ASUC evaluates progress on advocacy goals in end-of-year report

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The ASUC has released its Advocacy Agenda End of Year Report, written by Senator Teddy Lake, which evaluates the ASUC’s fulfillment of various goals set by ASUC officials to help them better serve the campus.

The report discussed goals in five areas of advocacy — diversity, equity and inclusion; academic support; basic needs; sustainability; and wellness, safety and campus climate — for the 2018-19 school year. The goals were established with the intent of providing transparency and accountability, according to the report.

In its advocacy for underrepresented groups such as international students, the ASUC cited that it helped eliminate the $56 international student service fee and lobbied for a $125,000 in funding for the international student emergency financial aid scholarship.

Senator Imran Khan advocated for the Middle Eastern, Muslim, Sikh and South Asian community, lobbying for the creation of a Muslim student advisory committee, according to the report.

In the report, Lake mentioned that she urged Chancellor Carol Christ to speak out in support of transgender students “in light of widespread transphobia both on and off campus.”

The report also discussed the Advocacy Agenda’s emphasis on academic support as another area of improvement to help students of different backgrounds succeed.

“Despite being heralded as the number one public university, this institution often fails to support students through its immense academic rigor,” Lake said in the report.

In response to these challenges, according to the report, senators are working on a charging locker plan, the expansion of affordable course materials and a program to allow LGBTQ+ students to find one another in academic spaces.

Working toward the goal of achieving basic needs, Khan integrated Bears for Financial Success workshops into residence hall programming. Senator Amir Wright helped increase the automatically approved loan limit and worked with External Affairs Vice President Nuha Khalfay to amend the Group Living Arrangement bill. Other focus areas were supporting student-parents and the Basic Needs Referendum.

The ASUC has also worked with the city of Berkeley to distribute free flu vaccines for low-income and uninsured students, secured three-year funding for Safer Sex Kits at the Tang Center, and organized “an independent police advisory board” to prevent violence and hold the police accountable.

In regard to sustainability, the report went over many of the efforts that were led by Senator Anna Whitney, who created the Zero Waste Student Advisory Committee to focus on waste goals.

“Public service must always be the lifeblood of this Association,” Lake said in the report. “Though we may lose sight of that from time to time, I truly believe in the ASUC’s capacity to create positive change.”

Contact Sasha Langholz at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @LangholzSasha‏.