Student Action announces 16 ASUC Senate candidates

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On Tuesday evening, Student Action — a party traditionally known to represent the Greek, engineering and Jewish communities — announced 16 senate candidates for the upcoming ASUC elections.

Student Action currently holds seven of the 20 seats in the ASUC Senate. The party is running one more senate candidate than it did in last year’s elections, with candidates hailing from backgrounds including the international student community, South Asian community and service groups.

This year’s candidates are Ramzy Azar, Ian Bullitt, Jay Choi, Bianca Filart, Stephen Goode, Miranda Hernandez, Elise Hayashi, Paul Iskajyan, Nathan Kelleher, Xiao Li, Fred Nichols, Monsoon Pabrai, Shauna Satnick, Annie Tran, Wesley Wan and Helen Yuan.

Several of this year’s Student Action candidates’ platforms center on streamlining resources for off-campus housing using online platforms, educating students about financial wellness and expanding campus study abroad programs. Others hope to prioritize the individual needs of international students and those on a pre-med or pre-law track.

Iskajyan, a sophomore majoring in political science, is running on platforms that emphasize the everyday needs of a UC Berkeley student and aims to add a clockwise route to the campus night safety shuttle system.

“There are trips that are only two blocks but could take 40 minutes, but students feel unsafe even walking those two blocks,” he said. “Then they’re between a rock and a hard place.”

Iskajyan also hopes to work with administrators to create a key card access system throughout campus housing.

UC Berkeley junior Hernandez will run on a platform of improving campus safety efforts by implementing a program that would include trainings for active shooter scenarios, in the wake of recent shootings on college campuses.

“I know what to do in case of a fire, but not in the case of an active shooter,” she said. “I want to be proactive rather than reactive.”

In addition to prioritizing safety, Hernandez said she hopes to forge a partnership with the UC Berkeley School of Law to provide better guidance and programming to undergraduates interested in pursuing law school.

Hayashi, a junior studying nutritional sciences, hopes to set up a website that would compile the various service organizations on campus, where students could view upcoming events and learn about individual organizations on a single online platform.

Hayashi also said that if elected, she would work on developing a bisemesterly farmer’s market — in an attempt to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables for students — and opening a late-night study space on the north side of campus.

In the 2012 and 2013 elections, Student Action was the party with the largest number of senators. Last year and in 2014, however, it won approximately the same number of seats as its primary rival party, CalSERVE.

In recent years, Student Action has aimed to include candidates representing additional communities, nominating candidates from the undocumented student, Muslim and Vietnamese communities in last year’s elections, among others.

Student Action released its executive candidate slate Feb. 21, and SQUELCH! released its nonsatirical senate slate Feb. 7. CalSERVE has not yet announced its senate slate but released its executive candidate slate Monday.

Ariel Hayat is the lead student government reporter. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @ArielHayat.