The University of California Student Association, or UCSA, elected its new executive board last week, including two UC Berkeley students in high-ranking positions.
UCSA advocates for increasing the accessibility, affordability and quality of the UC system. Every year it chooses four campaigns to focus on: the UCweVOTE campaign, the ACQUIRE campaign, the Racial Justice Now campaign and the Fund the UC campaign.
UC Berkeley senior and ASUC External Affairs Vice President, or EAVP, Varsha Sarveshwar was elected president of the UCSA, and campus sophomore Kyndall Dowell was elected vice chair of the Racial Justice Now campaign on Aug. 17. Both Sarveshwar and Dowell started their terms the following day, according to Sarveshwar.
The EAVPs, or EAVP equivalent offices, from each of the nine UC campuses cast a vote for the UCSA president position, according to Sarveshwar.
“I’m deeply honored that my fellow EVPs entrusted me with this role,” Sarveshwar said. “As president, I represent UCSA to elected officials, UC Regents and UC administrators.”
As president, Sarveshwar said she plans to focus on lobbying for more state funding, strengthening the financial health of UCSA and its member associations and acting as an ally for the most marginalized students and their communities in the UC.
The Racial Justice Now campaign will be focusing on repealing California’s Proposition 209, which currently prevents schools, universities and places of employment from using affirmative action when considering their applicants. The focus of the campaign was voted on at the UCSA’s annual UC Student Organizing Summit, or UCSOS, which is one of the three annual conferences the organization holds for students across the UC system. This year, the summit was held in Pasadena from Aug. 16-18.
UC Berkeley brought a delegation of over 20 students this year to the summit, which consisted of panels, speakers and caucuses. The theme of this year’s event was “Collective Action, Students Together.”
“Students have always been on the forefront of movements for social change,” campaign materials from the summit said. “Whether we are working toward racial equity, college affordability, civic engagement, or resources and protections students need to succeed, #UCSOS is our opportunity to lead movements and empower each other.”