During every election cycle at UCSB, students are inundated with an immense amount of information. While standing in support of healthy dialogue as a learning process, we as the 2012-13 A.S. Executive Officers have decided to submit comment with respect to A.S. matters in pursuit of providing correct information to students.
What follows includes responses to assertions made regarding the capacities of A.S. process and personnel, our shared concerns that we have been obligated to address together this year and, for the first time in A.S. history, a collective endorsement across party lines of the presidential candidate we believe most qualified to continue addressing such concerns, all of which we feel compelled to vocalize amongst a sea of rhetoric.
In terms of student fees and all other money students put into the university, fees paid quarterly to Associated Students are not part of the academic tuition you pay each quarter. A.S. fees are directed to A.S. and include services across a wide spectrum, while tuition is directed to the University of California. Therefore, a reduction in “student fees” (fees that go to A.S.) does not constitute a reduction in tuition. In fact, a reduction in student fees limits the availability of services. The only time fees can be reclaimed is when an individual deems that a specific A.S.-sponsored activity has contradicted the individual’s ideological/political/religious beliefs, and the individual completes the paperwork necessary to reclaim the fees he or she contributed to that specific activity, per Smith v. Regents. The amount of return an individual may receive rarely exceeds six cents historically and is usually designated based on specific events. The notion of returning “unused” student fees to individual students at the close of the academic year is not a viable possibility. We want to make clear that referenda dollars voted on by the students is a rare moment when students actually have a say in where their fees are going, especially compared to the University’s past negligence in terms of making your tuition distribution transparent.
The accusation of “corruption” within the Executive Board was related to the tuition assistance that A.S. executives receive, which this Executive Board, for the first time ever, advocated to cut such honoraria — making it the only board to do so and puts action behind words. Such accusation, we believe, is damaging and based on misinformation that does more harm than good to students. Tuition assistance for A.S. execs is meant to retain the A.S. values of accessibility and inclusivity by preserving the opportunity to serve in exec positions to be available to all students regardless of socioeconomic backgrounds. As the result of economic realities and the time-intensive nature (40+ hours per week) of executive positions, some students would not have the ability or time to balance a part-time job and hold an exec position were it not for tuition assistance. In addition, many students are not able to serve as elected officers not because they are not qualified but because they do not have the economic privilege to do so, especially in light of increasingly burdensome tuition.
To ensure accountability, A.S. already has checks and control points in place for addressing and adjudicating internal matters of corruption or frivolous spending. These mechanisms take the form of Judicial Council, Senate ratification and advice available from A.S. staff, just to name a few.
Lastly, we would like to take corrective action with respect to an incident that occurred this year involving the misuse of Associated Students resources for personal and academic purpose. Toward the end of November, a student that was not elected or appointed impermissibly used the A.S. name in an effort to collect data for a class project. This effort constitutes false pretenses, fabrication of an A.S. committee and the subsequent deception of the entire undergraduate and graduate student population at UCSB. In response to this incident, and in an attempt to ensure this type of abuse never occurs again, the A.S. Executive Officers chose to endorse the only candidate for A.S. President that, in our collective opinion, demonstrates the integrity and trustworthiness that is vital to fulfilling the mission of Associated Students: Megan Foronda. However, this decision ultimately rests with the student body.
Foronda has proved her thorough knowledge of the internal processes of A.S. and has extensive experience uniting, rather than dividing, students. She understands the power of student voices and listens to their concerns, breaking away from the exclusive nature that A.S. seems to take when individuals focus on themselves and pursue their own agenda. Megan has always supported a wide variety of students, whether that be through allocating resources toward a diverse array of events or being the only presidential candidate that has substantially planned and organized large-scale events and spaces in which students can critically discuss relevant issues at the university, especially those that critique Associated Students. She has also been involved in effectively teaching students about the California budget crisis in relation to the privatization of higher education which, in a climate of constant attack on affordability of tuition, is ever-important.
As the elected representatives, we think it is necessary to bring a healthy dose of constructive criticism, desperately needed for a governing body often marred by party politics and rhetoric that clutters the Association with negativity, hostility and discomfort. We, as individuals from all parties and nonpartisan backgrounds, felt it necessary to convey facts to the student body amidst quite a bit of misinformation out there.
