ASUC candidates make physical, personal sacrifices for campaigns

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Candidates and their supporters spend long hours campaigning during election season.

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CalSERVE Senator Anthony Galace sat eating lunch in front of the Bear’s Lair Food Court in Lower Sproul Plaza Wednesday afternoon, glad to have a moment of normalcy the day before the release of ASUC election results.

Galace spent several 20-hour days campaigning for ASUC executive vice president on top of his academic responsibilities, and he was hardly alone. Most, if not all, of the candidates running for executive or senate ASUC positions made personal — even physical — sacrifices while campaigning.

Though Galace’s days were grueling, filled with hours spent on Sproul Plaza and meeting people at community events, he said the effort was worthwhile regardless of the election’s outcome, which is scheduled to be revealed at a tabulation ceremony in the Valley Life Sciences Building Thursday evening.

“What eased the stress was knowing that I wasn’t doing it for me,” said Galace. “I want to make sure student voices don’t go unheard, as I’ve done as a senator.”’

Shahryar Abbasi, external affairs vice presidential candidate with Student Action, had the same mindset as he campaigned on Sproul Plaza with a broken foot.

At the start of spring break, Abbasi noticed pain in his right foot, but he believed it to be the result of twisting it awkwardly when stepping off a curb. The pain eventually became so great that he had a doctor look at it April 2 — the first day of hard campaigning — and although the doctor wanted an X-ray of the foot to see if it was broken, Abbasi wanted to get back to talking to students and left with a walking boot and pain medication.

“I was feeling a lot of pain the first three days of campaigning, and the boot was causing other skin and blood issues,” Abbasi said. “But you’re so invested in it that nothing’s going to stop you.”

Abbasi estimated that he spent 75 hours campaigning on Sproul Plaza during the two weeks before and during the election.

James Chang, candidate for executive vice president with Students for a Democratic University, said the physical demand of campaigning was overshadowed by the emotional toll it took on him.

Citing his food service work experience, Chang said walking around campus with students all day was tiring but nothing new. He only felt discouraged when he saw the two major parties campaigning with more volunteers and resources.

However, Chang said his efforts were validated when students came up to him and voiced their support for SDU’s platform.

“If I lose this election, those would be the people I feel indebted to,” he said. “If there would be any reason to be sad, it would be because I want to represent them.”

Christopher Yee covers Berkeley communities.