4 official parties to run candidates in ASUC 2020 election cycle

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For the upcoming ASUC election cycle, four official parties are running candidates: the Defend Affirmative Action Party/Fighting for Immigrant Rights and Equality, or DAAP/FIRE, Student Action, the People’s Party and REBUILD.

DAAP/FIRE is running to make the ASUC an “independent fighting student union” and the center of new immigrant rights, civil rights and student movements, according to Hoku Jeffrey, a supporter of the party.

“UC Berkeley students must be the crucial force to getting (President Donald) Trump out of office, protecting the well-being of our co-students, and defeating his attacks against immigrants, minorities, women, and American democracy,” Jeffrey said in an email.

DAAP/FIRE candidates also aim to use their power in the ASUC to lead a growing movement to double underrepresented minority enrollment, fight rape and sexual assault on college campuses and fight to fully fund education at UC Berkeley that can spread to other UC campuses, according to Jeffrey.

The REBUILD coalition comes in the wake of the decision of CalSERVE, UC Berkeley’s oldest active student government party, to not run candidates this election season. REBUILD is not an official party, but due to ASUC bylaws, it must be registered as one. REBUILD seeks to support candidates who do not officially align themselves with a particular party but want to put the needs of students before the needs of a party, according to coalition co-founder Varsha Sarveshwar.

Some of REBUILD’s main platforms include fighting oppression within both the UC system and around the world, as well as being a proactive ally to all marginalized campus community members.

The newly established People’s Party is also running for the first time this election cycle.

“The People’s Party represents the desire of all students at UC Berkeley to have their voices heard, being a voice for all underrepresented students, a large portion of which are transfer students,” said Augusto Gonzalez, People’s Party candidate for external affairs vice president, transfer representative and senate, in an email.

The People’s Party aims to promote the ASUC as a “vessel” that will directly improve the daily lives of students. The party’s platforms include advocacy for cheaper transportation, financial wellness and sustainability, among others, according to Gonzalez.

Student Action is also running candidates this election season. Historically, Student Action has represented the engineering, Jewish and Greek communities on campus. Student Action could not be reached as of press time.

The Transfer Coalition applied for party status but was not approved by the ASUC Elections Council.

Although not an official party, the Transfer Coalition seeks to offer a voice to those who are not conventionally considered when one thinks of the average college student.

According to coalition chair Alexander Alpi, the Transfer Coalition is running candidates mainly to increase transfer student representation when it comes to student government.

“To increase transfer representation, the solution must come from both inside and out of the ASUC,” Alpi said in an email. “Our job is to increase it from the outside, through increasing political pluralism.”

Voting for the ASUC elections will take place from April 6 to April 8.

Audry Jeong is a student government reporter. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @audryjng_dc.