UC Berkeley sophomore Anna Whitney announced she is running independently for the ASUC Senate on Friday evening.
Whitney, an urban studies major, said she is running on three environmentally based platforms: focusing on sustainability, institutionalizing environmentalism and building a more cohesive environmental community. She added that most of her platforms, such as instituting a zero-cost bike-share system, focus on the long term.
In the sustainability portion of her platform, Whitney plans to introduce better reuse programs for textbooks and a household equipment rental service on campus in order to decrease student living costs.
“We are trying to subvert this culture of high-material, high-cost living,” Whitney said.
For her second platform of institutionalizing environmentalism, she plans to work on implementing solar rooftops on campus buildings and pushing the ASUC to transition to reusable dishware on campus.
In the last portion of her platform, Whitney aims to advocate for more student representatives in campus groups that make sustainability policies and to publicize the work of campus environmental groups. She added that she wants to hold workshops that outline the current bureaucracy surrounding environmental policies so students are aware of how changes can be implemented.
“Environmental issues should not have a party,” Whitney said. “(They’re) relevant to everyone.”
According to Whitney, she draws on her many experiences in positions of leadership, such as her time as an ASUC Environmental Council lobby staffer, a Carbon Neutrality Initiative fellow with the Student Environmental Resource Center and a Zero Waste commissioner for the city of Berkeley.
Scott Silva, Whitney’s campaign adviser and fellow employee at the Student Environmental Resource Center, lauded Whitney for her kindness, people skills and initiative. He added that there is a need for more environmental senators in the ASUC.
“Anna’s work, whether she wins or not, will help the environmental community,” Silva said.
The 2018–19 ASUC elections are scheduled for April 9–11.