EAVP candidates focus on housing affordability, student civic engagement

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Two candidates addressing affordable housing and student voter registration are running alongside an independent candidate affiliated with the Defend Affirmative Action Party for the position of ASUC external affairs vice president.

The EAVP represents the ASUC to city, state and federal levels of government as well to the UC Student Association and UC Office of the President. There are no guidelines written in the bylaws about the role of the EAVP, according to current EAVP Marium Navid, who added that it is therefore up to the elected official to create a focus and agenda.

Anyone can lobby to their district representative or state Senate but as EAVP, you’re going to a meeting and representing 30,000 people,” Navid said. “You have to make sure you are active in the conversation.”

The candidates this year are sophomore Andre Luu, running with the Student Action party; junior Boomer Vicente, running with the CalSERVE party; and Aarefah Mosavi, affiliated with DAAP but listed as an independent candidate.

Vicente hopes to leverage his past experience working with city officials to increase affordable housing, while Luu plans to increase student safety by adding more affordable transport.

“As a low-income student I want to make sure that students have the ability to explore the Bay Area as well as commute to and from the Bay Area,” Luu said.

Luu also aims to address the housing crisis by working with campus officials to partner with local housing complexes so they can subsidize the cost for Pell Grant and DREAM Act aid recipients.

“Housing should be the least of our worries,” Vicente said, who is a co-founder of the ASUC Student Housing Commission. “Students should have the opportunity to have the full Cal experience.”

Mosavi’s platforms include demanding free UC education and transforming the handling of sexual assault cases. Mosavi plans on improving administration accountability for the management of sexual misconduct cases by publicly exposing guilty parties.

“It seems to be the most effective method,” Mosavi said.

While the campus is now putting more resources toward sexual violence prevention, Mosavi said accountability, not resources, is the root of the problem.

Mosavi added that she wants to respect the wishes of survivors, including confidentiality, and said she hopes to provide them with support.

Police accountability serves as a core focus for Vicente, who hopes to use his current influence and presence within City Hall and experience on the Police Review Commission to build a UC Berkeley Police Accountability Board separate from UCPD.

Luu wants to host VOTECHELLA, where he would set up voter registration booths next to a music festival to draw in students. Both Vicente and Luu are campaigning with platforms to increase student voter registration in the upcoming city elections.

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

Contact Anjali Banerjee at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @abanerjee_dc.