SQUELCH! announces 2 nonsatirical candidates for ASUC Senate

Ethan Epstein/Senior Staff

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SQUELCH! announced two nonsatirical senate candidates Sunday for the ASUC elections in April, the first campus party to do so this season.

The two candidates — Hayley “Major Leaguer” Krieger and JJ “Transformer” Lamas — are running platforms focused on diversifying the Greek system and bringing a voice to students of many intersectionalities.

According to SQUELCH! party chair Henry Foote, the party seeks candidates who can represent multiple levels of identity. Foote mentioned that the benefits of releasing candidates early is that their names are fresh in the minds of students before they get bogged down by the names of the many other candidates.

Foote added that the party is unsure about whether it will run a satirical executive slate like it did last year, and that it will assess the campus climate to decide what to do. He also noted that the party is a serious political party, even though they “have fun with elections.”

“As SQUELCH! we like to give not only the student body a break from the intensity (of campaigning), but … we aim to give other candidates from other parties a break from it as well,” Foote said. “We’re all students and that’s what comes first.”

Both candidates have substantial experience in student government.  Krieger helped plan a sexual violence conference in her freshman year under former ASUC Senator Aanchal Chugh, and she helped campaign for CalSERVE Senator Rosa Kwak last year. Lamas, a junior transfer student, was a member of the Associated Student Union at his community college. Both candidates draw their platforms from their prior experiences.

Krieger wants to focus on increasing diversity within the Greek community, which she is a part of, as well as finding ways not only to provide assistance to survivors of sexual violence but also to monitor the campus’s process of handing sexual violence and assault cases. Her third platform is providing sensitivity training to GSIs so they are better aware of different students’ experiences and can make the classroom a place where harmful experiences will not hinder learning.

“I’ve had some very unfortunate conversations (in the classroom) that turn very, very graphic and triggering,” Krieger said.  “There’s nothing in place right now to ensure that that doesn’t happen, because if people have the understanding of what happens ahead, they … (can) make educated decisions for themselves.”

Lamas wants to create a way for incoming students to be aware of all available campus resources, whether they be junior transfer students or freshman admits. Through his many intersectionalities, Lamas also wants to be a voice for the diverse groups on campus, such as transgender students.

“Transparency is ultimately the true key to life, and I’m unapologetic to expose all of the identities,” Lamas said.  “Students should feel safe to expose all of their identities.”

Lamas plans on increasing visibility for transfer students in the ASUC Senate, noting that the transfer community makes up nearly one-fourth of the student body, yet only one current senator is a transfer student — CalSERVE Senator Chris Yamas.

Both SQUELCH! candidates appreciate their nicknames, especially the meanings they hold. Krieger said her nickname reminds her of the 1992 movie “League of their Own,” about the female professional baseball league. Lamas said he generally enjoys the prefix “trans,” as it reminds him of the numerous transformations he has undergone.

“We like to remind everyone we don’t have to be boring to be serious, and we can also have fun with elections and with campaigning and with the ASUC,” Foote said.

The 2017-18 ASUC elections are scheduled for April 10, 11 and 12.

Sakura Cannestra is the lead student government reporter. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @SakuCannestra.

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that JJ Lamas’ nickname is “Transform.” In fact, it is “Transformer.”

A previous version of this article misquoted Henry Foote as saying, “We like to remind everyone we aren’t born to be serious.” In fact, Foote said, “We like to remind everyone we don’t have to be boring to be serious.”

A previous version of this article misspelled Aanchal Chugh’s name.