Crystal Choi runs for Student Advocate on basic needs, visibility platforms

Photo of Crystal Choi
Aaron Wu/Courtesy
Crystal Choi is running for ASUC student advocate after being a member of the Student Advocate's Office, or SAO, since her freshman year.

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Campus junior Crystal Choi is running for ASUC student advocate on a platform based on improving access to basic needs and accommodations, increasing the visibility of the Student Advocate’s Office, or SAO, on campus and securing a wider range of resources for student life.

Choi, a member of the SAO since her freshman year, now serves as the office’s external chief of staff. If elected to the student advocate position, Choi said she hopes to expand the work the SAO does in empowering student voices and making campus a more fair and equitable place. Choi said the three pillars of her campaign platform include consistency and justice in conduct and academic processes, accountability and community engagement and expanding learning accommodations.

She also noted the importance of equal access to student resources and how her experience in the SAO has equipped her with the proper tools to achieve these goals as student advocate.

“The issues and obstacles that students face here don’t affect all communities in the same way,” Choi said.

If elected to the student advocate position, Choi stated that she hopes to increase the SAO’s visibility on campus through more creative outreach efforts. Choi said she wants to empower a more diverse group of students working in the office as well, in order to increase the office’s capability to serve historically disadvantaged communities.

To increase diversity within the SAO, the office recently acquired stipends, according to Choi. Choi noted that this permits students from underprivileged financial backgrounds who would otherwise have to work elsewhere to support employment at the SAO.

“I really believe that every student should be guaranteed the chance to pursue their studies in an environment that supports them,” Choi said.

Another one of Choi’s main goals is to boost student access to university housing, especially for students who are unable to return home during school breaks.

She added that the SAO has been trying to institutionalize winter break housing and to hold the university accountable for not providing access during that time.

“This is something that we can’t just be scrambling to get for students on a case by case basis.” Choi said.

Recently Choi has been working within the academic division of the SAO in an effort to better support students who are struggling with issues related to COVID-19 and increase faculty accountability.

Choi added that professors have a responsibility to provide their students with resources such as lecture recordings for immunocompromised students due to the ongoing pandemic.

“It’s really not acceptable to keep the status quo just because it’s something we’ve been doing for a long time.” Choi said.

Contact Grace Nelligan at [email protected].