Bold. That’s what students should want an ASUC president to be, and that’s what they’ll get from CalSERVE’s Juniperangelica Cordova.
As a member of Chancellor Carol Christ’s free speech commission, Cordova, who would be the ASUC’s first openly transgender woman president, built a reputation as a strong, no-bullshit leader who asks hard-hitting questions of administrators and doesn’t back down. What more could you want?
In her time as a senator, she has consistently advocated for important changes. Her most notable accomplishment this year exemplifies this: She founded an ASUC police oversight commission to jump-start a call for stronger student authority in police oversight.
Her vision for student advocacy includes focused efforts towards expanding basic needs, improving campus safety and bettering the overall experience at UC Berkeley. Though lofty, these necessary goals will improve campus life for all students.
Her primary opponent, Student Action candidate Alexander Wilfert, demonstrated his knowledge about critical issues, such as housing, in an interview with The Daily Californian editorial board. But that knowledge has not translated to the bold plans that Cordova has for UC Berkeley. His campaign promise to “Get shit done” is not backed up by his tenure as an ASUC senator.
Wilfert’s biggest accomplishments as a senator revolve around the Greek community. He fought against the Group Livings Accommodations ordinance that affects group living environments, such as co-ops, fraternities and sororities. He spearheaded an initiative to bus students to Stanford for the Big Game.
These accomplishments pale in comparison to Cordova’s, as she not only uses ASUC political processes to her advantage, but has also proven her ability to fund important campus initiatives. Through grants and donations, her senate office raised more than $85,000 for various projects.
Stephanie Gutierrez, the freshman Defend Affirmative Action Party, or DAAP, candidate, who has no previous experience in the ASUC as well as platforms far outside of the ASUC’s scope (such as impeaching Trump), should not be elected. But given the quality of previous DAAP candidates, she had a surprisingly well-thought-out and productive interview with the editorial board. Gutierrez shouldn’t be president, but she could have a promising future in student government.
This year, though, Cordova is the right candidate. UC Berkeley need an ASUC president like her who will ensure complacent campus administrators actually work for students.
Generations of UC Berkeley students from Mario Savio to the anti-apartheid protesters have learned that advocating for students (and even surviving on campus) requires audacity, creativity and resilience. That’s what we’ll get from Cordova.
Vote Juniperangelica Cordova for president.
Editorials represent the majority opinion of the Editorial Board as written by the opinion editor.