ElevateCal candidate Shrinidhi Gopal runs for ASUC Senate

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Campus freshman Shrinidhi Gopal is running for the ASUC Senate with ElevateCal on a platform focused on basic needs and transparency.

Gopal aims to support basic student needs in three main areas: accessibility to housing, improved student dining options and menstrual equity. She emphasized housing accessibility and student dining as the main issues she hears her peers having issues with.

“I really want to focus on my basic needs platform because these are things that affect almost every single student,” Gopal said.

Seeing how students often have trouble finding housing since there are too many channels they must look at, Gopal stated she intends to create a database consolidating housing information. The database would compile information such as landlord contact information as well as listings for various housing types across from sources such as Facebook and Zillow.

Another major platform for Gopal is to improve campus dining halls and cafes by revising nutritional standards and expanding vegetarian options. She also wants Cal Dining to partner with small businesses twice a month, which can also work to promote cultural inclusivity.

“If we start to take care of (these basic needs) at least somewhat, students will have more time and more energy to spend on other things that may be causing them distress,” Gopal said.

Gopal also looks to promote menstrual equity on campus following the recent passage of a California law mandating California Community Colleges and California State University campuses provide free menstrual products. Gopal stated she would implement at least one centralized location with free menstrual product dispensers for each of the major colleges on campus.

Beyond promoting basic needs, Gopal stressed the importance of increasing transparency around student government actions. Gopal suggested potentially livestreaming ASUC meetings to increase student body engagement with ASUC policymaking.

“I want students to see what goes on in student government, what kind of things we’re doing and what kind of things are going to affect them,” Gopal said.

Since Gopal is planning on double majoring in computer science and business administration, she wants to increase STEM major involvement in the ASUC. One initiative she wants to start is to establish peer mentor groups for classes with more than 150 students to increase student support and reform toxic competitiveness.

Gopal’s other platforms include implementing ASUC-vetted sexual violence training for fraternities and sororities, increasing transparency with fraternity council decisions and improving trash sorting with better trash can image labels.

Currently, Gopal has experience working as the chief of staff intern for the ASUC Office of the President.

“I’m somebody who is efficient, and it sounds cliche, but I’m genuinely very, very excited to implement the platforms I’ve talked about,” Gopal said. “I want to see student concerns alleviated — that’s the biggest thing that any elected official should want to do.”

Contact Cindy Liu at [email protected], and follow her on Twitter at @_CindyLiu_.