Pranay Kumar Chaurasia announces ASUC presidential candidacy with BASED. party

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UC Berkeley freshman Pranay Kumar Chaurasia announced Saturday night that he will run for president under the newly formed BASED. party in this spring’s ASUC elections.

Chaurasia, who doesn’t represent any one student group or identity, is running on a platform of promoting campus positivity and unity and improving quality of education by holding professors accountable.

The current ASUC party system creates binary thought, hinders individual ideas and does not speak for the entire student body, Chaurasia said, leading him to establish BASED. and run for president.

“I don’t want to become part of the system that destroys creativity (and) inhibits progress for the university,” Chaurasia said. “I really have ideas that I think will change the way we think about things here.”

These ideas include a pedagogy program for professors to improve teaching, better utilization of data collected from student class evaluations and a campus mentoring system between lower- and upperclassmen.

Chaurasia said BASED. was derived from the philosophies and positivity of Bay Area rapper Lil B. Daniel Ahrens, a freshman and one of Chaurasia’s campaign managers, said the BASED. philosophy is “being true to yourself and staying positive” without cynicism.

“A lot of people think this campaign is satirical,” Ahrens said. “The only reason people treat it that way is it’s so foreign that it’s entirely focused on the students and not the egos of the people running.”

Citing campus divestment issues as a point of contention that creates “unnecessary divisions,” Chaurasia said he hopes — with BASED. — to find holistic solutions to campus problems without falling into political ideologies that inhibit critical thinking.

“Right now the movement is small, but that’s what it is: a movement,” Chaurasia said. “And soon the entire campus will be BASED., and that’s my goal — for campus unity.”

The 2015-16 ASUC elections will take place April 7, 8 and 9.

Contact Alexandra Yoon-Hendricks at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @ayoonhendricks.