UC Berkeley freshman Nelson Ke announced his independent candidacy for the ASUC Senate on March 16.
A chemical engineering major, Ke’s platform centers around three central topics: Asian unity, internationalism and student homelessness. As an international student from China, Ke is looking to strengthen international student opposition to the recent nonresident tuition hike, which he said places more burden on international students.
For half a year, Ke served in the Office of the External Affairs Vice President as a member of the international affairs department.
In regard to his platform surrounding Asian unity, Ke said he would like to create the first Asian coalition on campus by creating a physical organization that is made admissible to any student of Asian origin regardless of nationality.
“He is the only person I know that really addresses the concerns and really embraces the adversity and diversity of international students,” said campus freshman and Ke’s public relations manager Melvin Tangonan.
Ke is also calling for an increased voice for international students on issues such as the recent tuition hike. Within his first six months of taking office, he says that he will make it so international students account for at least 30 percent of the voice against tuition hike.
For his final platform, Ke’s working on the “We Are Berkeley” project, which addresses homelessness. Ke said he wants to prevent students from living on the streets.
According to Nathan Melin, Ke’s campaign manager, Ke has the ability to bridge the gap between international and domestic students and between divides in the Asian community on campus.
“Coming to here, I have faced unique challenges, and I believe that, more or less, international students face the same problems I do,” Ke said.
Ke is also set to stand trial against the ASUC Judicial Council on Tuesday for allegedly violating two ASUC election bylaws.