Campaigning for the Spring Quarter 2019 Associated Students elections kicked off last night at 8 p.m., as executive and senatorial candidates began posting on social media and announcing their platforms.

The senatorial candidates responded to a number of questions posed by Elections Board. Leonard Paulasa / Daily Nexus

The first of the candidate forums began on Monday, as the 24 off-campus senatorial candidates — all fighting for 12 seats on the 70th Senate — spoke about their qualifications and projects they would tackle, among other issues.

Due to the large quantity of off-campus senatorial candidates, the forums were split into three different times on Monday: 11 a.m., 11:45 a.m. and 12:45 a.m., wrapping up around 1:30 p.m.

Forums will last through Thursday. The full schedule can be viewed here.

The 12 Campus United off-campus senatorial candidates include: Jennifer Vizzuett, Tianna White, Quinn Lyon, Tyler Ferguson, Vanessa West, Trenten Francis, Tyler Barth, Giselle Estessami, Theresa Aromin, Matan Laredo, Dagan Adinall and Eric Moon.

The 12 Isla Vista Party off-campus senatorial candidates include: Carlos “Andy” Ruiz, Ektaa Tendolkar, Shannon Sweeney, Makenalani “Roo” Cash, Racquel Almario, Sam Vega, Daniel Segura-Esquivel, Kevin Abarca, Mina York, Anthony Agama, Leela Ray and Kimia Hadidi.

Shannon Sweeney, Makenalani “Roo” Cash, Sam Vega, Mina York, Leela Ray, Matan Laerdo and Anthony Agama did not show up to the forums.

Questions posed by Elections Board included:

  1. What priorities should A.S. focus on?
  2. What special projects would you like to work on?
  3. Over 2,200 students participate in Greek life. Do you support A.S. giving money to Greek life and Greek life events?
  4. What will you bring to the Senate that is unique to you, that is not shared with anyone else on stage?
  5. How would you deal with mold in I.V.?
  6. How will you be able to fulfill all the duties of the office with the large time commitment?
  7. How can you improve communication between the student body and elected senators?
  8. What would your first line of action be if elected?
  9. How would you increase voter turnout?
  10. How will you address the parking shortage in I.V.?
  11. How will you deal with the divisiveness of party politics?
  12. On April 1, flyers with anti-Semitic language were found on parked cars in I.V. as well as on some mailboxes. A.S. condemned anti-Semitisim in response to this; as an off-campus senator, how would you combat anti-Semitism and ensure that people from all backgrounds are heard, valued and respected?
  13. How do you plan to fight the rise in student fees and the rising cost of education?

Responses to the issues presented by the questions, as well as candidates’ overarching goals, are summarized below:

Forum #1, 11 a.m.: Quinn Lyon, Racquel Almario, Tyler Barth, Eric Moon and Dagan Adinall

  • Lyon, a second-year pre-biology major, said he would build off his experience within the current A.S. Office of the President as the sustainability coordinator to “create environmental changes on campus.” He added that the Senate should be a “pioneer” in the fight against climate change.
  • Almario, a third-year mathematical sciences major, said A.S. should be working more with marginalized communities on campus. She said she wants to establish a permanent location for the book bank and to increase the program’s budget in order to increase the number of books available for students.
  • Barth, a first-year political science major, said he believes A.S. should focus on being more accessible to the general student body and making sure that the student body is fully aware of the happenings within the Senate. He added that he wants to establish a department within the Department of Religious Studies that would focus on raising awareness of religious organizations on campus.
  • Moon, a second-year history of public policy major, is currently an on-campus senator with the 69th Senate. He said he wants to focus on bridging the gap between the students and the resources available to them and hopes to create a textbook grant program, modeled after the one created at UCLA.
  • Adinall, a third-year hydrologic science major, showed up late to his forum. He said he would like to tackle the “transparency issue” within A.S., stating that “elected officials need to do a better job at conveying what we get done in office.” He also wants to expand the blue light program on campus.

Forum #2, 11:50 a.m.: Tianna White, Daniel Segura-Esquivel, Carlos “Andy” Ruiz, Kevin Abarca, Giselle Etessami

  • White, a second-year pre-political science major, said she wants to establish a regularly scheduled Naloxone training program, similar to the one held by the External Vice President for Local Affairs in early April, adding that she wants to teach students how to “safely utilize it to help save lives.”
  • Segura-Esquivel, a second-year sociology and communication double major, said he wants to improve Wi-Fi on campus and open up more bike rack spaces. He added that he hopes to make sure that everyone feels comfortable on campus.
  • Ruiz, a second-year sociology major, said he wants to focus on transparency and work toward creating an open line of communication with Greek life.
  • Abarca, a second-year linguistics major, said he would like to get more tabling done and send more information about A.S. out to students, particularly in the Chi-5 area.
  • Etessami, a second-year psych and brain sciences major, said she would like to promote environmentalism, primarily in regard to recycling and composting education. She said she has a “vision of peace and harmony and sustainability” for the I.V. and UCSB communities.

Forum #3, 12:45 p.m.: Tyler Ferguson, Kimia Hadidi, Trenten Francis, Jennifer Vizzuett, Theresa Aromin, Vanessa West and Ektaa Tendolkar.

  • Ferguson, a first-year pre-political science major, wants to expand the food stamp program on campus so that more on-campus stores accept EBT.
  • Hadidi, a third-year political science major, wants to extend the A.S. loan to a three to four-month payback period to “help students with summer housing insecurity.”
  • Francis, a third-year political science major, said he wants to increase the relations between I.V. tenants and their landlords by creating a “better platform for communication” alongside a review-your-landlord and review-your-tenant system.
  • Vizzuett, a third-year econ and accounting major, said she wants to expand the blue light system in I.V. alongside CU’s presidential candidate, Alison Sir. She also wants to collaborate with academic counseling to make G.O.L.D. more accessible to students and easier for users.
  • Aromin, a second-year political science and environmental studies double major, wants to transform the meal swipe program so the meal swipes can be transferred to the next week or transferred to other students. She also wants to implement a free key-copying program in I.V.
  • West, a third-year communication major, said she wants to increase the number of bike racks on campus. She also wants to increase food options at restaurants in I.V. for people with dietary restrictions.
  • Tendolkar, a third-year political science major, wants to increase mental health resources on campus so the wait times at Counseling and Psychological Services are shorter.

Profiles of all 50 A.S. candidates can be viewed here. Voting on G.O.L.D. opens on April 22 at 8 a.m. and will conclude on April 25 at 4 p.m.


Evelyn Spence
Evelyn Spence harbors a great love for em dashes and runs on nothing but iced coffee, Jolly Ranchers and breaking news. She serves as the managing editor and can be reached at, or at @evelynrosesc on Twitter.