in a timely manner, which especially helps with saving costs, he said. 

Once the conferences are over, he plans to start laying the groundwork for his office’s work in the fall so they can hit the ground running. 

“The thing I’m really, really wanting to focus on is supporting incarcerated people now and people who were formerly incarcerated, so I’ll be working really hard with my federal policy analyst and statewide policy analyst to see just what is the UC’s role in private prisons,” he said. 

Beasley wants to ensure that his office has its timeline sketched out early on in the year so it can get as much done as possible, noting that a yearlong term isn’t very long at all. 

In his outreach both to students and student organizations already on campus, as well as to incoming first years, Beasley plans to prioritize in-person presentations. With his previous experience in advertising the first version of the Summer Cal Grant Bill and working in the Office of Admissions, he said talking to people directly offers them the chance to ask questions and be engaged as opposed to just seeing ads on social media. 

Beasley does plan to utilize social media for his office, as well, and wants to use it to both advertise lobbying trips to students and keep them updated on work the office is doing through digestible graphics. 

“I’m just very, very excited to do this work,” he said. “People were always telling me before I got sworn in, like, ‘Oh, just make sure you do this and this little thing is important’ and this and that, and now I’m actually here, able to do it.”

“First order of business is to clean this damn office,” Beasley joked. 

[Back to top]

3. External Vice President for Local Affairs Christian Ornelas

In May, Christian Ornelas succeeded former External Vice President for Local Affairs (EVPLA) Jeike Meijer and was sworn in alongside his fellow executives. Ornelas, an incoming fourth-year environmental science major, said he plans to begin pursuing a few of his campaign platforms early into Fall Quarter 2019. 

Max Abrams / Daily Nexus

Ornelas hopes to tackle mold infestations in Isla Vista, hold open markets in I.V. and continue working on the police collaborative board, a project meant to facilitate open communication between community members and police.

The collaborative board, first launched by former EVPLA Jeike Meijer, held its preliminary meeting in May 2019. The board aims to help community members develop a relationship with law enforcement officers to address safety concerns.

As someone who frequents public markets and likes to “sell vintage or secondhand clothes,”  Ornelas said he also plans to create art-centered markets in I.V. The markets would be community spaces where residents could sell and showcase their art, beauty products and other handmade items. 

According to Ornelas, the current climate for local markets consists of “a bunch of folks who are really passionate about [art] and kind of just make a Facebook group and have to shell out their own money to sell it at these [markets].”

“I really want to create the infrastructure for a space where folks can go showcase and sell their art,” Ornelas told the Nexus. “My vision for that is kind of like a bimonthly or monthly farmer’s market type of thing funded by A.S.”

Aside from his desire to create a new local market, Ornelas’ work as an off-campus senator led him to spearhead the development of a mold committee in January, which surveyed I.V. residents to gain a better understanding of the number of residences with mold infestations. 

“For my last class survey, which garnered about 45 responses, it was really alarming to see that 43 out of 45 people are affected by [mold]. And through that, I’ve gotten a bit of insight into what landlords they have and how landlords deal with [mold],” he said.

For progress to continue into next year, Ornelas predicts he will need to bring housing code violations to the attention of local officials to ensure the proper treatment of issues regarding mold.

[Back to top]

4. Student Advocate General Andrew Nguyen

Andrew Nguyen, the sole Student Advocate General (S.A.G.) candidate in the Spring Quarter 2019 elections, was sworn into the position alongside his fellow executives during the last few weeks of Spring Quarter 2019. Now a third-year English major, Nguyen plans to improve the efficiency of the Office of the Student Advocate (OSA) by increasing public outreach and moving the office’s location. 

Max Abrams / Daily Nexus

According to Nguyen, the most efficient way for the office to improve its effectiveness is by elevating its visibility through public outreach and on social media.

“Our office is service-oriented. Our main function is to help students navigate school policy when they’re being charged with breaking it. Our service is only possible if [students] deliberately come to our office on their own and ask us for our help,” he said in an email. 

