CalSERVE announces 9 candidates for ASUC Senate

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CalSERVE announced its nine-person senate slate for the 2019 ASUC elections Thursday night, one year after winning only three of 20 senate seats in the 2018 elections.

The party, which has historically represented communities on the margin, slated two more candidates this year compared to last year’s seven candidates. CalSERVE named Nicole Anyanwu, Emily Fregoso, Pedro De Anda Plascencia, Romario, Omotara Oloye, Media Sina, Yousef Moneer, Yesenia Solis and Amy Chon as candidates in the April elections.

Anyanwu, a sophomore majoring in public health, is running to support the prehealth campus community, address food insecurity and strengthen resources relating to sexual violence and sexual harassment prevention. She hopes to reform the Title IX investigation process to make it more accommodating for survivors.

“We need more diversified investigators,” Anyanwu said. “We need more transparency in the process so survivors aren’t given an overwhelming amount of information.”

She added that she plans to leverage partnerships with local organizations to provide students pursuing Title IX-related lawsuits with free legal and mental health resources.

Fregoso, a sophomore majoring in history, is running on platforms to support survivors of sexual violence, improve Latinx resources and expand sexual and mental health care services.

“I want to bridge the gap between the resources available and the communities that really need them who may not even know that they exist,” Fregoso said.

If elected, both Fregoso and De Anda Plascencia plan to hold campus administration accountable for its plans to make UC Berkeley a Hispanic-Serving Institution, or HSI, in the next 10 years — this means that at least 25 percent of enrolled undergraduate students must be Hispanic.

De Anda Plascencia, a sophomore studying political science and English, said in an email that he wants to ensure that intersectional Latinx narratives are highlighted in the HSI task force’s discussions. Fregoso added that they wants to ensure the announcement is more than a “recruitment tactic.”

Romario, a junior studying political science and rhetoric, is running as the candidate endorsed by the queer and transgender community — a position currently held by ASUC presidential hopeful Teddy Lake. His platforms include establishing a fee waiver for hormone replacement therapy and expanding the UNITY Theme Program.

Romario, who currently serves as a board member for the Berkeley Student Cooperative, or BSC, plans to reintroduce the Cooperative Opportunity Fund, which, according to him, fell apart because of BSC’s lack of representation within the ASUC.

Oloye, a sophomore studying computer science, hopes to secure study spaces in campus lecture halls for student use after hours and strengthen relationships between the Black undergraduate, graduate and faculty campus communities.

As a sophomore studying chemical engineering, Sina hopes to reserve seats in “necessary” courses for students in the colleges of chemistry and engineering and host a competition to encourage student involvement in campus sustainability efforts.

Moneer, a first-generation junior transfer studying political science, hopes to provide refugees with “culturally-competent” mental health resources and address President Donald Trump’s travel ban through accommodations. As a Yemeni Muslim refugee, Moneer said he has experienced the emotional stress of being separated from his family and saw personally how unequipped administrators are to support those affected by the ban.

“My communities have been long excluded from institutions such as the ASUC,” Moneer said in an email. “If we’re not present at the table then our issues will continue to be ignored.”

Both Moneer and Solis, a sophomore majoring in legal studies, have no prior experience in the ASUC. Solis said in an email that she hopes to create an alumni network for undocumented students.

Chon could not be reached for comment as of press time.

Voting for the ASUC elections will be held April 8, 9 and 10.

Anjali Shrivastava is the lead student government reporter. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @anjalii_shrivas.