CalSERVE announces 14 ASUC Senate candidates

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CalSERVE — a campus political party historically known as a progressive coalition — announced 14 ASUC Senate candidates Monday evening for the upcoming general elections.

CalSERVE is running one fewer candidate than it did in last year’s elections. The party currently holds eight out of the 20 total ASUC Senate seats.

This year’s CalSERVE senate candidates are Zaynab AbdulQadir, Maddy Abroms, Juli Adhikari, Jerry Javier, Axenya Kachen, Jenny Kim, Rosa Kwak, Alyssa Liu, Danielle Miguel, Rigel Robinson, Bianca Rodriguez, Jason Tu, Chris Yamas and Benyamin Yusof.

Several of the candidates’ platforms focus on improving campus climate, wellness and mental health services, housing affordability and increasing overall awareness of existing resources.

This year’s candidates represent five communities traditionally reflected through CalSERVE’s senate slate, such as the black community, the progressive Asian Pacific Islander community and the queer community, according to party co-chair Ismael Contreras. Some candidates also hail from other communities not traditionally represented by CalSERVE, such as the progressive Greek community and the service organization community.

Candidates such as Yamas and Kwak hope to increase housing affordability and access.

While Yamas hopes to ensure any new housing developments are done in partnership with nonprofit entities, Kwak, a sophomore studying business administration, hopes to establish an accountability board that would provide a student voice to inform the UC president’s housing initiative. The initiative aims to assess individual campuses to add 14,000 beds across the UC system.

Yamas, a third-year transfer student studying political science, also hopes to advocate for transfer student recognition on campus. Yamas said that even though transfer students account for about 20 percent of the campus undergraduate population, there is not a single transfer student in the ASUC Senate.

“(Transfer students) need an advocate who is there to make sure our issues are heard,” Yamas said. “Getting one in the senate is a start.”

Focusing on environmental sustainability and student financial wellness, Robinson, a sophomore, wants the increased UC minimum wage of $15 to include student part-time workers.

Miguel and AbdulQadir both hope to improve access to campus services for specific communities.

Miguel, a campus junior studying public health who represents the Pilipinx community, plans to raise awareness about the availability of mental health services for low-income students and underrepresented minorities.

Specifically, AbdulQadir, a sophomore studying African American studies and social welfare, aims to create a support group through the Tang Center for underrepresented minority women who are sexual assault survivors.

“(Resources) don’t reach all communities in the same way, and a lot of information is lost across the university,” AbdulQadir said.

Liu, a second-year student studying legal studies and political economy who formerly worked for the Daily Californian’s business department, hopes to facilitate wider accessibility to Tang Center resources by creating a master document compiling Tang services and relevant phone numbers and by implementing more on-campus clinics for services such as flu shots and HIV testing.

Student Action released its senate slate March 1, and SQUELCH! released its nonsatirical senate slate Feb. 7. CalSERVE released its executive candidate slate Feb. 29.

The upcoming ASUC elections will take place April 4, 5 and 6.

Senior staff writer Suhauna Hussain contributed to this report.

Jessie Qian covers student government. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @jessieq96.

A previous version of this article failed to disclose Alyssa Liu formerly worked for the Daily Californian’s business department.