ASUC political party Student Action announced that it will reform its values and slating process after the controversy surrounding Senator Isabella Chow, who was previously slated under the party.
This statement comes after Student Action announced its disaffiliation with Chow after comments she made regarding the LGBTQ+ community during a senate meeting in October.
“The slating of Isabella Chow onto the Student Action senate slate was more than a simple mistake,” Student Action said in the statement. “It was a result of years of party leadership compounded into a culture that felt that it was better to maintain the status quo and double down on the notion that Student Action was simply an ‘elections machine.’ ”
Previously, the slating process solely included an online application and an in-person interview, according to the statement. In addition, candidates were slated almost exclusively for their individual beliefs and potential, Student Action party chair Josh Wilson said.
The new slating process entails a more intensive interview process to assess each potential candidate’s alignment with the party’s values, as well as a third round of interviews in which the party can affirm that its members have come to a consensus on the potential candidate.
According to the statement, the nature of the interview questions will also change, and there will be more impetus placed on questions pertaining to values rather than platforms and community intentions.
“We’ve seen several instances in the recent past where individuals rescinded party affiliations after the realization that their work was incompatible, and we’re trying our best to catch it before it becomes an issue,” said Wilson in an email.
In addition to a more comprehensive and rigorous interview, Student Action will also take measures to ensure that candidates align with the party’s written set of values, according to Wilson. If candidates do not align with Student Action’s work and values, slating them “wouldn’t make sense,” he added.
Former CalSERVE chair Romario Conrado expressed his dissatisfaction with Student Action’s disaffiliation in a Facebook post earlier this month, alleging that the party only announced its disaffiliation with Chow when the senator’s values were publicized.
“Time and time again you let the queer and trans community down with your lack of real solidarity as well as your toxic rhetoric which marginalizes existences,” Conrado said in the Facebook post.
The party’s new values include responsibly serving the party’s respective constituencies and understanding the communities of others, governing with tangible measures, ensuring action-oriented work and preserving student ownership of the ASUC, according to the statement.
“We want to make it clear that if an applicant doesn’t resonate with our commitment to diversity, inclusion and active allyship, they don’t have a place in the party,” Wilson said.