I want you to ask yourself two questions and consider their implications:
1. Who are your current senators? How can you talk to them?
2. You have never voted in an ASUCD election. Why not?
If I was asked these questions a few months ago, my response would have been identical to yours. And we both know this is not the way student government or any democratic process should function.
It is for this reason that I have decided to run for ASUCD Senate and I hope to win over your support. The following points highlight my general platform. If you have any questions about my platform and stance on wider range of issues, do not hesitate to shoot me an email (email@example.com)!
When I first noticed the massive disconnect between ASUCD representatives and the students they supposedly represent, I was curious and proceeded to ask some individuals within or close to ASUCD about this problem. The answer I received nearly across the board referenced the student body for being apathetic or not having substantial interest in ASUCD affairs.
I see this quite clearly as a constituency access problem. Some of you may learn through reading this that the majority senators have their office hours at the CoHo throughout the week. The fact is that senators are unidentifiable and therefore approaching them is quite simply impossible for the average student. This, I believe, is a fundamental problem that subsequently has a wider range of negative implications on every facet of student government.
While almost laughably simple, a concrete policy I would adopt as senator is bringing a visible identification placard to every CoHo office hours session. It is my hope that this will set a precedent for other senators so that every student has the ability to both identify and subsequently communicate with the individuals that represent them.
Quite possibly the biggest challenge ASUCD faces this year is reversing the downward trend in voter turnout and democratic competition. Turnout in the last handful of elections has been absolutely abysmal and this election, unfortunately, will not be any different. With only six candidates participating in the final stage of this election, it is absolutely clear that we have failed to maintain a representative democracy.
I see a two-part solution. One of my immediate actions as senator will be to implement proven model for the winter election that takes after institutions like USC and UNC-Chapel Hill and has resulted in huge gains in voter turnout. Additionally, the increased visibility of senators on campus as mentioned above will spark not only student participation but also general interest and accountability in ASUCD. In the end, students must feel like they have a stake in the election and voting in the election should become the easiest thing to do.
Redefine ‘Student Employee’:
One of my long term goals as senator is to change the culture of working on campus. I have experienced first-hand the flaws in student employment through my position at the CoHo South. Students who work for ASUCD are required to work a minimum of 15 hours per week which is significantly more than most full-time students want to work. This subsequently leads to high turnover rates because many students, especially at the CoHo and its satellites, feel overworked and quit within a few months of starting. This then results in desperate mid-quarter hires (just like the CoHo is doing at this exact moment!) and resources are wasted to train new workers. If we reduced work hours to the sweet spot of 7-10 hours per week, we would see an increase in applications for on-campus jobs, a more sustainable work environment, and a better perception of campus jobs.
Merging the Greek Community with ASUCD:
As it stands, there is no significant relationship between ASUCD and the Greek community at Davis. However, the two share so many similar goals, values, and ideals. Both structures seek to build a welcoming campus environment, raise awareness for pertinent issues, and involve students with the wider community. Successfully fostering a relationship between the two could lead to some extraordinary things.
As a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity, my eyes have been opened to the consistent drive and ambition by Greek organizations at UC Davis. Combining these two incredibly influential groups would mean merging motivated individuals willing to work towards certain goals along with the influence of ASUCD on campus. Synchronization can effectively lead to coordinated efforts to combat sexual assault on campus, expand community events, and ultimately close the gap between the Greek community and the rest of the student body.
It is my absolute hope that you are able to answer those two questions in a positive manner after this election and that our interactions take on a personal understanding. It would be my absolute honor to receive your vote on November 14-17th and I am looking forward to our conversations at the CoHo, serving with ambition, and representing your voices and opinions to the administration.
With warm wishes,