Era Goel runs for Student Advocate in ASUC elections

Photo Era Goel

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Student well-being, accountability in communication and nonpartisanship are a few things Era Goel is prioritizing in her campaign to be the next ASUC student advocate.

In the six semesters Goel has worked at the Student Advocate Office, or SAO, she served as an academic caseworker, the head of finances and operations and, most recently, chief of staff. Goel is also endorsed by the current ASUC student advocate Joyce Huchin.

In addition to Goel’s work with the SAO, she sits on the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Student Mental Health and the ASUC mental health commission.

Goel alleged that there are inadequacies in how students are alerted of misconduct, which can be harmful to students. If elected as the next student advocate, Goel aims to focus on mental health advocacy and enhancing communication between students and professors.

“I am very committed to advocating for students’ needs and have a unique ability to lift the voices of students because of the experience that I’ve gained being in the office these past three years,” Goel said. “My personal leadership philosophy right now comes down to being intentional and making space for others.”

In alignment with her platform and emphasis on student wellbeing, Goel plans on institutionalizing financial justice resources.

She noted that she wants to maintain and strengthen the Students with Dependents fund, which provides financial assistance to students who are financially responsible for another person.

While serving as chief of staff for the SAO, Goel is in charge of reading every case that comes into SAO and assigning them appropriately. Goel added the job has given her an intimate understanding of the situations students find themselves in and are looking for support in. Goel’s job also entails training new caseworkers to refer clients to other resources that SAO partners with. 

“I have learned a lot in the last two years,” Goel said. “I want to put that knowledge and that expertise that I’ve gained to use by building on the connections and the partnerships that I’ve established.”

SAO has received 550 cases so far this year, a number Goel attributed to the online nature of the year. Goel played a significant part in SAO’s online transition this year by creating documents to consolidate information and connecting it to SAO partners, including the Center for Student Conduct, Academic Senate and Basic Needs Center.

Additionally, Goel spearheaded the establishment of a helpline, specifically for academic misconduct as a result of the increase in academic misconduct cases this year with the Center for Student Conduct.

“It would be important for me to approach everything with empathy and with attention and recognizing the space that this role gives for there to be real impact financially, academically and personally,” Goel said. “I’m very committed to doing the work that needs to be done so that students at this university are able to prioritize their own goals that have as minimal burdens as possible.”

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

Contact Mia Scher at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @miascher_dc.