Academic affairs vice presidential candidates look to improve student experience

Rachael Garner/Senior Staff

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Three candidates, each with the intention of making sure that student voices are heard in campus affairs, will be running with their own distinct platforms for the position of ASUC academic affairs vice president.

This year’s candidates are Kathy Tran of CalSERVE, Frances McGinley of Student Action and Nancy Murillo of Defend Affirmative Action Party.

According to current AAVP Melissa Hsu, some responsibilities of AAVP include administering grants and scholarships and appointing students to the academic senate and administration committees to ensure the student’s voices are being heard.

“I think it is very essential to have someone who understands academic senate and administration committee because we need student representation to be part of strategic initiative(s),” Hsu said.

Tran, a junior studying political science and Asian American studies, launched her candidacy in order to advocate to create a more holistic academic experience by modifying American Cultures requirements and increasing faculty diversity. She hopes to foster diversity within the academic curriculum, revamp the recruitment and retention process efforts on campus and ensure student representation in academic program review processes.

“We need someone to navigate academic senate and ensure that undergraduate voices are being heard,” said Tran, who previously served as a student representative on the academic senate committee.

McGinley, a campus junior studying social welfare, decided to run for the position because of her frustration with the administration’s handling of resources for mental health and academic advising. Consequently, McGinley hopes to improve wait times for Tang Center services and make academic advisers more accessible to students, among other changes.

McGinley’s platform also includes advocating for textbook affordability and holding administration responsible for how they handle cases of sexual misconduct. She also hopes to create a “network of solidarity” for campus sexual assault survivors to feel comfortable sharing their own experiences.

Murillo, a third year transfer student majoring in sociology, aims to build a new civil rights movement aimed at mass action through protests, strikes, public tribunals and investigations. Through such a movement, she hopes to fight racism and sexism on campus.

“My platform is to stop rape and sexual assault in a way that no other organization(s) have done,” Murillo said. “Students have (the) right to know who are rapists.”

Her method for removing rapists from campus involves exposing the rapist’s name and picture in order ensure the safety of students, citing that nearly one in five undergraduate females are sexually assaulted.

Murillo’s platform also involves removing Janet Napolitano from her position as UC President, tackling the campus’s hostile climate and doubling the recruitment of underrepresented minorities on campus.

The 2016-17 ASUC general elections will take place April 4, 5 and 6.

Contact Roann Pao at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @roann_pao.