Student Advocate General: Ethan Reul
The Daily Nexus cautiously endorses Ethan Reul for the Office of Student Advocate, Student Advocate General. Unlike his opponent, who has no prior experience with the office, Reul has worked in the office for the last six months and has attained enough experience to know what the office needs.
He also has a concrete plan ready to maintain and improve upon the current functions of the office with specific points, which makes him a better choice than his opponent. While Reul plans on keeping all the current employees of the office, something his opponent has also stated she would do, his plan for the office is more concrete. This includes a much needed modernization of the SAG website, advocacy workshops and outreach to various student organizations to create safe houses in Isla Vista, continuation of the Legal Observers program as well as efforts to increase communication with advocacy offices on other UC campuses.
While his platform primarily focuses on continuing the work begun by his predecessor, the unique situation of a resignation in the middle of the current term of the SAG presents challenges not faced by candidates that would otherwise come into the office in June. While we support his opponent’s commitment to keeping the advocacy and casework aspects of the office unified, her lack of prior experience with the office and with Associated Students places her at a disadvantage we believe makes her the less suitable choice for the office.
External Vice President of Local Affairs: Cameron Schunk
The Daily Nexus endorses Cameron Schunk for the position of External Vice President of Local Affairs. Although running unopposed, Schunk’s heavy involvement in efforts toward Isla Vista self-governance make him the perfect candidate for the position of EVPLA.
With a well-informed understanding of possible forms of self-governance, particularly in the process of making I.V. a community services district or legislative district, Schunk has already taken initiative to make I.V. a safer place by founding Students for a Safer Isla Vista, forming relationships with county officials and local legislators and by helping to lead I.V. self-governance town halls. Schunk’s plans to actively reach out to Latino families in I.V. and to address sexual assault by providing survivors safe opportunities to share their experiences with the community are goals that we feel appropriately address some of I.V.’s most pressing issues. In addition, his plans to increase EVPLA presence online, put the I.V. Community Center to use and document housing conditions in I.V. are goals we feel Schunk has the ability to deliver.
Ultimately, his passion for using the EVPLA position as an avenue to forward the movement toward self-governance for I.V. makes him best suited for the job.
A.S. Legal Resource Center
The Daily Nexus does not endorse the proposed fee increase of $9.37 per student per Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer Quarters beginning Fall 2015 and decreasing to $6.84 in Fall 2019 for the Associated Students Legal Resource Center. Much of the increased funding would go to a Sobering Center program in Isla Vista that would allow first timer offenders of alcohol-related crimes to stay in a building until they sober up, ultimately avoiding a court case or jail time. We believe that the establishment of a Sobering Center would both incentivize irresponsible behavior in regards to reducing the consequences for underage drinking as well as discriminate unfairly against non-UCSB students who are residents of I.V. and would be denied assistance by the new center. The Sobering Center seeks to essentially augment and subvert the traditional legal process for drunk in public offenses for those fortunate enough to attend UCSB, while doing nothing for the broader community.
We recognize the importance of the A.S. Legal Resource Center in assisting students with legal issues and providing legal advice and therefore would be inclined to support a fee increase if funds were being allocated directly to improve the current functions of the office and if the requested amount were not as steep as it currently stands.