Student Action releases final names of candidates running for ASUC Senate

Photo of ASUC Senators
From left to right: Amy Chen, Sophie Morris, Jerry Xu

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On Thursday evening, the Student Action party released its third and final slate of candidates running for Senate positions in the upcoming ASUC elections.

Campus sophomores Amy Chen and Sophie Morris and freshman Jerry Xu are running for the ASUC Senate positions. The candidates’ platforms include supporting and representing the international, East Asian, Jewish and Greek life communities.

A member of the international and East Asian communities at UC Berkeley, Chen is advocating for increased financial support by establishing international student research grants and scholarships.

Amid a national trend of increased anti-Asian hate crimes and xenophobia during the COVID-19 pandemic, Chen noted that she wants to amplify East Asian organizations on campus and establish an East Asian cultural week.

“I want to increase our political power and lift up political voices within the campus, ensuring my community’s adequate and equitable access to campus resources,” Chen said in an email.

Chen added that she wants to expand COVID-19 screening and testing resources, as well as create mental health guidelines that are preventative and responsive as students return to campus.

Akin to Chen, Xu aims to represent the international and East Asian communities on campus. Both candidates are advocating for international students, as they acknowledge the difficulties they face by living in different time zones while taking online classes.

According to Xu, he hopes to create a more accessible report process for incidents of xenophobia and assemble lists of current opportunities on campus to allow for a smooth transition back to in-person instruction. He also wants to provide newsletters to raise awareness of wildfire and earthquake safety among students.

One challenge Xu noted the campus community faces is increased isolation between communities, which he aims to address by hosting workshops to spread knowledge on East Asian identity.

“Learning each other’s culture helps us to understand our similarities and differences,” Xu said in an email. “Reducing isolation is not something that can be solved with words. It requires actions and perseverance.”

Morris’ platforms include supporting the Jewish community by holding town halls to ensure she is advocating for all student perspectives, providing kosher dining options and connecting students with Jewish mentors in Berkeley.

Regarding the Panhellenic Council, Morris said she will advocate for greater transparency by eliminating certain barriers, including making recruitment free in the fall semester. With the array of functions in Greek life, Morris aims to prioritize religious diversity by ensuring no events take place on religious holidays and creating bias training for students.

Morris also wants to provide housing support for all students, educating tenants on their rights and prioritizing the greater Berkeley community in campus decisions.

“It’s really up to ASUC Senate to be providing added resources and putting in that extra time to support every single student,” Morris said.

ASUC elections will be held virtually from April 5 to 7.

Contact Shylie Ati at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @shylieati.