Party with Occupy Cal members announces ASUC executive slate

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Occupy Cal demonstrators and other students have formed an executive slate for the spring 2012 ASUC general election, but past election data show they are unlikely to secure the positions traditionally held by Student Action and CalSERVE.

Students for a Democratic University — previously tentatively named the Political Action Party — will run a full executive slate and senate candidates. Party members believe the current student government does not defend or advocate for students.

Senior Honest Chung is running for ASUC president and said his goals include creating a mass movement of campus activism.

“We want to turn the ASUC into a body that not just represents students but fights for them,” Chung said.

Chung supported a failed bill that would have put a referendum before students asking if the ASUC should call for Chancellor Robert Birgeneau’s resignation. The bill was rejected by a senate committee the night before Birgeneau announced that he will step down at the end of this calendar year.

Overall goals of the party include fighting against “privatization of the university” and mobilizing to stop student fee increases, he added.

The platform is tentative as the party continues to gather student input, according to senate candidate and party spokesperson Margaret Hardy.

Occupy Cal has not officially endorsed the party, according to Hardy.

“People in Occupy Cal have varying opinions about electoral politics, and we decided to respect that (and) not push it on them by not asking for endorsements,” she said in an email.

Junior transfer student James Chang — former intern for CalSERVE presidential candidate Andy Albright and an organizer for the party’s creation — will run for executive vice president. He added that he has participated in Occupy Cal events and will continue to support the movement’s actions.

Chang said the party aims to produce more direct student action as a face of activism inside and outside of the student government.

Freshman Isabel Sausjord will run for external affairs vice president. Senior Frank Luna and Jevon Cochran will run for academic affairs vice president and student advocate but have not decided who will run for which position.

In the last 15 elections, third-party or independent candidates have not won any of the executive positions aside from student advocate since Women’s Party member Renee Dall served as external affairs vice president during the 1996-97 academic year.

In contrast, the student advocate position is usually held by a nonpartisan candidate. SQUELCH! Student Advocate Richard Schulman — elected in 2003 — was the last party-affiliated executive who held the position.

Candidates from third parties and independents have won senate seats in each of the past five years, holding three to five of the 20 senate seats.


Chloe Hunt is the lead student government reporter.