ASUC executive vice presidential candidates seek to improve student services

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Two candidates from the historically dominant campus political parties, who are campaigning with the intent to improve student facilities and services, are running alongside an independent candidate for ASUC executive vice president.

The executive vice president is responsible for overseeing the ASUC Senate and managing the internal operations of the ASUC, which include property and investment portfolio management, as well as space allocation to student organizations, according to current ASUC Executive Vice President Lavanya Jawaharlal.

“One of the main jobs of the EVP is sitting on multiple, high-level committees that impact students on this campus,” Jawaharlal said. “It’s important to have someone ready to jump in and hit the ground running.”

This year’s executive vice presidential candidates include Wes Adrianson from CalSERVE, Alicia Lau from Student Action and Thomas Moore from the Defend Affirmative Action Party, who is officially listed as an independent candidate.

Both Adrianson and Lau, campus juniors and current ASUC senators, said they are focused on increasing student access to key ASUC facilities and services, including the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union and Eshleman Hall.

While Adrianson said he would use his experience working with campus administrators and corporate partners to promote his policy goals if elected, Lau said her past experience as an ASUC senator would allow her to reshape perceptions of the ASUC.

“I can show students why the ASUC is so relevant,” Lau said.

Moore, a sophomore, said he hopes that his candidacy will challenge traditional ASUC operations and address the needs of underrepresented minority students. His goals include expanding support and securing justice for rape and sexual assault survivors on campus and more than doubling the number of underrepresented minority student groups by increasing the rate at which they are admitted.

Moore said his experience as a student organizer makes up for his previous lack of experience in the ASUC.

“The ASUC is like a hierarchy that is placed above the students, that works with administrators to get things done instead of working with students to put pressure on the university,” Moore said.

Adrianson and Lau both have plans aimed at ensuring the continued success of the ASUC Student Union development, including the construction and completion of the spaces for student organizations in the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union basement and easier keycard access to student facilities.

Adrianson said he intends to work toward the long-term financial sustainability of the UC Berkeley campus and to establish a new position to better serve food-insecure students.

“(The ASUC) can be an advocate for students when the university falls short,” Adrianson said.

Lau said she aims to implement a graduate mentorship program in collaboration with the Graduate Assembly to better serve undergraduate students.

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

Contact Adam Iscoe at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @iscoe_dc.