President of UC Student Association steps down, cites personal reasons

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University of California Student Association President Angelica Salceda resigned on Tuesday, less than two months after assuming office in August.

Salceda stepped down because of “deeply personal and private” reasons, according to UCSA Organizing and Communications Director Darius Kemp. She will remain on the board as a representative of the UC Berkeley Graduate Assembly, where she serves as the external affairs vice president. She announced her resignation to the board in a letter sent Tuesday.

“She is dedicated to her family,” Kemp said. “She is an active member at many clubs and organizations. She realized that carrying out the responsibilities of her office would require her to infringe upon some personal obligations.”

Salceda took office in August with an agenda that included increasing student input in the selection process of filling three vacant seats on the UC Board of Regents and informing student voters about the effect Proposition 30’s failure at the polls would have on the university.

Prop. 30, which will appear on the November ballot, will temporarily increase the sales tax and taxes on high-income earners in California. If the proposition fails, the university would incur a series of funding cuts that could necessitate a 20.3 percent midyear tuition increase.

ASUC External Affairs Vice President Shahryar Abbasi, who also serves as a UCSA board member, said Salceda’s resignation was “surprising” but “understandable.”

“UCSA board members are some of the most hardworking people I’ve ever met,” he said. “She did a good job during the time she was president, and I hope to continue to work closely with her.”

Board members will elect a new president at a special election this weekend. According to UCSA bylaws, when a president resigns, the chair of the board assumes the responsibilities of the president until a new one is elected. The current chair is UC Irvine representative Katerina Mesesan.

The board recently passed a controversial resolution at its meeting in September that claimed that California State Assembly resolution HR 35 — which condemns anti-Semitism at California’s higher education institutions — stifles free speech. Kemp said Salceda’s resignation has no relation to the UCSA resolution.

“She did not take her resignation lightly,” Kemp said. “She is an amazing person. She is still a member of UCSA Board of Directors, and she will dutifully carry out that role.”

Salceda has long been involved with the university. She graduated with honors in political science and history from UCLA in 2007. Afterward, she worked as a legislative aide for state Senator Kevin De Leon, D-Los Angeles, and is currently a third-year law student at the UC Berkeley School of Law.

Contact Dan Kwak at [email protected].