Abel Birosh, campus freshman majoring in math and computer science with a minor in public policy, is running for ASUC Senate with Elevate Cal on the platforms of STEM advocacy, increasing access to job opportunities and internships, improving South Asian representation and advocating for international and out-of-state students.
As an Indian international student himself, Birosh emphasized his desire to help ease the transition and create a sense of belonging for out-of-state and international students, as well as the general student body.
“I want every student to feel an increased sense of belonging on campus – students here should feel welcome across communities,” Birosh said. “My personal agenda is to make people feel welcome here.”
In terms of advocacy for students in STEM, Birosh’s major goals include pushing for increased departmental funding for STEM fields, as well as increased library hours and disability accommodations for all classes on campus.
In terms of job opportunities and internships, Birosh hopes to continue working towards providing free, accessible LSAT and MCAT training. Additionally, he plans to set up an “interview weekend” similar to Berkeley Law’s interview week, where companies in the Bay Area can visit campus for a weekend and interview students for potential jobs or internships.
Birosh also seeks to work with registered student organizations on campus to advocate for the South Asian community. He noted that clubs on campus lack funding and spaces to meet, and hopes to ensure that clubs get the resources they need. To represent out-of-state and international students, he proposed a social events catalog for mixers so students far from home have the opportunity to connect with one another.
“I want to move the ASUC from taking actions that are performative in nature to definite actions because we are here to represent the students,” Birosh said. “It’s a slow process, but it’ll happen one step at a time.”
Campus safety is another issue Birosh hopes to address — he noted worries that both he and other students have expressed about walking home at night and proposes a “renewed welcome experience” with more emphasis on familiarizing students with local transportation options.
In the past, Birosh has worked for ASUC President Chaka Tellem to organize logistics for the multicultural initiatives fund. He currently works with the disability team under ASUC Senator Carlos Vázquez.
“For a lot of the community – especially those who are marginalized — the ASUC has not been going to them individually to ask how the institution can help them and improve as a whole,” Birosh said. “Personally, one of the most important things to me has always been showing up and being accountable to communities I represent and fundamentally every student on campus.”`