Campus junior Augusto Gonzalez aims to promote sustainability, cheaper transportation and financial wellness, among others, at UC Berkeley as a candidate for ASUC external affairs vice president, or EAVP, ASUC Senate and transfer representative.
Born in Argentina and having immigrated to the United States at age 8, Gonzalez transferred to UC Berkeley from Fullerton College. During his time at community college, Gonzalez was part of the student government and said he noticed that he could do “a lot of good” for the community.
After transferring to UC Berkeley, Gonzalez decided to work for the office of ASUC EAVP Varsha Sarveshwar and realized that the ASUC has more resources and infrastructure than the student government at his community college does.
According to Gonzalez, these resources do not necessarily always go to transfer students, however. He said, if elected, he would change this.
“I would love to serve this campus community,” Gonzalez said. “I believe in my heart that transfers can bring heart to this campus. If we’re given the chance to lead and we can have our thoughts turn to actions, we can benefit everyone in this campus.”
Gonzalez also started his own party to run under called the People’s Party, which acts as a direct, nonpartisan approach for students’ voices to be heard, according to Gonzalez. The People’s Party is running for the first time this election cycle.
Gonzalez’s platforms include transfer advocacy, federal solutions, transportation, affirmative action and immigrant rights, as well as sustainability and financial wellness.
If elected, Gonzalez aims to work with campus administration to secure guaranteed transfer housing. Additionally, Gonzalez wants to work with the University of California Student Association, the Ivy Council and universities across the country to create a nationwide university network to promote national inclusion.
Sustainability and financial wellness are of great importance to Gonzalez, as he also plans to spearhead legislation that would have campus switch to lower-emission LED lightbulbs. Gonzalez also wants to develop a constitutional referendum to raise student fees by $10 for the UC Berkeley Food Pantry.
“The food bank is essential to the Cal community, and we should do everything in our power to expand it and fight hunger,” Gonzalez added.
Transportation is a recurring platform for Gonzalez, and he plans to work with BART to make ridership more affordable for students who may be facing difficulties as a result of the Bay Area’s high cost of living.
As an immigrant himself, Gonzalez wants to help the undocumented and international communities feel secure on campus through the ASUC. Gonzalez said he wants to work with Bay Area lawyers to provide pro bono services to students in these communities.
“We should guarantee every student’s rights to study, work and live in the U.S., and we should do everything in our power to make sure their rights are secured,” Gonzalez said.