Campus junior Joyce Huchin is running for ASUC student advocate with the goals of strengthening community relationships and institutionalizing more resources.
Huchin, who serves as the chief of staff for current student advocate Nava Bearson, is running on four platforms based on her six semesters of experience in the Student Advocate’s Office, or SAO. She previously served as a financial aid caseworker and as a policy coordinator.
“For two years, Joyce has led SAO’s Winter Break Housing Program, Emergency Rental Assistance Fund, and Students with Dependents Fund, which have provided essential financial support to dozens of students,” Bearson said in an email.
Huchin’s first platform includes enhancing casework nonpartisanship and direct-to-student services, which she claims is at the core of the SAO. In her second platform, she also aims to connect the various divisions of the SAO on a more consistent and holistic basis and build sustainable community partnerships.
“Every student should know what the processes look like for them, how to navigate conduct disciplinary processes, how to appeal their financial aid to receive a fair and equitable package,” Huchin said.
Her third platform aims to institutionalize financial justice resources. According to Huchin, campus should be responsible for providing the resources and labor that students facing financial aid issues need.
Huchin’s final platform focuses on centering students in academic and administrative processes, which includes integrating more equitable operations in UC Berkeley’s policies and procedures. Specifically, she wants to continue overseeing the creation of a withdrawal coordinator position on campus.
“I’ve seen a lot of cases where students withdraw without realizing that they’re going to lose access to housing, to their health insurance and to their financial aid resources,” Huchin said. “I’ve sat in rooms where I’ve been the first person to tell a student that they’re going to lose their housing because of this choice their academic adviser told them to make. And that should just not be happening.”
The SAO is important to not only the students it serves but also to its caseworkers as a community, Huchin added.
Huchin is also supported by many members of the SAO community, including her fellow chief of staff Sophia Fenn. Fenn said Huchin is one of the most brilliant and compassionate people she has ever met.
According to Bearson, Huchin has aided students in emergency financial situations through her campaigning for the creation of programs aimed at helping students disadvantaged by basic needs insecurity, and she has successfully advocated for new policies for increasing basic needs security at UC Berkeley.
“Joyce’s six semesters of experience serving in SAO, unparalleled commitment to advocating for students’ needs, and unique ability to uplift the voices of students make her the best choice for Student Advocate,” Bearson said in an email. “She has my strongest endorsement.”