Alexander Sanborn-Walker is running for ASUC Senate with Progressives at Cal on platforms of transfer student needs and protection of student services.
A transfer student himself, Sanborn-Walker is prioritizing transfer student prosperity, housing advocacy and inter-communal justice. In particular, he is looking to retain student services he says have been threatened by campus administrators.
“UC administration is attempting to remove a lot of student resources and student services, and we need to fight back against this neoliberal practice of removing things that enhance the quality of the students’ education,” Sanborn-Walker alleged. “We need to focus on the betterment of student services, rather than the pockets of the UC administration and the profits that they make.”
Sanborn-Walker currently works as a housing advocate in ASUC Senator Kailen Grottel-Brown’s office and as a transfer student advocate for ASUC Senator Yasamin Hatefi.
One of the issues he referenced directly was the ongoing People’s Park debate. As an advocate for student housing, he stressed the importance of discerning which housing projects are good for the city of Berkeley, and which might cause more harm than good.
“Many students need to recognize there are a plethora of other sites in Berkeley which the university could construct housing on,” Sanborn-Walker said. “It doesn’t need to be this historic public space that people have been using for activism and community organizing since the 1960s.”
Additionally, Sanborn-Walker aims to reform the way in which transfer students become acclimated to campus. He proposed changes to Golden Bear Orientation and supports addressing club application restrictions that unfairly target transfer students.
He is endorsed by the Transfer Student Caucus and is positioning himself as the “transfer candidate,” claiming that he has a unique understanding of the transfer experience as a transfer student himself.
“If there is a community that’s in need, I’m going to sit down with the leaders of that community and see what needs to be done,” Sanborn-Walker said. “It definitely seems like some representatives, or senators, either neglect particular communities or don’t have a very engaged relationship with the communities they care about.”
One of Sanborn-Walker’s main focuses is ensuring that advocacy and organizing are a part of the ASUC in an impactful way, with an emphasis on encouraging an open dialogue and outreach between the ASUC and student communities on campus.
Sanborn-Walker himself has a history of organizing beyond his work in Senator Grottel-Brown’s office and Senator Hatefi’s office. He mentioned being a participant in the UAW strikes last semester, as well as other labor organizing he is doing elsewhere.
“I am a transfer student, and I am going to fight for the needs of transfer students, but that’s not the only thing I’m going to do while I’m in office,” Sanborn-Walker said. “I care about a lot of different communities and organizations, and I’m not going to neglect those either.”