Graduate Assembly passes resolutions to restructure ASUC, fund legacy scholarship

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Delegates of the Graduate Assembly unanimously passed a resolution to support restructuring its relationship with the ASUC, from which it has sought independence for years.

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Delegates of the Graduate Assembly, or GA, unanimously passed a resolution Thursday to support restructuring its relationship with the ASUC, from which the assembly has sought independence for several years.

At the meeting, ASUC Chief Legal Officer Athalia Djuhana and President Victoria Vera proposed a new structure for the ASUC which they hope will facilitate a more equal relationship between the groups over a five-year period.

“We want to say, ‘Hey, can we at least try to fix what we have right now?’ ” Djuhana said during the meeting. “If it still doesn’t work and separation is still a goal, you will have the full ability to make that decision with or without the support of the ASUC.”

The restructuring would create an executive cabinet composed of a GA executive board and a newly proposed Undergraduate Assembly executive board. The cabinet’s primary purpose would be to discuss relations between the Undergraduate Assembly and the GA.

While the ASUC noted the resolution is not the full separation the GA has aimed for, many delegates agreed it is a step in the right direction.

“When it comes to if we do decide we want to pursue independence we need a lot of stars to align,” said GA delegate Emily Mullin. “That this framework would help nudge two of those stars, the ASUC and the UCOP, into alignment is huge for us.”

The ASUC Senate will vote on the resolution next week.

The GA also passed a resolution that will contribute $4,500 each year for the next 10 years to the Sylvia Bracamonte Memorial Scholarship. The award was created by the GA and Berkeley Underground Scholars to honor the legacy of Bracamonte, a campus alumna who was killed last year.

Friends of Bracamonte spoke at the meeting about how she was an inspiration to other students impacted by incarceration and parenthood, and her dedication to social work. They added that Bracamonte’s support as a friend and colleague made it possible for them to push through challenges.

“She was a strong advocate for everyone, she always ensured within the student-parent community that there were enough resources,” said Violeta Alvarez, campus alumna and first program director of Berkeley Underground Scholars. “Putting this together to solidify her legacy really means a lot to me personally, but also in terms of what Sylvia represented in the community. There’s no better way to honor her legacy than to put our money where our mouth is.”

The Sylvia Bracamonte Memorial Scholarship will grant $1,500 to one graduate student this year who aspires to be a social worker, with preference given to formerly incarcerated students, student parents and former foster youth.

Contact Emma Taila at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @emmataila