‘A safe haven’: Manuel Cisneros runs independently for ASUC Senate

Photo of Manuel Cisneros

Related Posts

Campus sophomore Manuel Cisneros found his motive to run for ASUC senator amid UC Berkeley’s enrollment freeze controversy.

While many felt pity for people who would’ve lost the ability to come to UC Berkeley, Cisneros supported the California Supreme Court’s decision in reducing campus’s admission numbers. He added that the university should prioritize the students it has right now, especially when it cannot house all of the current students already.

“I just couldn’t stand to see the reaction of people neglecting the Berkeley neighborhood and the homeless population,” Cisneros said.

Cisneros added he would not make promises he could not keep and admit that his personal capability is not enough to solve the housing crisis or “buy a house for students.” However, he emphasized that he would do his part and take it step by step — starting with fundraising for the Berkeley Student Cooperative, or BSC.

BSC is a student-run housing cooperative that aims to provide affordable housing to students. BSC currently houses more than 1300 students in 17 houses and three apartment cooperatives.

If elected, Cisneros will create a coalition with other ASUC senators to prioritize low-income students and those suffering from the housing crisis. He would also figure out ways to direct more funds to the BSC and low-income students.

“I just want to make sure that low-income students, including myself, have a voice that we can get clear towards the university,” Cisneros said.

A political science major and “social butterfly,” Cisneros noted he is proactive and passionate about planning. He added that his knowledge in policy and government and experience as the senior class president in high school where he led and executed events for the senior class qualifies him to run his own cabinet and motivate people.

As president of the Gay Straight Alliance, another main goal Cisneros has is increasing publicity for the LGBTQ+ community. Cisneros thinks campus has both the resources and the will to reach every student who is struggling, but stressed the need for increased publicity of these resources and QT+ organizations.

To accomplish this, Cisneros hopes to start a coalition with current LGBTQ+ organizations and create more events for the QT+ community, so students are able to find resources they need more easily and be more active in the community.

One event idea Cisneros had in mind is modeled after the vogue ballroom, a safe place for all people in the QT+ community. He hopes to bring the history and culture of the vogue ballroom to Berkeley.

“I just wanted to bring it to Berkeley so it can be a safe haven for anyone and everyone,” Cisneros said. “So they can go ahead and see the LGBTQ culture and embrace not only your sexuality, but your body, your image and your whole charisma.”

Winnie Lau is the lead research and ideas reporter. Contact her at [email protected], and follow her on Twitter at @winniewy_lau.