The Nexus 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 can be viewed at and/or in our May 16, 2024, print edition.

2023-24 Associated Students President Tessa Veksler reflected on her term and the work of her office amid a year of high campus tension.

Veksler cited internal growth in A.S. and the connection between communities on campus as highlights of her term. Nexus File Photo

Veksler campaigned on a platform of financial transparency, basic needs initiatives and collaboration with Registered Campus Organizations (RCOs). Before she was president, she served as Letters & Science Senator and Chair of the Basic Needs Committee. 

Veksler cited internal growth in Associated Students (A.S.) and the connection between communities on campus as highlights of her term.

“[The A.S. Office of the President] collaborated more with other organizations this year than it seems like they have in any other year, every single quarter,” Veksler said. 

This year, the A.S. Office of the President (ASOP) hosted or helped organize events — sometimes providing funding — for groups including the Persian Student Group’s Persian Student Gala, the cultural potluck organized with Student Engagement & Leadership (S.E.A.L.), the Mental Health Town Hall and the Opportunity for All Town Hall. 

“I made an emphasis to specifically reach out to our RCOs that had a cultural emphasis,” Veksler said.

She implemented a new religious and cultural holiday series on the @ucsbpresident Instagram to highlight specific holidays and noted receiving “extremely positive” student feedback. Second-year political science and sociology double major Nayali Broadway plans to continue the series during her term, Veksler said.

Regarding basic needs, Veksler worked on the basic needs vending machine project with the Basic Needs Committee and “Strategic Operations Committee” in an advisory capacity, and spearheaded efforts to provide kosher and halal meals to students on campus, an initiative that is in its final stages of taste-testing and will be expanded through the food bank and dining halls. She also helped undergraduate student parents secure overdue childcare grants through A.S. and the Women’s Center.

Veksler said she accomplished her campaign point of financial transparency by “using money in a way that’s accessible to the entire student body,” which she showcased through the myriad of events that ASOP sponsored.

She also attempted to reform how A.S. members are paid, which is currently only through checks with no direct deposit method. Veksler said her legislation will be introduced to the Senate in the coming weeks to reform the process. 

Veksler was consistently present at Senate meetings, which is not a requirement for the President, and reached out to Boards, Committees and Units (BCUs) following the Finance and Business (F&B) Committee releasing budget allocations to address any budgetary questions.

Prior to the approval of the 2024-25 budget this year, Veksler recommended the reallocation of the rollover funds of A.S. Program Board (ASPB) to F&B for redistribution to other BCUs. Fourth-year communication and philosophy double major and ASPB commissioner Kathryn Supple filed a Judicial Council petition alleging Veksler violated legal code through her recommendation. 

Veksler said that her recommendation aimed to redistribute the rollover that accumulated over the past decade to ensure that student fees go back to current students rather than future ones.

“I was suggesting redistributing it in a way that I thought would be more fair because I can see that there was a lot of kind of financial struggle with RCOs getting turned away all the time by F&B because we don’t have enough funding and BCUs restricting how many events they should be doing,” Veksler said. “It doesn’t seem like my program board plan will be going through which I think is a mistake. I think that there will be a lot of financial suffering because of that, when there could have been a lot of financial gain,” Veksler said.

External to A.S., Veksler received criticism over her personal views on Israel and Zionism, and was the subject of signage dissenting against her posted at the MultiCultural Center in February. The center subsequently closed for the remainder of winter quarter and re-opened at the start of spring quarter. Following the signage, students filed a petition for her recall which was presented to the Senate and did not pass a ratification vote. 

Veksler said that since Oct. 9 — when she made an Instagram post voicing support for Israel following the Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Hamas — she has received harassment and antisemitic comments both online and in person.

“Since that day, I have received threats to my life and threats to my safety, both directly and also through DMs, posts on social media, Reddit and Yik Yak. People told me that I deserved the worst things that could possibly happen, and I still showed up every day because that is my job,” Veksler said.

During her campaign, Veksler ran on the platform of hosting quarterly meetings with RCOs but said safety concerns — echoed by fellow A.S. members — prompted her to make A.S. quarterly meetings closed to the public.

She said she had a much different vision for her presidency, one that included more intimate collaboration, but that concerns for her safety on campus shifted these plans.

“The reality of that changed because campus no longer became a safe space where I could sit and drink coffee with students,” Veksler said. “I was able to continue to the best of my ability, working with cultural orgs through events, but it was much more difficult to kind of collaborate in a way that I felt was more personal.”

The recall petition cited her as the reason for “unprecedented levels of division and tension on campus,” which Veksler rebuked as being rooted in misunderstanding.

“The recall was predicated on fallacies, many of the things that were listed there were factually untrue and it came from a basis of complete misunderstanding … it was making rules out of thin air, there are no rules that say that you have to stop being Jewish when you’re a leader on campus. There’s nothing that says that you’re not allowed to have political opinions and share them on social media,” Veksler said. 

Nevertheless, Veksler said she believes that there is “nothing [she] could possibly show to change that narrative.” When asked about personal critiques of her term, she said she wishes she did more individual outreach.

“I do wish maybe in some ways that I pushed through even more of my personal discomforts to try to be there for the student community because I really do care so much and if that at any point was not reflected, then that’s a fault of my own,” Veksler said.

Regarding successor Broadway, Veksler said she is “forward-thinking and organized” and expressed faith in her leadership. Some of the advice she gave to her included not sacrificing your identity, and shifting the A.S. focus away from foreign conflict.

“I believe that a lot of this year and a lot of progress that we could have made on other fronts that would have affected the greater majority of the student body were taken away because of people’s focus on foreign conflict,” Veksler said.

She emphasized the value of her Jewish identity in her leadership this year, and said the experience has made her a “stronger human.”

“I believe that I was a Jewish person in office during a time that was difficult for Jewish students for a reason, and I’m proud of it,” Veksler said.

A version of this article appeared on p. 4 of the May 16, 2024, print edition of the Daily Nexus.


Sindhu Ananthavel
Sindhu Ananthavel (she/they) is the Lead News Editor for the 2023-24 school year. Previously, Ananthavel was the Deputy News Editor for the 2022-23 school year, the Community Outreach News Editor for the 2021-22 school year and an assistant news editor for the 2021-22 school year. She can be reached at