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 EVPLA —  can be viewed at dailynexus.com.

The 2022-23 Student Advocate General Kristen Wu served the student body with a focus on housing and internal conduct throughout her tenure. 

Nisha Malley / Daily Nexus

The Office of the Student Advocate General (S.A.G.) — one of the five executive offices within Associated Students — provides peer-to-peer support for and advocates on the behalf of UCSB students in matters pertaining to academic dishonesty, social conduct and housing, among others.

According to Wu, a third-year statistics and data science major, she successfully managed her team of caseworkers and the office’s responsibility of student casework throughout her term.  

Wu — who was the 2021-22 Office of the Student Advocate (OSA) Internal Chief of Staff — built on her work from the previous year by using her office to help students impacted by the ongoing local housing crisis. This year, Wu handled cases related to students being evicted from CBC & The Sweeps.

“I feel pretty proud about the casework that we did this year,” Wu said. “We did a lot of housing and conduct cases, in light of the evictions and whatnot. Last year, I feel like I got a lot of housing cases because of the over-enrollment at UCSB.”

There were a number of projects that Wu made progress on during her time as S.A.G., but was ultimately unable to complete. Notably, Wu said that she hoped to continue 2021-22 S.A.G. Geovany Lucero’s survey about policing in Isla Vista, however the project remains in planning stages.

“We’re still writing [survey] questions right now,” Wu said. “I feel like there’s been more of a police presence in Isla Vista since COVID regulations have lifted, so that’s something that I wanted to continue and I thought was really important, in the interest of UCSB students.”

When asked about what specifically she wishes she could have accomplished — but wasn’t able to — during her term, Wu said she wishes she could have built on Lucero’s Munger Hall survey.

“I wish that we could have applied more pressure surrounding Munger Hall,” Wu said. “I feel like that movement lost a little bit of momentum during my term.”

In her endorsement interview with the Nexus during the 2021-22 student election cycle, Wu mentioned that she hoped to create a committee within the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to address sexual harassment and violence. 

She ultimately changed the concept of the project, working instead to create a conduct and ethics committee dedicated to “battling discrimination in the space of A.S. on the basis of race [and] gender,” as well as promoting restorative justice. The committee is still in its planning stages and has not been implemented yet. OSA is working with A.S. senators and the Office of Student Conduct to receive input on the committee.

Wu added that she hopes the 2023-24 S.A.G., third-year economics and history double major Nathan Lee, will continue working on the conduct and ethics committee project.

“I really hope [Lee] continues the conduct and ethics campaign,” she said. “I really hope that it gets implemented by next year because I think it’s really important to have an avenue that’s restorative and not punitive.”

When asked about the transition from her previous role as an internal functionary of the office as chief of staff to the more external-facing S.A.G. position, Wu noted the differences between her two roles and said that she became more comfortable communicating with people outside OSA throughout her time as S.A.G.

“As the Internal Chief of Staff, it was more focused on the caseworkers within our office, and less communicating with people outside of it,” Wu said. “This year I got to work with a lot of awesome people that I didn’t know […] existed.”

The Nexus critiqued Wu during her endorsement interview for the 2021-22 student election cycle for lacking a collaborative approach to leading OSA. Despite collaboration being of low priority during her campaign, Wu made several strides to work with entities outside OSA during her tenure. 

“This year I tried harder to familiarize myself with administration, with the director of the Office of Student Conduct, and put myself out there more so I can really understand the different organizations that go into shaping student language,” she continued.

When reflecting on the highlights of her time in office, Wu spoke to the leadership she brought to the OSA.

“I feel like my proudest moments of this term have been probably leading my team of case workers,” Wu said. “I’m really proud to see how much they’ve grown over this entire year, just seeing them handle cases, help me with projects, really grow into their own person having their own self advocacy.”

Wu emphasized the importance of making sure students understand the resources that the OSA provides as S.A.G.

“One of the most important aspects of the office was really getting those resources out there and making students know [they are] not alone in navigating university procedures,” she said. “No matter if it’s a housing issue or an epidemic, we’re always here for you.”

Though the Nexus believes that Wu’s unfinished goals and projects reflect stagnation in serving the campus, her focus on student advocacy ultimately benefited the student body during the 2022-23 school year. 

A version of this article appeared on p. 7 of the May 11, 2023, print edition of the Daily Nexus.

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Alex Levin
Alex Levin (he/him) is one of the assistant news editors starting May 2023. He can be reached at alexlevin@dailynexus.com