As a daughter of Mexican immigrants, campus sophomore Sahvannah Rodriguez hopes to be a source of strength for the Latinx community on campus as the Latinx community-endorsed ASUC Senate candidate.
Rodriguez’s platform propinclude osals, in addition to representing the campus Latinx community, space advocacy involving the allocation of a Latinx resource center, mental health and wellness, as well as the academic and professional development of women of color.
“There has been a lot of division in the community, since last year’s election and the polarizing space of the ASUC,” Rodriguez said in an email. “I hope to foster a more welcoming and accessible ASUC space that encourages Latinx folks, organizations, and spaces to centralize and uplift their advocacy.”
Rodriguez has worked collaboratively on these issues through her time working in former ASUC senator Nick Araujo’s Latinx-endorsed office during her first year on campus and as the Latinx Caucus Facilitator her second year.
Rodriguez first joined the ASUC her freshman year, working in the ASUC Latinx-endorsed office as an associate for the Department of Brown Student Equity and Inclusion.
Through her time in the ASUC, Rodriguez said she learned the “inner workings” of policy legislation, ASUC bureaucracy and how to use “ASUC privilege” to better serve the needs of Latinx community members.
Under her mental health and wellness platform, Rodriguez said she hopes to be able to allocate at least one wellness counselor that identifies as Latinx and is prepared to serve the needs of the Latinx community on campus.
Rodriguez also said she hopes to uplift women of color on campus. Her professional and academic development work will mainly focus on addressing the obstacles women of color face when it comes to applying for jobs, finding internships and post-graduate options, according to Rodriguez.
“As both a woman and a Latina, I have experienced the strong effects of machismo in my home, in my family, and especially when I have navigated positions of leadership,” Rodriguez said in her application. “Because machismo (misogyny) is so prevalent in the Latinx community, I believe it is important to actively combat it by not only supporting Latinx woman, but also uplifting them, crediting them for their work, and encouraging them to take on positions of leadership.”
Rodriguez added that her candidacy will not be running under any specific party. As an independent candidate, she wants to tend to her community’s needs first rather than the needs of a specific party or coalition, according to her email.
Rodriguez said she is excited to be working in collaboration with the Latinx community and feels incredibly proud to be able to have the opportunity to represent them, in return for providing her with a sense of belonging on campus.
“As for why I chose to support Sahvannah, she is one of the most hardworking individuals I know,” said Rodriguez’s campaign manager and campus sophomore Melyssa Oviedo in an email. “I have been able to work with her in multiple spaces throughout our time at Cal and have seen her grow into the leader that she is now.”