Amyrah Doty, a sophomore double-majoring in English and legal studies, has announced intent to run as a candidate for ASUC Senate.
Doty is running on three platforms, focused on Black and Brown student recruitment, retention and mental health, housing security for students in need and reforming public safety dialogue to foster a focus on addressing more systemic causes.
“We always think of student safety, but we also don’t think of the protections and the humanity of the people who are incarcerated,” Doty said. “We think increasing police presence, increasing the UCPD, will stop crime … it seems pretty linear, but I’ve done research on it … it’s immense, and that’s not how we stop crime.”
They have done research in the anthropology library and worked with people who are incarcerated in the Bay Area, which ties into their platform on public safety.
Doty noted the library’s role in their research, and said its closure reflects larger cuts to student academic services.
They said housing equity is an important issue to them, especially the Basic Needs Center. If elected, Doty hopes to revise the center assistance forms to better reflect the privacy and confidentiality of the circumstances of applicants, which they noted can place people in upsetting situations. In addition, they hope to expand the emergency housing program and extend the period of time for which it applies.
Students with specialized needs also lack sufficient resources, Doty said, whether they are low-income first-generation students, part of a minority group or have a disability. They called for more questions to be asked and activism to be pushed.
“It makes us feel like we are just sources of revenue … instead of actual people with needs who need special access due to the historical marginalization and oppression we experience,” Doty said. “The university was not made for us.”
They emphasized the importance of acknowledging the “mosaic of experiences” that students carry and the heterogeneity of backgrounds that are within the university, and how this should impact the allocation of resources, which Doty claimed are not as accessible for certain groups.
Doty alleged that although there are procedural measures and preformative support given by the ASUC, they are accompanied by a lack of further action. They noted the need to face these issues with the “fierce and unrelenting urgency of the now” with “boots on the ground” and “scorched earth activism.”
Doty noted that this would enable people to question administration about the alleged mismanagement of funds and increasing tuition alongside a simultaneous decrease in the provision of student services.