UC Berkeley junior transfer student Giancarlo Fernandez is running unopposed for a second term as ASUC executive vice president, or EVP.
Last September, the ASUC Senate unanimously elected Fernandez as EVP after the resignation of former EVP Aditya Varma. Fernandez said that as EVP, it is his role to be the “chief operating officer” of the ASUC. He added that most of his work is performed internally.
As a newcomer to UC Berkeley, Fernandez found the transition difficult.
“Coming into this position as a transfer student my first semester, one of my biggest hindrances as EVP was institutional knowledge,” Fernandez said. “Unfortunately, that is the hindrance for a lot of transfer students in (Registered Student Organizations) and different areas on campus where transfer capital is not as valued outside of the transfer community.”
Fernandez said that despite the learning curve, his experience as EVP last semester has proven that he is capable of running this position and that he has identified several areas of potential development for the ASUC.
One area of development that Fernandez hopes to improve is communication. Fernandez said that he believes that there is a “lack of cohesion and collaboration” within the ASUC. In addition to this, Fernandez wishes to establish an office within his own position to set up communication between different Registered Student Organizations, or RSOs.
Fernandez added that he identifies with the disabled community, first-generation student community and transfer student community. According to Fernandez, identifying with these “marginalized” communities has greatly influenced his decisions as EVP.
Fernandez says that one of these decisions is his effort in establishing a position for diversity, equity, inclusivity and belonging within the ASUC, so that students of marginalized backgrounds will be better supported.
“Bringing in RSOs from (nontraditional) backgrounds means uplifting more students on campus who maybe never saw themselves in the ASUC,” Fernandez said.
In addition to this, Fernandez hopes this position could help alleviate the impostor syndrome that so many transfer students experience when first attending Berkeley.
Fernandez says that despite the difficulties he has faced, he is “excited” to continue his work as EVP of the ASUC.
“This last year has shown me how difficult it is to be a student leader,” Fernandez said. “I have struggled sometimes, but I am really optimistic. With another term, there are chances to do things differently and build stronger relationships with others. I ran again because I know I can do a lot better now. I will not stop until I accomplish everything I set out to do.”