UCSB Associated Students has always been attuned to events outside the campus community. This year national politics took center stage with the election of President Donald Trump after bitterly contested primary and campaign seasons. The consequences of the election have already directly affected UCSB students and their families. Although Associated Students, the Division of Student Affairs, and the University of California issued unequivocal statements of support, concerns remain in the immigrant community that includes a significant portion of UCSB students. Students are justifiably concerned that their undocumented family members and/or friends could be deported, while proposed travel bans similarly target and demonize Muslims in particular and our immigrant community in general. Students concerned about our environment are deeply troubled by the current administration’s stance on climate change and the recent decision by President Trump to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. In addition, the debate regarding the UC’s divestment from corporations supporting Israel’s security forces continues unabated. In short, our country is more polarized than it has been for a very long time and finding common ground has become increasingly challenging not just for students. This polarization every day puts to the test the core principle of AS as being “A Place for Everyone” and representing all students.
With these controversies in mind, it’s been another year of remarkable accomplishments for AS ranging from the start of two new student-produced television shows, UCSB TV and The Bottom Line Broadcast, in the AS Media Center studio space to a much needed expansion of the Food Bank, which is now in a new space in the UCen. It included the Second Annual Beloved Community Conference in Isla Vista, Womyn’s Commission hosting the Womxn of Color Conference and, of course, the annual year-end Extravaganza concert produced by Program Board.
On the personal front, students who have or are participating in AS received numerous campus awards, including former AS External Vice President and History of Public Policy major Paola Dela Cruz who received one of the highest campus honors, the Thomas More Storke Award for Excellence, for her work both on-campus and in the Isla Vista community, where she served on the Isla Vista Recreation and Parks District Board of Directors from 2013 to 2015.
On a more somber note, the AS family mourned the passing of Publications Coordinator David Miller. David was devoted to AS Publications, the students and staff who worked there, and AS as a whole. He not only oversaw the running of countless print jobs, but also had a wealth of knowledge about all manner of things and engaged students and customers alike in wide ranging conversations filled with humor and sharp insights. For more about David, click here.
For its part the AS career staff continued to fulfill the goals set in their strategic plan and plan for the future of our ever growing and changing organization. The past several years have seen the addition of many new staff and a slow but steady generational change that has brought new ideas and energy to AS. This report is about the year past with a look to these future developments.
Because of the complexity of AS it’s a challenge to chronicle the entire year’s activities. If you participated and want to contribute to this report with text, images, video clips, etc. you can contact the editor at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Flashback has been edited by Andy Doerr since its inception. He has also edited all the printed AS annual reports produced thus far. He never ceases to be amazed by how much students working through AS and supported by the dedicated career staff accomplish in a given year!