TL; DR: The Associated Students has become increasingly disassociated with the actual student body, and I aim to change that.
Given that the internet has ruined the attention span of so many of us (including me sometimes), thanks for actually reading my candidate statement.
Hi, my name is James (he/him), and I am a second-year international student in the College of Engineering, majoring in Computer Science.
During last year’s election, I was disheartened that no one ran for the CoE senator seat, so I did a bit more digging. It turns out that from the year 2009 to 2019, voter turnout for AS elections never dipped below 30%, with a median of around 37%.
In the 2020 spring election, that number dipped to 28.84%.
But that’s all right; COVID was rough. Let’s see how we do in Spring 2022, on campus.
Oh, 20.76%, a historical low. (You can fact-check all of this at https://elections.as.ucsb.edu/historical-data/.)
The voter turnout is so terrible, in fact, that the Election board extended the voting deadline so that the election results can be considered valid by the AS constitution.
Something’s not right. Suppose an organization, whose entire mission is to serve with its $15 million annual budget, is so disassociated that only an average of 1 in 5 of its constituents remotely gives a resemblance of any concern. How does such an organization have the audacity to name itself the ASSOCIATED students?
I am NOT the smartest, most qualified, or even the most hard-working student at UCSB or the College of Engineering. I am a socially awkward student of average talent whose first language isn’t even English. I still have a lot to learn, and there are no simple solutions to the problem I just described.
However, we desperately need a person who actually cares to start taking steps in the right direction.
I am committed to doing just that.
Thank you very much.