Roughly 50 students gathered in the UCen’s Hub yesterday to attend a debate between candidates vying for the executive positions of External Vice President of Local Affairs and Internal Vice President in the upcoming Associated Students elections.
IVP hopefuls Mayra Segovia, candidate for the Open People’s Party, and Democratic Progress Party candidate Guadalupe Ibarra debated community safety while EVPLA candidates Rhandy Siordia (OPP) and Bethlehem Aynalem (DP) discussed topics including assisting homeless and developing an efficient parking permit system for events like Halloween and Deltopia. The EVPLA Office handles affairs between the campus and its surrounding communities and the IVP oversees the Legislative Council and manages the organization’s bylaws.
Voter registration for Spring Elections ends April 20 and voting will run from April 23 to 26.
Siordia said his participation in various community efforts and work alongside Isla Vista Foot Patrol officers qualifies him for the position.
Although Siordia said he would set attainable and practical goals if elected, Aynalem said she would strive to widen the office’s range of responsibilities.
“What it takes is leadership, organizational skill and work ethic in order to take this office from what it is and broaden its role in the Isla Vista community,” Aynalem said.
Candidates proposed various solutions to crowding and safety issues during events such as Halloween to provide students with a safer experience.
Aynalem suggested designating “21 years old and over” areas where students can legally consume alcoholic beverages while Siordia recommended continuing to hold existing Halloween safe spots where students can unwind with food and beverages.
The candidates also discussed the Isla Vista Master Plan — developed between 2000 and 2007 by UCSB, the Isla Vista Project Area Committee/General Plan Advisory Committee and the Isla Vista Recreation and Parks District — that maps out renovations to the downtown Isla Vista stores and restaurants and housing upgrades for all income levels.
Although Anynalem agreed with the plan’s long-term goals, Siordia opposed redevelopment strategies for larger, modernized buildings and advocated for a “small-town feeling” to maintain the region’s unique character.
Internal Vice President candidates Ibarra and Segovia focused on improving efficiency within A.S., particularly Legislative Council’s routine duties and weekly meetings.
Alvaro said A.S. is currently not accessible to the entire student body.
“I’ve had people express that the senate this year isn’t as welcoming,” Alvaro said. “I want people to feel able to approach me and bring up any issues. The association is a place for everyone and they should feel welcome.”
Segovia said she agreed with Alvaro’s goals and emphasized stricter A.S. meetings and budgeting regulations, specifically within Leg Council.
“I want to stress working outside of meetings so that Wednesday meetings aren’t as long,” Segovia said.