With the goal of informing and educating students about local races and measures in the upcoming election, the Department of Chicano and Chicana Studies is hosting a Midterm Election Discussion. Slated for Tuesday, Oct. 30, from noon to 2 p.m. in South Hall 1623, the event is open to the campus community.
Among the participants are UC Santa Barbara alumnae Alejandra Melgoza, a community organizer with CAUSE (Central Coast Alliance for a Sustainable Economy), and Ana Rosa Rizo-Centino, president of the Central Coast League of Conservation Voters.
“Ana and Alejandra will provide some background information on election races and ballot propositions,” said Ralph Armbruster-Sandoval, a professor of Chicano and Chicana studies and the organizer of the event. “After they give brief remarks, we will open up the event for discussion, dialogue and debate.”
Noted Gerardo Aldana, professor and chair of Chicano and Chicana studies, “This event reflects a core element of our current year-long commemoration of El Plan de Santa Barbara. That document was written by students who gathered at UC Santa Barbara in 1968 to call on the institution to reflect on its own self-determined mission.
“The University of California as a system was an innovation in its own right — a world class public institution, dedicated to serving the needs of and educate leaders for the state,” Aldana continued. “But the demographics of the state were not reflected in the student body, nor in the subject matter of instruction. Students were challenging the UC to figure out what it means to address this incongruence and accordingly to take on the bigger issue of diversity within democracy. That question is as relevant today as it was in 1968.”
The discussion seeks to involve students in the democratic process, particularly those who may not have a full understanding of the ballot measures or familiarity with the candidates.
“The 2018 midterm election is crucial given the polarized nature of our political process today,” said Armbruster-Sandoval. “College students can make a huge and long-lasting impact on the community, state and country by participating and getting engaged.”