Why am I running for president? I’m running because I want to improve Associated Students. I will continue to improve the budget situation so that A.S. can function to its full potential. I will continue to improve the image of A.S. so that more students will become interested and involved in their government. I will continue to show students that the only qualification needed to participate is that they be a concerned student who would like to learn and work in the best interest of their colleagues. I want to be the first black woman president at UCSB and show my constituents that I can do just as good of a job as any of my opponents. My name is Chaz Whatley, and I want to be your president.

You want a game plan?

Well, sit down, son, and let me tell you how I plan to win this game.

My qualifications: I ran with Students’ Party in last year’s election and won. I currently serve as an off-campus representative on Legislative Council. In my year of involvement with Associated Students I have authored or seconded numerous pieces of legislation — from a resolution supporting the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation to one endorsing Measure D. I am not complacent on the council, nor do I begin attending my committee meetings around Spring Quarter just to say in my forum that I did so. I have gone above and beyond the call of duty. I single-handedly planned and organized the first Get Out the Vote Concert, an event that contributed to UCSB keeping its position as the UC with the most students registered to vote. I was instrumental in the planning and execution of the first ever A.S. Congress with the Flacks Intern, which allowed students to voice their concerns about issues that they wanted to see A.S. working on.

I have worked with our executive director and our internal vice president candidate, Adam Graff, to start an ad hoc committee that will go through the financial report, simplify it and publish it online for all of UCSB to see. I currently sit on Student Lobby, Program Board and Constitution and By-Laws Committee. I am the community outreach coordinator for the Isla Vista Tenants Union and though I am not required to do so, I attend Finance Board meetings to familiarize myself with the budget process. I am knowledgeable of the Associated Students organization and its complexities. I am well-versed in many aspects of the organization and I am learning more and more each day.

The problem: Associated Students’ image has been dragged through the mud, puked on, stepped on and then peed on a couple hundred times. Students are suspicious of our motives and our priorities. The trust and the interest in student government need to be revived. How do I plan to do this? I will nurse Associated Students back to health. In order to increase interest in A.S. we must actively recruit in departments on campus and advertise appointed positions that pertain to their interests. Accessibility is the key to the future of any successful organization.

My plan: The financial report will be published online by the end of Spring Quarter. This will instill trust back into A.S. by having a digital record of all our expenditures available to all students. I plan to put a dent in the A.S. budget crisis by providing alternative sources of funding for Associated Students. I will continue working on A.S. Reader Corps, which encourages all departments on campus to use A.S. publications instead of the more expensive, environmentally unfriendly I.V. alternatives. I plan to revive the grant-writing program within the organization so that A.S. can gain large amounts of funding at once. Accountability shall set us free.

I plan to make our organization a sustainable one by carrying out the ideas I set forth in previous paragraphs. It’s almost harvesting season, and I want to make A.S. ripe for the pickin’.

With that said, I will do my warm-up stretches, a couple of jumping jacks, suit up, pop a couple sticks of chewing gum into my mouth, sit on the bench and wait for my chance to bat.

Chaz Whatley is a candidate for Associated Students president and a junior sociology major and sport management minor.