Three UC Santa Barbara students have entered the run for the vacant seat on the Isla Vista Community Services District.
The seat has been vacant since the resignation of Isla Vista Community Services District (I.V. CSD) Director Natalie Jordan. Jordan, who officially left in January 2019, previously told the Nexus that she felt it was time for “someone else to step into that position.”
Jordan had served her original two-year term, but the terms of office had changed for her seat due to technicalities in election code.
The individual who will fill Jordan’s empty seat will hold the position until December 2020.
The I.V. CSD will interview all of the candidates and vote on who to select during Tuesday night’s meeting, which will begin at 4:30 p.m. The board previously extended the deadline to apply before the application period closed on Feb. 19.
Previously, four candidates had applied; however, Goleta-based psychologist Jeremy Roark withdrew from the race on Monday, citing the “importance of student representation” for the board.
The agenda for Tuesday’s meeting can be viewed here.
Overviews of the candidates’ qualifications and experience can be viewed below:
Fourth-year economics and statistical science double major Jeremy Levine:
Levine described Isla Vista as “a little slice of paradise.”
“It’s in a lot of ways a melting pot of different people and personalities getting to just pursue learning and living and having a good time,” Levine told the Nexus. “So why the CSD? I would like to represent these people, and I would like to make this place which I view as a little slice of paradise even closer to the ideal of what it could be.”
Levine cited his financial experience both as an editor for The Bottom Line and as an intern for the Economic Forecast Project when asked what he believed he could bring to the board.
“I think what makes me unique is my approach to solving issues here. It is a very solutions-driven approach. It is a process-driven approach,” he said.
If chosen for the board, Levine would focus on gathering information from the community about their needs and then would want to use that data to plan the board’s priorities for the year.
Levine also said he has a special interest in prioritizing environmental awareness and environmental justice in I.V., emphasizing his background as co-chair of the Environmental Awareness Board and his environmentally-friendly work in I.V. since he first arrived at UCSB.
When asked about the board’s diversity, Levine admitted that he doesn’t quite “bring any diversity to the table,” noting that the board is currently all male and primarily white, and that the two other candidates might have more to offer in terms of their lived experiences.
However, Levine believes that he could bridge that gap by prioritizing accessibility and outreach as a member of the board, and he hopes to ensure that the board elected by the end of his term in December 2020 will “look dramatically different from the current board” in diversity, socioeconomic background and role in I.V.
Although Levine will graduate from UCSB in Spring 2019 with a double major in economics and statistical science, he plans to remain in I.V. to work at the California Center for Public Policy in Santa Barbara and, if elected, for the I.V. CSD.
Second-year pre-sociology major Kristie Nguyen:
In her resume, Nguyen describes herself as an “Isla Vista resident with a passion for politics and the community.”
“Isla Vista has become my home away from home, a community that I have grown a deep connection with,” she said in her cover letter, speaking of how she wants to represent both the students and the permanent I.V. residents.
“My goal is to make sure that every student and resident that is asked about their residency in Isla Vista is smiling because of their genuine care and love for it.”
She has experience working in public relations for two UCSB organizations: Campus Democrats and Alpha Delta Pi sorority. She is currently Campus Democrats’ publicity director and is on the public relations committee in the Alpha Delta Pi sorority.
She has also worked as an intern for Santa Barbara Mayor Cathy Murillo, for Congressman Salud Carbajal and for Assembly Member Monique Limon.
Nguyen has prior involvement with the I.V. CSD’s Measure R campaign, where she worked as the publicity coordinator.
In her cover letter, she pointed out that she would be the “the first and only woman of color on the board” – referring to the board’s currently all-male and majority white status – and that she would “offer diverse and beneficial input on the development of community, student representation, and women’s rights.”
Her specific goals include:
- increasing the number of CSOs on the 67 and 68 blocks of I.V., and have them “actively patrolling” areas that contain “active parties,” such as Del Playa Drive and fraternity neighborhoods;
- encouraging CSOs to be “more proactive” by asking residents if they need help rather than waiting for calls;
installing additional lighting in I.V., particularly on the further blocks;
- limiting I.V. parking to I.V. residents;
- promoting housing affordability;
- improving the I.V. CSD’s reputation by promoting the district’s social media platforms;
- and “ensuring that women are a prioritized topic of discussion and that the local government stands with victims.”
Installing additional lighting is already a project being tackled by the I.V. CSD in partnership with UCSB’s External Vice President for Local Affairs (EVPLA) office and the Associated Students Lobby Corps.
Nguyen did not specify in her cover letter how she would limit parking to I.V. residents or promote housing affordability, nor where the funding would come from for additional CSOs.
She plans to graduate from UCSB with the class of 2021 with a sociology major and a minor in Asian American studies.
Nguyen did not respond to requests for comment.
Third-year sociology and Chinese double major Lindsay Sherman:
In her cover letter, Sherman cited her communication skills as a reason she would be fit for the board.
“I am passionate about serving my community and enhancing the quality of life for its members when and where I can,” Sherman says in her cover letter. “I believe my experience, knowledge, and interpersonal abilities would make me a perfect fit for this position.”
Sherman did not outline a specific list of goals that she would tackle if elected.
She currently works as a teaching assistant at the UCSB Orfalea Family Children’s Center, stating in her cover letter that she “work[s] with several teachers, administrators, and coworkers every day in order to enrich the lives and experiences of the attending children and their families as much as possible.”
Sherman has also volunteered as a middle school international teacher for the Green Lion Bali Foundation in Bali, Indonesia, as well as two educational programs in Santa Barbara: the SciTrek Elementary School Teaching Program and the Volunteer Elementary School Teaching Assistant. Additionally, she was a certified volunteer at the American Red Cross from 2012 to 2016.
She speaks three languages – English, conversational Mandarin and elementary-level Spanish – as stated in her resume.
She plans to graduate from UCSB with the class of 2020, with a sociology major and a minor in education.
Sherman did not respond to requests for comment.
Updated [11:34 a.m.]
Evelyn Spence and Sanya Kamidi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.