Immediate plans for the OSA include moving the physical office space from the A.S. Main building on campus to the second floor of the Pardall Center in Isla Vista, a project initiated by previous S.A.G. Grecia Martinez. 

By sharing the same floor as the Legal Resource Center (LRC) in the Pardall Center, Nguyen said students can more easily access the resources of both offices.

“Student cases often deal with both on-campus policies and off-campus laws. If the OSA is in the same space as the LRC, students can conveniently work with both of our offices, who have two different jurisdictions, without having to go from one place to another,” Nguyen said in an email.

Nguyen also plans to work with the Office of Student Life (OSL) to restart the polling analyst project left behind by the 2017-18 S.A.G. Jack Tannenbaum. The project was removed from  A.S. Legal Code by Martinez during her term because she felt it did not reflect the needs of the student body.

Despite this, Nguyen said he wants to improve upon the structure created by Tannenbaum to eventually revive the project. 

“This is a long-term project because of [its] delicate and tricky nature: we’ll have to write questions that both avoid bias and still lead to valuable data, and then recruit workers to code the poll and make it active online,” Nguyen wrote.

Maintaining online visibility will be Nguyen’s main focus for Summer and Fall Quarter 2019. He said raising awareness will allow more students to approach the OSA with their cases.

“We’re focusing on being much more organized and frequent with our social media output. More than just sheer quantity of content, our focus with our posts will be to make our office the most visible we can,” Nguyen said.

“We want to show who makes up the OSA – the people that students will trust with their case and issues. Ultimately, we want to build the image of our office to be full of relatable students that other students are familiar with and can trust.”

[Back to top]

5. Internal Vice President Alli Adam

It has been a month since Alli Adam was sworn in as A.S. Internal Vice President (IVP) for the 70th Associated Students Senate. Adam’s main goals for this upcoming year include training new senators for their responsibilities in a timely manner and maintaining a respectful environment during weekly Senate meetings, as she stated in an interview with the Nexus during her campaign in April. 

Max Abrams / Daily Nexus

“There hasn’t been much control over the Senate room this past year and that needs to absolutely change on both sides,” Adam told the Nexus

“The eye rolling, the laughing … the disrespectfulness and the feelings that are created to where certain senators feel like they’re not meant for this role … that’s not how I want any of my senators to feel.”

Adam, now a fourth-year political science major, plans to hit the ground running when Fall Quarter 2019 begins by filling the two empty Senate seats, holding training sessions for senators  and facilitating better engagement between senators and the campus at large. 

The 70th Senate held its first meeting on May 22 with only 23 senators instead of 25, as an on-campus senatorial seat and College of Creative Studies senatorial seat remained unfilled after Spring Quarter elections. 

During the beginning of her term, Adam was also responsible for the appointment of Off-Campus Senator Tianna White as first Pro-Tempore and On-Campus Senator Austin Foreman as second Pro-Tempore.

Besides the immediate goal of fulfilling the empty Senate positions, Adam said her focus will be on training senators in the beginning of the fall quarter as opposed to winter quarter, which is when Adam herself was trained when she was a senator. 

“Senators [from the 69th Senate] weren’t provided with any sort of training, whether it was on the association, microaggressions — literally any training until the middle of winter quarter… our first half of [the 69th] Senate was just whether or not you had an in with Steven [Ho, former IVP], and you could be his friend enough to get the information,” Adam said.  

“You don’t come in magically knowing anything once you’re elected. So [I want to hold] trainings early and often so that all of the senators are on a level playing field and are able to [perform to] the best of their abilities… [and] have the best resources and knowledge to create change and do the projects they want to do.”

Another goal of Adam’s over the course of her term is for senators to change the way they interact with their respective Boards, Committees and Units (BCUs). 

As IVP, Adam “serve[s] as the official overseer and reference for all interactions between the Senate Liaisons and their BCU’s,” and must “train the Senators in how to be liaisons,” according to A.S. Legal Code. 

Adam told senate liaisons during their May 29 meeting that they should strive to “individualize” their approach to BCUs by working “smarter, not harder” to address the needs of each organization individually.

[Back to top]

Print