CalSERVE has announced Valerie Jameson as its nominee for academic affairs vice president and Spencer Pritchard as its nominee for external affairs vice president in the upcoming elections to be held April 9, 10 and 11.
Jameson is a junior ethnic studies and social welfare double major, and Pritchard is a sophomore studying political economy and African American studies.
Jameson is running on a platform of implementing textbook scholarships, improving student health through partnerships with the Tang Center and strengthening relations between undergraduates and graduate students.
“I feel that I have the most direct contact with student life and engaging with students, not only as a peer academic counselor in academic settings but also in mentorship programs,” Jameson said. “I want to be directly working with student organizations and stepping into spaces we haven’t been in before.”
Additionally, Jameson plans to foster closer undergraduate and graduate relations by making graduate students more available and providing classes that include graduate students and undergraduates.
Jameson said that, if elected, she will take a special interest in student life and hopes to implement a textbook scholarship program funded by grants rather than ASUC funds.
“A textbook scholarship program could be wonderful program that meets the needs of any and all students considering tuition hikes and considering other fees and expenses,” Jameson said.
Pritchard said that, if elected, he will work to provide more affordable housing in Berkeley as well as promote student-worker rights and ensure the state continues to reinvest in higher education.
He also wants to mobilize students to continue fighting for greater state investment in public higher education.
“I’ve been (politically) organizing here since my first year at Cal,” Pritchard said. “Not only do I have ASUC Senate experience from working in a senate office, but I also have organizing, mobilizing experience.”
He emphasized his involvement with CalPIRG — a consumer advocacy organization with chapters at every UC campus — for which he lobbied the state Legislature and Congress. In this role, he also registered students to vote in the most recent election and worked to educate students on Proposition 30.
Pritchard said he plans to emphasize student rights by making sure that UC Berkeley students are aware of their rights as employees and tenants.
“I want to engage them in the dorms so when they sign their lease, which is often for the first time, they know what to do and what to expect,” Pritchard said.
Student Action has swept all four executive offices for the past two years, but Jameson said she isn’t daunted and hopes that students see they don’t have to vote for the same party each year.
“Going up against that and seeing yourself as an underdog can be very scary, but I think what’s important are the issues and the passion you have for being in office,” Jameson said.
The nominees for president and executive vice president on the CalSERVE executive slate will be announced at a later date.
CalSERVE is a registered ASUC political party that is primarily a progressive multicultural coalition representing historically underrepresented communities on campus, said Matthew Enger, CalSERVE’s communications coordinator.
“CalSERVE is registered as an ASUC political party so that our candidates can use CalSERVE’s name and organizing infrastructure to support their campaigns, but CalSERVE is not first and foremost a political party,” Enger said. “Our mission is to promote the welfare of and access to opportunity for the members of our communities and to improve the campus as a whole, and running candidates in ASUC elections is one way to further that goal.”
Ally Rondoni covers the ASUC. Contact her at [email protected].