My name is Cervin “Curve” Morris, and I am running for the president of Associated Students with the Students’ Party. I am currently a representative on the A.S. Legislative Council. When I ran with the Student Action Coalition last year, I did believe in its ideals and party politics, but over the past year I became less interested in the party because of the things that I witnessed during its participation within Associated Students.
As a freshman, one thing that really caught my attention on the S.A.C. mission statement was its intent to represent all students. Sadly, none of this was properly executed and its failure to represent it’s constituents to the best of its abilities is why we decided to form the Students’ Party.
Starting off with Associated Students as an organization, there are more than 20 boards and committees that students can become involved in without going through the process of elections. Just this past year we had a large number of students who applied for these positions and were never contacted in response. This greatly distresses me.
It is the job of the Associated Students to reach out to all students and let them know how they can become involved. Not contacting qualified applicants severely impedes the process of reaching out to our constituents and further perpetuates the distrust that students may have for their current representatives.
So now you may still be thinking: “Why Students’ Party?” No longer will students have to wait until Spring Quarter to hear about their student government because the Students’ Party will come to you. If elected, the members of the Students’ Party plan to hold themselves accountable to constituents like no other party has done before. This includes holding open office hours in places such as the Arbor and the UCen, where students will not only be able to find out about their student government and what we are doing, but will also find that we are open to suggestions. We plan to make Associated Students more fiscally transparent by actually publishing the budget online so that our record of expenditures can be open to all students.
A few issues that the Students’ Party is taking on include parking, textbook prices, outreach and the environment. We are opposed to the current parking plan that proposes to charge students $195 a year to park their cars on the streets of Isla Vista. Unfortunately, at this Wednesday night’s Isla Vista Project Area Committee and General Plan Advisory Committee (PAC/GPAC) meeting, our external vice president of local affairs and a current member of S.A.C. spoke in favor of this plan. Even though I, and nearly every student at the meeting, stood against the proposal, the plan was still adopted by the PAC/GPAC to be voted on by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors in early May. For all of you concerned students out there, don’t worry, because the Students’ Party is not done fighting this parking plan.
On the issues of textbooks, we are currently working with CalPIRG to support its efforts in fighting these artificially inflated textbook prices that are currently kept high by the constant publication of new editions and unnecessarily packaged items.
The Students’ Party will continue to lobby against university outreach cuts while we incorporate new methods to generate funding for outreach. The Executive Committee on Outreach will be formed to assist our Associated Students grant writer in researching and writing grants for outreach.
We are definitely pro-environment and I will be the first to say that we do not plan to take any credit away from the hard-working environmental groups that are already addressing important issues. Concerns such as the protection of our coastline and LEED building certification will be of utmost importance when the Students’ Party takes office.
With all that said, think outside the fist: Vote Students’ Party and vote Cervin Morris for president.
Cervin Morris is a sophomore English major.