ASUC executives warn against ‘pettiness’ in upcoming elections at Senate meeting

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The ASUC Senate discussed election culture and conduct at its general meeting Wednesday.

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During its general meeting Wednesday, the ASUC Senate discussed election culture and conduct, as well as COVID-19 statistics at UC Berkeley and the fate of in-person classes next fall.

After adopting the consent calendar, the Senate moved to executive announcements. In her presentation, ASUC President Victoria Vera asked candidates running for next semester’s senate and executive positions to challenge the “pettiness” of election culture.

She added that it is important for current members to be open about the culture of the ASUC that tends to discourage people from running for office.

“Many students do want to run for office,” Vera said during the meeting. “Often, they shy away and are scared of running because of political machines that we’ve created and designed ourselves that are often exclusionary.”

Vera concluded her presentation by urging ASUC members to encourage the campus community to vote in the upcoming April elections, adding that students still interested in running for office have until March 12 to file their campaign.

Soon after, Academic Affairs Vice President Nicole Anyanwu celebrated the fact that the Foothill residential dorms, which have been used for quarantining students with COVID-19, are currently housing zero occupants.

Anyanwu recognized and thanked the campus community for its overall collaboration to lower case numbers.

“This is really exciting news, and we’re hoping we can keep it at this level especially as spring break approaches,” Anyanwu said during the meeting.

Anyanwu also echoed Vera’s sentiments about election culture, reminding the ASUC that any behavior pushing another student out of running is punishable under the student code of conduct. Senators and officials should also remember who voted for them and respect their constituents, she added.

During her additional announcements, Anyanwu said UC Berkeley is looking to prioritize remote instruction for fall 2021 classes with at least 200 students. She noted that this would be very influential for international students or students facing financial difficulties that could make coming back to campus difficult.

Options for remote students looking to take more specialized or upper-division courses are being considered as well.

Sebastian Cahill is a student government reporter. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @SebastianCahil1.