UC Berkeley freshman Rebecca Soo announced her independent candidacy for ASUC senator Thursday, intending to represent the campus Christian community.
Soo, an intended political science and sociology double major, is running to represent UC Berkeley’s Christian community, promote campus safety and advocate for mental wellness.
Working in current ASUC Senator Isabella Chow’s office, Soo gained direct exposure to the conflict between Chow and parts of the campus community over LGBTQ+ issues. In November, Chow refused to support a bill that stood in solidarity with transgender, intersex, nonbinary and gender nonconforming students because of her faith.
“It was something that really opened my eyes — to see the hurt that exists between the Christian and LGBTQ+ communities,” Soo said.
By connecting with Unity in Christ, or UIC — whose goal is to foster interfellowship — Soo intends to promote a “culture of understanding and respect.” She believes UIC will “facilitate the bridges between (the campus’s Christian community) and the LGBTQ+ community.”
“A Christian senator is necessary, not just for the Christian community — it’s necessary for Berkeley, especially because of the events last semester,” Soo said.
To improve campus security, Soo intends to collaborate with UCPD to make vulnerable areas of campus safer, improve Bear Transit and work with on-campus stores to stock affordable safety resources such as pepper spray and portable alarms.
Soo also wants to work with the Tang Center to destigmatize counseling and increase the availability of long-term mental health services, as well as establish peer-support networks.
Although Soo’s campaign launched less than a week ago, she said her bid has been warmly received by the community.
“Every student, every fellowship, every church that I’ve talked to, they’re really excited,” Soo said. “Even outside of the Christian community, people are really supportive.”
Voting for the ASUC elections will be held April 8, 9 and 10.