The Nexus has compiled profiles of our current Associated Students elected officials to reflect on their past year in office. As they look back on their campaign platforms, we asked our elected officials to tell us about their successes and shortfalls throughout their terms in office. The term in reviews for the other executives — President, EVPSA, IVP and S.A.G. — can be viewed at dailynexus.com.
Editor’s Note: Interim EVPLA Billy Wu was unavailable for comment.
The 2022-23 External Vice President for Local Affairs Hailey Stankiewicz led her office to expand basic needs initiatives, advocate for community-based safety measures and offer various programming for UC Santa Barbara students and the Isla Vista community.
Stankiewicz, a fourth-year political science and sociology double major, reflected on her leadership and work ethic, saying that she worked tirelessly within the EVPLA Office even after she stepped into her interim role as Internal Vice President amidst unprecedented Associated Students (A.S.) dysfunction.
“Spreading myself too thin is something that was a little bit of a challenge because I had to be the interim Internal Vice President, but with that I am so passionate about the EVPLA office that I didn’t let it go,” Stankiewicz said. “I had to balance all of those projects [while also] working through this unprecedented circumstance and everything that was happening fall quarter.”
International Senator and EVPLA Office External Affairs Chair Billy Wu served as interim EVPLA from the start of winter quarter until the Feb. 15 swearing in of Sydney Kupsh as IVP. While fulfilling the duties of interim IVP, Stankiewicz said she continued to meet with EVPLA staff on a weekly basis, “doing double the executive work winter quarter.”
Stankiewicz accomplished nearly all of her platform points, especially around activism for reducing police presence in I.V.
“Through being in Senate, I really saw the need for that grassroots organizing for basic needs, but also at the same time, I saw a lot of need for increased awareness for community safety initiatives, so those were a lot of the platforms that I ran on,” Stankiewicz said.
The only campaign objective she did not complete related to the distribution of date-rape drug-testing kits, a project Stankiewicz de-prioritized in favor of providing free overdose prevention kits. Following discussions with community stakeholders, she felt that providing free date-rape drug testing kits for at-home use could ultimately do more harm to survivors within the criminal justice system, if the testing kits were inadmissible in court.
“It can be a liability for students who feel like they had been roofied. They want to use this roofieing test kit in their homes, but it won’t stand up in a court of law, and then that could potentially put them in harm,” Stankiewicz said. “I would never want to do that for a student or community member.”
The External Vice President for Local Affairs (EVPLA) Office hosted several community events and workshops throughout the year, including a “Haunt the Loop” trick-or-treat event in collaboration with I.V. Recreation & Park District and a Voter Information Fair ahead of the November midterm election.
The office also planned two upcoming events: an “I.V. Night Market” for local vendors and small business owners slated for May 18 and a “Healthcare Resources” event on May 22 with panelists from UCSB Student Health and Alcohol & Drug Program.
“Because this is really the first year fully out of COVID, I really wanted to expand community events,” Stankiewicz said.
In making this a priority, she expanded the event coordinator position under her office from one to two honoraria-receiving staffers.
She aimed to combat food insecurity through several initiatives held in Fall Quarter 2022. The EVPLA Office held a “Know Your Resources – Food Security Campaign” event with an A.S. Food Bank pop-up, I.V. Food Co-op snacks, coupons and gift cards and tables where eligible students could enroll in CalFresh.
Stankiewicz helped oversee the organizing of a holiday canned food drive and the issuing of 50 $10 meal vouchers for the week of Thanksgiving, with priority given to international and out-of-state students.
Other efforts undertaken by the office related to tenants’s rights, affordable health care and sustainability.
Under her platform, Stankiewicz campaigned to “protect tenants rights by documenting rent increases” to better advocate for rent control. She cited a lack of transparency from property management companies and landlords in I.V. as an obstacle that prevented her from realizing this goal.
To compensate, the office offered a “Read Your Lease” workshop in April 2023, where they also handed out mold-prevention kits.
