Let’s face it folks, the economy has been suffering for months, and all indications of the future portend much of the same. The Big Three automakers are dying at a continually hastened pace, the banks themselves are bankrupt and small communities across the United States have resorted to printing their own money to prevent the encroachment of ghost town-creating big box retailers. The immediate effects of a poorly producing economy on everybody’s wallets have become increasingly painful but have hit students harder than most. Already cash-strapped, we students are now forced to endure the struggles of a UC system that has proven to be glaringly fiscally irresponsible during our current recession. With ever-rising tuition and living expenses, as well as an emphasis on shuttling students through the degree process as quickly as possible, the UCSB students are getting robbed in their pursuit of an education.

With this in mind, I’m announcing, as head of the Cream Cheese Party, my candidacy for SOME A.S. POSITION.

Cream cheese has long been known as the workingman’s cheese and, although I’m the leader of the Cream Cheese Party, I am also a working man for the working people. I’m sure many of you out there envision me as a blabbering drunk, frequently wearing last night’s puke-stained clothes while I sneak cocktails into class. In the interest of accountability, I’ll admit that perception has been, on rare occasions, true. However, my personal life aside, I spend most of my time here at the Daily Nexus, working hard to put out a paper for all of you every day. Working on a salary heavily affected by the current downward trend in the print industry, I often struggle to make $5 an hour during the week, but I don’t mind, for I feel that the Nexus is more than worthwhile for the student populace and the UCSB community at large.

What I do mind is the blatant wasting of student funds perpetuated by Associated Students. A.S. has a budget of over $9 million, much of which goes to good use. But, for example, let’s look at the A.S. Executive Board: Along with their deserved stipends, the five members of the Executive Board all receive full tuition, funded completely by other students. Now, I’m struggling to pay for my own classes and books, as I’m sure many of you also are. Are these members of the Executive Board, who would rather not discuss their perks, so much more important to the workings of the campus, so exalted over the rest of all us lowly students, that we must take on the further load of paying for their schooling as well?

Thus we arrive to the crux of the Cream Cheese Party’s platform. I pledge, upon election, to immediately set into motion the dismantling of Associated Students. We no longer have the luxury of trying to take a scalpel to our budget and slowly whittle it down. We need to hack ourselves out of the jungle of fiscal irresponsibility as swiftly and aggressively as possible, and I will lead the expedition.

Now, I’m sure my critics will oppose me and the revolutionary might of the Cream Cheese, defending the services that Associated Students provides. As I have already mentioned, I agree that those services are valuable. The Program Board puts on pretty good shows from time to time, the Finance Board distributes funds to deserving campus organizations and, well, I’m sure A.S. does plenty of other important things to support our campus way of life. I, along with the rest of the Cream Cheesers, do not want to eliminate student services, but I find it ludicrous to think that we must rely on Associated Students – and their eight-hour meetings that end in petty squabbling – for these programs to survive. That kind of productivity is what put the country in our current mess in the first place.

I come to you asking for your vote in order to support the singular goal of the Cream Cheese Party: shifting the balance of power back to the UCSB community and away from a shadowy, overpaid group that is often elected without competition and is hopelessly ineffective in making important decisions. By eliminating Associated Students, we eliminate the asphyxiating control A.S. has had over campus funding and organizations, allowing for a previously unknown freedom to help rebuild our once-vibrant campus community.

I know wholeheartedly that the pressures of life prevent all of us from being Mother Teresa every day, but us Cream Cheesers do believe that we can collectively pull all ourselves up. All we must do is free ourselves from the bonds of Associated Students. With your support, I will swiftly do that. Please give me your vote come election day.