Associated Students is more than elections, and elected representatives are only a portion of what A.S. has to offer. The President, as the Chief Executive Officer of Associated Students, is your official representative on campus, systemwide, local, state and federal matters, which only increases the need for a president with a solid plan and a demonstrated ability to effectively and responsibly use resources. In short, Megan Foronda is the only presidential candidate that resembles this type of leader and the goals, aspirations and integrity Associated Students needs.
It is our sincerest hope that you continue to remain critical of your elected student officials and engage in healthy, open and honest dialogue regarding issues that pertain to you. Whomever you vote for, we hope you vote and question information being presented to you. We thank you for your thoughtful consideration in reading this message and wish you a truly enjoyable Spring Quarter.
The Executive Officers have all decided to endorse individually, and our titles are used for identification purposes only.
Wow this is the same bullshit TBL published. If anyone was actually involved with the situation, as was I, they would know that the execs banded together to get him removed not because he did anything wrong (which he did not, and was found innocent by judicial affairs because of it) but because none of them personally liked him and wanted to remove him for their own messed up personal reasons.
SAME BULLSHIT again! wow 1)Should Yoel even be endorsing a candidate? I thought he was supposed to stay non-partisan? WTH?? 2)They wrote this article to publicize this personal hatred towards him, to discredit him to the public for their own selfish reasons that they don’t want Jonathan elected as AS president. 3) As for this endorsement, I am ASHAMED to be “represented” by these Execs. As representatives of the whole student body, they SHOULD NOT be endorsing anyone, because they are going against their mantra to “represent everyone.” I do not agree with their endorsement, and therefore they are not… Read more »
This article is nothing BUT HATE AND ANGER on our campus. Thanks AS EXECUTIVES.
Megan is sweet BUT she should not have jumped on their wagon and SHE SHOULD NOT HAVE been involved in this nonsense at all. IF SHE WAS TRULY running to represent all STUDENTS and IF SHE REALLY BELIEVED IN HER PLANS, she did not need them., she should have told the EXECUTIVES to back-off and just do her thing.
This is NOT how you get people ELECTED.
SHAME ON YOU
I stand with Abboud. I have enormous respect for the work of all five writers of this letter in addition to Megan Foronda. I have worked closely with all and consider all to be strong leaders who have given much to this university. As RHA President, an AS Senator and a student leader, Jonathan Abboud has given a great deal of time and service to this University. He has a long list of accomplishments including helping thousands of Residents register to vote in advance of last year’s election, and hosting many many quality events for Residents. Unfortunately in politics and… Read more »
These are facts.
Across party lines, executives voice their opinion on who would best take their place. They’ve had the experience and they understand what is needed from a student body president and they picked someone who cares more about students than political gain.
Sorry for the real talk.
hahaha Seth Rogen? afraid to say your own name Sophia? no one says real talk accept you. Rahndy and Nadim are just mindless individuals and just hop on Mayra’s and Sophia’s bandwagon. Mayra? Her childhood problems, anger issues, power struggle makes her HATE anyone who does BETTER than her. Sophia? She is an ANGRY woman, not normal at all. What’s her Major again? oh Should Yoel even be endorsing a candidate? I thought he was supposed to stay non-partisan? WOW NO WAY Foronda? Well, I thought she was Okay up until this article came out, she ruined it for herself.… Read more »
you are sadly uneducated about other people’s majors.
After having conversations with John he did not have the interests of the entire student body in mind. His ideals surrounded around vague interests that did not improve campus climate. The OPP slate caters to the Greek system and those subscribing to White privilege. Whites are less than 60% of the school, why should they be 90% of AS senate? That being said, when John gets off his high horse and actively realizes the needs of all students, white and minorities alike, and maybe becomes strong and authoritative (as a president should be), then and only then should he get… Read more »
Cassius Alexander, you really think inside the box don’t you? why didn’t you run?
No one asked you to vote for ABBOUD IT. Vote for whoever you think will be best.
I vote for whomever gets endorsed by The Daily Nexus ONLY.
Abboud got my VOTE. Too late for this pathetic article.
The execs are a joke, not sure why their approval is so worthy. Their actions may have gotten work done this year, yet their ability to endorse the more deserving candidate able to enact change and betterment for students OVERALL is lacking.
I agree they are a joke. They are suppose to promote peace and keep this election classy.
So sad to see this happening.
OPP all the way!
YA YOU RIGHT!