The man behind the mask: Furry Boi’s plans for ASUC Senate

Karen Chow/Staff
Voters watch as the election results are displayed on large screens in the front of the room. Karen Chow/Staff

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After the ASUC tabulation ceremony Friday, the faces of candidates and their supporters expressed not only joy and disappointment, but also utter shock that UC Berkeley students had just elected a squirrel to the ASUC Senate.

Furry Boi, who resides in Berkeley’s Eucalyptus Grove and is endorsed by the UC Berkeley Memes for Edgy Teens Facebook page, finished the election in the top 10, winning a seat among 19 other senators.

Though he ran as a satirical candidate before the election, Furry Boi is pivoting —  campus sophomore Stephen Boyle, who filed Furry Boi’s candidacy and acts as his proxy, revealed his platforms Monday.

Boyle posted on Facebook on Monday, detailing his more than 5000-word plan for his senate term and policy platform.

“Yeahhhhhh… I ain’t resigning rawr xd!” Boyle wrote.

Before the election, Furry Boi’s platforms addressed community representation, basic needs security and academic advocacy for squirrels. He previously said he hopes to create a squirrel sidekick mascot named Nutty McNut Nut, foster safe spaces for squirrels and bridge the divide between humans and squirrels.

Boyle, however, will now govern on different, more human-centric platforms.

“I believe after this year, Berkeley will be different,” Boyle said, elaborating that he hopes to focus on campus sustainability, disabled students and community development. “Before I even filed for candidacy, I intended this three-part platform.”

Having his foot in the door, Boyle said, is the first step to making these goals happen.

For Boyle, a school like UC Berkeley should be more environmentally friendly. To accomplish this, Boyle said he wants zero waste on campus by 2020. He also wants to reduce food waste by implementing policies to limit dining hall guests to one full plate of food at a time.

“This campus is the No. 1 public university in the world,” Boyle said. “We need to be tackling problems about our environment.”

Boyle also wants to address issues facing students with disabilities and mental illnesses. He said existing programs such as Mental Health Month and conferences focused on disability are good but do not accomplish enough. To replace these, Boyle intends to push for the creation of programs that “destigmatize and demystify disability and create a sense of community among DSP folks,” in collaboration with the campus Disabled Students’ Program and the Mental Health Commission.

Finally, to improve “community development,” Boyle said he wants to increase campus spirit, to “make inclusive environments” and to bring back late night dining, because “food brings people together.” This is not the first time Boyle has mobilized around late night — he previously organized a protest to bring back the services.

In regard to his campaign strategy, Boyle said he tapped into the voter bloc that was upset with the ASUC and its lack of tangible accomplishments. He qualified this statement, however, by saying that there are many “truly passionate” people working in ASUC.

“I think it’s a big community loss … for incoming transfer students; they won’t have any representation next year — yet we elected a squirrel,” said Neil McClintick, a former columnist for The Daily Californian and Student Action senate candidate, at the tabulations ceremony after losing the election himself.

Although he did not attend the tabulation ceremony, Boyle said he expected to win based on “countless” people who told him that they had voted for Furry Boi.

“I have a very big network and lots of support,” Boyle said.

This is not the first time that satirical candidates have run for ASUC offices. The party SQUELCH! has run satirical executive candidates in past years, such as Ghost and Kira the Husky, though no candidates from the party ran this year.

“I apologize to anyone that I personally offended or triggered,” Boyle said. “It was not my intention to upset people.”

Contact Henry Tolchard at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @htolchard.