Candidates for Associated Students representative positions discussed their ideas in the UCen Hub on Thursday and covered topics ranging from marijuana to school spirit.
Once elected, the legislative council members weekly debate issues related to students and the local community, in addition to serving as student representatives on several campus committees. Many of the candidates said Leg Council and the way meetings are held could be improved, and were concerned with the effectiveness of Leg Council.
“Leg Council this year has been rather ineffective. Instead of bickering about political partisan issues, we should come together and stop concentrating on personal views,” Gauchoholic member Sarah Hooper said.
“My experience with A.S. has not been positive. The bickering and outside processes turn off outsiders who want to get involved,” Student Action Coalition (SAC) member Alejandra Luna said. “I want to change that and make it so that individuals discuss issues not only for themselves but truly for the school.”
As with the other candidate forums in the past two days, many candidates stated their support for the A.S. Initiative, which would raise the base fee.
“I strongly, strongly support the A.S. Initiative,” SAC member Alexis Krieg said. “It’s so important. I don’t know how to emphasize it more.”
SAC member Joshua Gottlieb concentrated heavily on marijuana issues, from medicinal use to the harassment of police officers in response to simple possession, and supports further decriminalization of marijuana.
“Cops should spend less time on citing simple possession when there are seven to ten rapes out in I.V. each week,” he said.
When posed with a question about improving Isla Vista safety, candidates differed in their opinions about what should be done. Gauchoholic Richard Grijalva said Community Service Organization (CSO) stations in locations familiar to students would increase safety in case a student forgets the escort phone number. Gauchoholic member Constantine Economides also touched upon making access to CSO easier and additionally supported improved lighting in Isla Vista, as well as literature to educate students on ways to improve safety.
“I agree with the blue lights, but most people don’t know that 80 percent of women are raped by someone who they know,” SAC member Vanessa Lopez said. “We need to educate ourselves to identify the signs that rape is coming.”
Guachoholics member Lisa Miller said, “There are three things we can do: increase lighting in I.V., support the Women’s Center and get in contact with [Isla Vista] Foot Patrol.”
The panel of candidates answered differently when asked to discuss their own important issues. SAC member Scott Talkov said the cost of disability testing is discriminatory.
“If you don’t have money you are not disabled,” he said.
Most candidates agreed that A.S. and students need to make better contact with each other since A.S. is supposed to be the voice of the students.