Two candidates running for executive vice president in this year’s ASUC elections both aim to enhance student life with the upcoming reopening of the Lower Sproul Plaza, while one satirical candidate hopes to represent the silent majority on campus by running as a mime.
This year, the candidates are Lavanya Jawaharlal, of CalSERVE, Paul Lee, of Student Action, and Tom “Silent Majority” Yang, of SQUELCH!.
The executive vice president is the second-highest-ranking official in the ASUC and is responsible for overseeing the senate and dealing with internal operations. Next year’s EVP will take on responsibilities such as developing Lower Sproul, working with the ASUC chief financial officer in order to facilitate proactive ASUC spending and communicating with the senate.
“I like to joke how the EVP is (in charge of) ASUC damage control,” said current EVP Justin Kong. “An ideal EVP will need to be responsible, have a vision for finance and marketing and have a good knowledge of student organizations on campus in order to provide resources for them.”
Jawaharlal, a junior, aims to provide student organizations a credit-card program to streamline the reimbursement process, transition into and expand Lower Sproul and promote collaboration among the future senators, especially during training at the Senate Leadership Institute.
“The biggest problem I see with ASUC right now is that we have senators from different parties having the same platforms, but doing things differently,” Jawaharlal said. “It is time for the senators to understand what it means to be an active senator.”
Co-founder of STEM Center USA and a current CalSERVE senator, Jawaharlal raised $10,000 for science, technology, engineering and mathematics organizations on campus this past year and intends to continue representing the STEM community.
Lee, a junior and current Student Action senator, runs on platforms spanning issues of technology use, allocation of campus space and cultural diversity. Lee wants to make Eshleman Hall the “center of campus life” by compiling student feedback and prioritizing space allocation to student groups rather than outside guests, such as Cal Performances.
Lee’s second platform is oriented toward improving the student academic experience by enhancing technology services. Specifically, Lee hopes to improve academic productivity by ensuring that students have access to software packages, such as MATLAB, and “soliciting student feedback from current campus technology,” such as bCourses.
Finally, Lee intends to invigorate cross-cultural dialogue by tabling at Sproul Plaza, providing enclosed spaces in which students of different backgrounds can communicate and expanding ASUC Perspectives, a multicultural showcase held annually.
Yang, a junior, gestured that although he does not know the responsibilities that will come with becoming EVP, he will read up on it. As EVP, he intends to break through barriers between students on campus. He also conveyed through movement that if elected into office, he would most certainly continue his efforts as a mime.
The ASUC elections will take place April 7, 8 and 9.