UC Berkeley junior transfer Yasamin Hatefi is running for ASUC Senate with the Elevate Cal coalition.
Hatefi’s platform includes establishing residence hall spaces for transfer students, centralizing lists of off-campus housing options, increasing classroom air ventilation, increasing the accessibility of the Tang student medical center and providing students with sexual health resources.
Representation for transfers stands at the center of her campaign, Hatefi said. To address the issues faced by that community, she said the ASUC needs people who are from that community.
“The lack of transfer representation in the ASUC is jarringly low, especially considering that transfer students consist of 30% of the student population,” Hatefi said. “Part of the reason is because there’s no transfer voice in the senate.”
The ASUC does have a transfer representative, and in the last year, Hatefi has worked as the chief of staff under current ASUC Transfer Student Representative Gabriel Alfaro. Hatefi hopes to increase the power of the transfer representative, who holds an executive position but not a position as a senator.
Beyond this, Hatefi, who transferred from Santa Monica College last spring, pointed to loneliness and alienation within the transfer community. To address these issues, she hopes to put on more mixers and events and to increase collaboration between the ASUC Senate, the transfer representative and the Transfer Student Center.
“Community college gives students a second chance to succeed in education; many students have taken that chance, but when it comes to coming here, transfer students really do need help,” Hatefi said. “Community colleges do a good job at supporting transfers, but UC Berkeley also needs to support them in order to really integrate them into the Berkeley community and to go on and succeed.”
Hatefi said that because of her working-class background, she was faced with an uphill struggle to address problems such as an ADHD diagnosis. She had an epiphany, she said, that many of her issues would have been addressed had she been from a wealthier background.
Because of this, Hatefi ran for student government while at Santa Monica College and worked as the Inter-Club Council chair, responsible for overseeing clubs on campus. She ran so that she could provide students with the resources she wished she could have accessed, she said.
“I joined student government so I could advocate for students who I believe need the most help,” Hatefi said. “I’m able to get my voice heard, and I’m able to execute projects, which I believe would have benefited me as a student.”