Soha Manzoor runs for ASUC Senate with value-centered campaign

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UC Berkeley sophomore Soha Manzoor is representing Elevate Cal in her campaign for ASUC Senate in the upcoming April election.

Manzoor’s value-centric campaign highlights her ASUC experience and character. She focuses on four platforms: menstrual equity, STEM advocacy, community support and student wellness.

“I have always been very unafraid to say what I’m thinking and call out when I notice something unfair or unjust happening, especially within the ASUC,” Manzoor said.

As current chief of staff for Senator Issabella Romo, Manzoor oversees numerous departments and handles issues within the senate as a senior advisor for Senator Jason Dones. Manzoor noted her time within the ASUC allows her unique insight on its inner workings. 

Manzoor said that she differentiated herself from other candidates by her authenticity, noting some elected officials focus too heavily on politics.

“I don’t have a lot of experience in policy or government, and that isn’t really my focus when it comes to sharing my platforms,” Manzoor said. “I want to get work done and I want to do it in the way that I believe is right … developing Berkeley as a whole rather than getting wrapped up in drama and politics.”

Manzoor accredited her background in community service and advocacy to her four campaign platforms.

The first, inherited from Romo, focuses on menstrual equity. Manzoor aims to supply free menstrual products at campus restrooms and partner with the newly formed ASUC Menstrual Equity Committee to produce educational initiatives.

Romo noted Manzoor’s dedication to her current menstrual equity advocacy work.

“She’s not running on platforms just to get votes — she’s running on platforms that she cares about and that she believes are necessary to improve the student body,” Romo said.

Her second platform, STEM advocacy, bridges the gap between her two majors, astrophysics and sociology. Manzoor plans to extend STEM resources for underrepresented communities, a project inspired by Dones.

Manzoor also advocated for the addition of a STEM ethics graduation requirement on campus.

“Since it’s a new conversation, a lot of the majors at different universities do not have courses on ethics,” Manzoor said. “That’s concerning because it’s a new field that’s changing all the time.”

Next, Manzoor will focus on institutional support for marginalized students, minorities, and groups who are targeted or harassed. As the head of the Da’wah committee for the campus Muslim Student Association, she also plans to collaborate with the Muslim community.

Manzoor’s final platform involves mental and physical health. She aims to diversify campus Counseling and Psychological Services through communication with student advocates, promote equitable COVID-19 policies and increase resources for sexual violence and sexual harassment organizations.

Manzoor stands out through her “remarkable” energy and intellect, according to campus junior Yursa Arub.

“The Cal community would be lucky to have her as a Senator next year, but it’s safe to be grateful right now for her wit, spirit, and dedication to speaking up for what matters,” Arub said in an email.

Contact Lily Button at [email protected], and follow her on Twitter at @lilybutton27.