There is perhaps nobody more qualified or prepared for the job of ASUC student advocate, or SA, next year than Era Goel. With six semesters of experience in the ASUC Student Advocate Office, or SAO — the last two of which she’s spent as internal chief of staff under current SA Joyce Huchin — Goel has the knowledge necessary to lead the SAO through what is sure to be another challenging year.
In her advocacy, Goel has shown a sincere dedication to the well-being of the student body. In addition to helping lead a team of more than 70 caseworkers in the SAO, she’s served on the ASUC Mental Health Commission; UC Berkeley’s Coordinated Community Review Team, which addresses sexual violence and sexual harassment; and the Committee on Courses of Instruction, where she pushed for academic accommodations during the pandemic. It’s clear Goel’s advocacy has gone above and beyond the call of her duties in the SAO — the sign of an advocate who truly cares about the work she does and the students she helps.
Having navigated the difficulties — and also unexpected benefits — of a virtual SAO this year, Goel also understands how the office must continue to evolve in order to best meet student needs during a transition back to on-campus learning. Acknowledging the toll of the pandemic on student health and equity, she’s voiced support for a wide array of changes, including the expansion of Disabled Students’ Program accommodations, improvement of access to basic needs and development of restorative justice practices in academic misconduct — plans that are timely, feasible and important.
Goel’s experience being one of the only student voices in a room of faculty and administrators will help ensure these reforms are implemented with the best interest of students in mind.
Vote Era Goel for student advocate.
Editorials represent the majority opinion of the editorial board as written by the spring 2021 opinion editor, Jericho Rajninger.