As the student body’s public defender, the Student Advocate’s Office, or SAO, is tasked with supporting all students and student organizations, and no one is more qualified to lead this office than Joyce Huchin.
Huchin has displayed immense commitment toward representing students, as evidenced by her serving six semesters in the SAO. As both a financial aid caseworker and a policy coordinator, Huchin has a variety of experiences to bring to the SAO. If elected for student advocate, Huchin hopes to institutionalize financial justice resources and create more equitable operations in UC Berkeley’s policies and procedures.
In an interview with The Daily Californian, Huchin shared her passion for advocating for basic needs and enhancing casework nonpartisanship, an essential aspect that she believes captures the heart of the SAO. Her plans to share the institutional knowledge that she and others in the office have gained with student organizations will help streamline the process to obtain the necessary resources for support, as students can become their own advocates.
Additionally, through enhancing casework nonpartisanship, Huchin hopes to improve student volunteer training to ensure they can handle a variety of cases and aims to enhance policy changes on a broader scale. Consequently, students would feel more comfortable using the SAO as a resource.
On the other hand, Defend Affirmative Action Party/Fighting for Immigrant Rights and Equality, or DAAP/FIRE, candidate Isabel Penman displayed a lack of knowledge about both the student advocate position and the SAO. Her goal to sever ties with the administration to make the ASUC an independent student body is simply not feasible nor would it work for the benefit of the student body. While her desire to make the SAO more welcoming and resourceful for sexual assault survivors is a reputable plan, her goal to have the SAO conduct its own independent investigations seems like a tall order for student volunteers.
Huchin displayed both the crucial knowledge of what the SAO does, as well as the vigor to put her changes into motion.
Vote Joyce Huchin for student advocate.
Editorials represent the majority opinion of the editorial board as written by the spring 2020 opinion editor, Simmy Khetpal.