Throughout her term, Stankiewicz strongly advocated to reduce police presence in Isla Vista and encouraged significant shifts away from law enforcement by overseeing the creation of community-based programs and resources.
As the only student representative on the UCSB Police Accountability Board, Stankiewicz voiced student concerns and fought to secure better student representation on the board. Her request to add a board seat for the Student Advocate General was denied, but she was granted a board alternate, the EVPLA Office police liaison, in the event of her absence.
“I’m such a strong proponent of the fact that strong communities make the need for policing obsolete, and I’ve made this very clear to both UCPD and Isla Vista Foot Patrol throughout my meetings with them,” Stankiewicz said.
“Some students and community members believe that policing is a valuable resource for the community and makes them feel safer,” she said. “I recognize that and I appreciate how that can be their point of view, but I also recognize and appreciate how it’s the point of view of other community members that might not feel comfortable using an entity that has a history of marginalization, racial profiling, discrimination of minoritized groups.”
A major undertaking of the EVPLA Office this year was the re-establishment of UCIV, a community-based policing alternative that formerly existed from 2014-18. Stankiewicz said she took the “name and mission” of the program but significantly restructured it to ensure its longevity.
“It’s hard to say that I brought back UCIV when I took the name of UCIV and the mission, but I transformed it into something else that will last longer and have more support,” she said.
Beginning Deltopia weekend, UCIV members set up a station in I.V. with food, water and resources for local residents on Friday and Saturday nights.
“For Deltopia, they were extremely, extremely helpful to the community. They had called first response at least seven times for community members who needed it for EMTs and medical professionals,” she said. “They gave out water, helped students and community members when they were passing out literally on the floor.”
So far, UCIV members have received overdose prevention, stop-the-bleed and implicit bias trainings, with plans to add bystander intervention and mediator training in the future.
Stankiewicz also met biweekly with the UC Police Department and communicated with Lieutenant Garrett TeSlaa of Isla Vista Foot Patrol (IVFP) — a branch under the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office (SBSO). She criticized IVFP for a lack of transparency and unwillingness to communicate regularly with her office.
“I have had trouble all year trying to communicate with Lieutenant Garrett TeSlaa,” Stankiewicz said. “When I asked for I.V. Foot Patrol to meet with me and my staff biweekly, TeSlaa told me ‘no.’ He said that to have biweekly meetings would be a waste of time.”
Stankiewicz organized the “Halloween 2022 Policing Town Hall” in response to plans from IVFP to install street surveillance cameras along Del Playa Drive during the holiday weekend.
The virtual town hall, held on Oct. 14, saw over 200 attendees — the largest UCSB town hall regarding law enforcement since 2014, according to Stankiewicz. SBSO reversed its initial decision shortly after the town hall and a subsequent EVPLA Office online petition to “Say NO to Surveillance,” which garnered almost 500 signatures.
In addition, Stankiewicz is compiling the office’s first-ever annual public safety risk analysis report. The report will include statistics on arrests, citations, crime and restorative justice, as well as SBSO press releases and a survey of student opinion on police. The EVPLA Office released a racial profiling and discrimination survey to collect student input, which has so far received 168 responses, according to Stankiewicz.
“Something that is really hard for me to actually acknowledge is patting myself on the back for the hard work that I do,” she continued. “I feel like I’ve finally been able to come to a place where I can be like, ‘You actually did do a lot for the student body.’ I had spent countless nights in this office just working on things to ensure that projects can be overseen.”
She affirmed her faith in her successor, EVPLA-elect and third-year psychological & brain sciences major Osaze Osayande, to carry out the mission of the office and continue advocating for just, community-based alternatives to policing.
“I have 100% confidence that she’s going to do an amazing job and lead with so much grace and be such an amazing leader and advocate for students and advocate for marginalized students,” she said.
A version of this article appeared on p. 7 of the May 11, 2023, print edition of the Daily Nexus.