Candidates for two Associated Students executive offices took the stage yesterday to discuss their campaign platforms.
The forum, held at the UCen Hub, consisted of a question and answer session between the candidates. The two internal vice president contenders, Jake Elwood (Open People’s Party) and Marjan “Marge” Riazi (Bettering Our School System), spoke first, while the students vying for the external vice president of local affairs position, Corilyn “Cori” Lantz (OPP) and Ahmed Naguib (B.O.S.S.), launched into a discussion immediately after.
Elwood said his leadership experience would prove valuable if he was elected as IVP, the position in charge of running Legislative Council meetings.
“I have been extremely present in A.S.,” Elwood said. “It has provided me with some very valuable experience and knowledge that this position needs.”
However, Riazi – whose campaign goal is to promote environmental sustainability on campus and improve conditions for skateboarders — said she sees her limited experience with A.S. as an asset, not a disadvantage.
“Someone may have plenty of experience in A.S., but that’s an A.S. that hasn’t been working.” Riazi said.
Both candidates said they agreed that a more transparent system is fundamental to increasing student involvement. Elwood said students need to take a more proactive approach, while Riazi said the problem is with A.S.
“I think that the fault in the inapproachability lies in A.S. itself,” Riazi said. “It’s up to the elected leaders to actually go out and meet students.”
A significant portion of debate between the EVPLA candidates focused on issues of tenant rights and community cohesiveness.
Naguib addressed the ramifications of events like Floatopia and Halloween, as well as the student body’s desire to continue these types of traditions.
“Students want to save Floatopia and save Halloween, so why not plan it out for them?” Naguib said. “These need to be approached in advance so that the county can see that the students are doing their job.”
Lantz also said that these events need to be reengineered.
“We really need to look at the effect that events like this have on our community,” Lantz said. “We need to find a balance of having fun with respecting our environment by having events that are responsible, sustainable and legal.”
When asked about the main issue facing Isla Vista, Lentz cited the price of rental properties.
“I think A.S. could work on undercutting the market by purchasing property in I.V. and could then work with students to afford cheaper property by paying the prices that these houses are actually worth,” Lentz said.
Although he agreed with Lentz, Naguib said there is a larger problem at hand.
“The issues stem from the fact that there is no oversight,” Naguib said.