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.

The 2023-24 External Vice President for Statewide Affairs Vero Caveroegusquiza reflected on their term, Associated Students at UC Santa Barbara and UC-wide actions this year as the quarter comes to a close. 

Caveroegusquiza primarily focused on advocacy alongside UCSA at the UC level, pushing for multiple funding projects and legislation toward these goals. Nexus File Photo

External Vice President for Statewide Affairs (EVPSA) and fourth-year political science major Caveroegusquiza ran on a platform of statewide and campus advocacy for basic needs, affordable housing, combating the University’s investments in weapons manufacturers and alternatives to policing. Their term primarily focused on basic needs advocacy of their campaign points.

The EVPSA is a member of the UC Student Association (UCSA) executive board alongside other EVPs across all UC campuses and acts as a statewide student advocate. 

They primarily focused on advocacy alongside UCSA at the UC level, pushing for multiple funding projects and legislation toward these goals. 

Caveroegusquiza’s statewide advocacy centered upon their work for the UCSA as the external vice president representing UCSB. UCSA is a coalition of students and Associated Students (A.S.) across UC campuses that provides opportunities for lobbying, advocacy and “direct action,” according to its website

Caveroegusquiza said they were unable to tend to campus duties as EVPSA as adequately as they desired due to their “busy schedule.” 

“There was one quarter where I literally had a work trip every single week,” they said. 

In supporting undocumented students, they’ve pushed to lobby alongside UCSA in UC’s follow-up to the California Dream Act of 2011, investing $5 million to the Dream Loan Program. The program allowed undocumented undergraduate students to borrow loans to cover tuition and other school costs, which Caveroegusquiza said is a positive step following the UC Regents’ yearlong suspension of Opportunity for All. Caveroegusquiza said the suspension was “really hard” for UCSA, so the fellowship was a positive step in undocumented students’ support. 

“It is one time funding, but I think what we’re going to see is the continued push for this funding to either become recurring or to find new ways to spend this funding,” they said. 

Speaking on housing, Caveroegusquiza supported UCSA in pushing Assembly Bill (AB) 1630 — which would expand the density and height of eligible off-campus student housing to the legislature through lobbying — saying it was at risk of not being heard in committee. 

“We’re pushing for the small steps that we can see on the way to housing,” they said. 

They also supported AB 1818’s pilot program that would allow eligible homeless students to access overnight parking as legislative progress toward equitable housing. Caveroegusquiza did not specify the conclusion of this endeavor, but reiterated the importance of affordable housing for students in the UC. 

“As a campus that is, in my opinion, one of the top most housing-impacted campuses in the UC system, this has always remained really important to us,” they said. “This year, we’ve seen just how rough the housing can be.” 

The EVPSA office also pushed to hire a full-time Collegiate Recovery program director at UCSB that supports students in recovery from addiction as a part of basic needs initiatives. The EVPSA office surveyed the student body through testimonials collected from social media on personal accounts of recovering from substance use and addiction. This initiative’s impact is still inconclusive. 

The EVPSA office also created a Black Student Success Survey to highlight the voices of Black students, faculty and staff in higher education to evaluate potential institutional changes within the UC. 

These initiatives’ impact is still inconclusive, according to Caveroegusquiza. 

Caveroegusquiza said their campus work — beyond organizing lobbying related conferences, workshops and other opportunities — focused on internal conflict resolution within A.S. 

As the only A.S. executive this year to have “connections” to Palestinian student organizations, Caveroegusquiza said that they were over-relied on by the A.S. executives to foster connections and conversations with organizations that were considered “outside” of A.S. and engage in general discourse over campus climate. 

“I was relied on very, very heavily by the exec team this year regarding connections that genuinely only I had, both to organizations outside the association and even organizations inside these associations,” they said. 

Caveroegusquiza emphasized a Nov. 15 Senate meeting — which saw discourse  on territorial and Indigenous struggle of Palestine and Israel during public forum —  as a pivotal moment in reevaluating the climate of A.S.

“I think after the Nov. 15 Senate meeting, there had been a lot of conversation about the way we interact with each other as an association, internally,” they said. 

They spoke to heightened emotions during these Senate meetings that led to students “walk[ing] out crying,” leading to administrators stepping in to address the internal climate of Senate. 

“Administrators are supposed to be completely external from our association so to be at that point where administrators are telling us that this is an issue was really disheartening to see with our Senate.” 

On the UC level, Caveroegusquiza joined UCSA’s efforts to lobby for more support for UC students in light of campus climate issues. They commended UC President Michael V. Drake’s $7 million of emergency funding toward campus climate issues following instances of hate speech. 

“That was something we had pushed really hard for,” they said. “We need emergency services, we need more money for campuses to provide these emergency services, to recognize the need for these emergency services.” 

Referring to UCSA’s stance of solidarity with encampments across the UC and denouncement of the attacks on student demonstrators at UC Los Angeles’ encampments, they spoke to the erection of encampments throughout UC campuses. Caveroegusquiza said the police response to these demonstrations is indicative of the UC resorting to over-policing, pointing to the historical potency of over-policing in the UC system. 

“Any police response to encampments themselves is unacceptable to try and call police on students that are, at the end of the day, completely peaceful and are trying to show the University that you have not listened to us for so long,” they said. 

“Administrators are telling you, ‘We care about you, and we want to listen to you, but we’re going to sweep you.’” 

Caveroegusquiza commended the work of their office staff, saying the EVPSA office could not have made this year’s progress without them. 

“They’ve been really just killing it both on campus and at the UC level. And I think seeing that has been super, super awesome. They’ve just all done so much work this year that I genuinely cannot list it all in a timely manner.” 

Looking toward the 2024-25 term, Caveroegusquiza spoke to the A.S. election results this year. Students for Justice in Palestine published a voter guide that did a full sweep of elected officials in A.S. this year, an unprecedented turn as UCSB’s A.S. Senate has historically voted against UCSB divesting from weapons manufacturing companies contributing to war. 

“I think the elections this year were really, really interesting to see. I was definitely shocked by how effective the voter guides ended up being, I don’t think I’ve seen that ever happen on our campus,” they said. 

They expressed excitement for the incoming 2024-25 EVPSA Monica Mekhlouf, saying that their prior campus involvements in the Basic Needs Committee and Commission on Disability Equity have equipped them for the position. 

“Monica has some wonderful platforms, she does some wonderful work. She’s so involved in our campus, she’s been involved with basic needs,” Caveroegusquiza said. 

“Monica is so themself, and so willing and unapologetic about it,” they said. “Bringing who you are to these spaces, to the table, makes your work so much better. So they should just keep doing Monica.” 

Caveroegusquiza hopes that the next executive team will cohesively finish the work of the 2023-24 EVPSA and remember the core mission of A.S. — “to serve and empower students.”

“Part of what makes our job, part of the reason our job exists, is to find ways to empower students.”

A version of this article appeared on p. 5 of the May 16, 2024, print edition of the Daily Nexus.


Asumi Shuda
Asumi Shuda (they/them) is the Lead News Editor for the 2023-24 school year. Previously, Shuda was the Deputy News Editor, Community Outreach News Editor for the 2022-23 school year and the 2021-22 school year and an Assistant News Editor during the 2020-21 school year. They can be reached at or