Michael Gofman & Shaniah Branson

Hi! My name is Michael Gofman, and I’m running to be your next ASUCD President! I’m a second-year economics and political science double major from San Francisco. I have served In ASUCD this past year as a Senator, which has given me the privilege of sitting on a number of internal committees which has taught me about the structure of the organization and how budgeting is dealt with on a school-wide level. On campus, I’m involved in Greek life as a brother of Alpha Gamma Rho and I sit on various boards within the Jewish community. During my term as a senator, I have pursued a number of projects, including a closet with free professional wear to rent to marginalized students (called the career closet), Improving Unitrans service through sitting on citywide committees, helping my units like the CoHo and Bike Barn, introducing legislation to increase transparency, and increasing the amount of microwaves in the Coho, something that will be implemented soon. Beyond that, I love classic rock, drinking coffee late into the night, and holding our administration and student government accountable to students!

Hey Everyone! My name is Shaniah Branson and I am very excited to be running to be your next ASUCD Vice-President. I am a third-year, first-generation, transfer student from Huntington Beach, studying Communications and Political Science. I was sworn in as interim senator for ASUCD fall quarter, and it has allowed me to gain essential knowledge about how our association functions and what I can do to create institutional change. I have made the most out of my term by gaining familiarity with the bylaws, working closely with the Disability Rights Advocacy Committee, and working with other senators on legislation and projects. Much of my leadership experience stems from community college. During my time at Golden West College, I served as its representative to the community college district council, as a member of my campus’s planning and Budget committees, and as President of the Alpha Gamma Sigma Honor Society. My passion lies in giving back to my community, and during my time in community college I achieved over 1,200 community service hours. During commencement, I was honored as the student of the year and held the honor of being a commencement speaker alongside Chancellor of the California Community Colleges, Eloy Oakley. My passion continues here in Davis: to serve, represent, and fulfill the needs of each and every student. Beyond my experience, I am an avid boba connoisseur. Go Aggies!

The platforms that we hope to implement during our term in the executive office are:\

Food Insecurity:

During my time at my community college in Huntington Beach, I worked with the administration to create a mobile pantry that provided students with food resources at the centers convenient to them. This is a project that we, as President and Vice President of ASUCD, would like to bring to the UC Davis campus by partnering with The Pantry, Student Affairs, Aggie Food Connection, Veggie Up, and the EOP Cottages. This project would be called ‘The Pantry On-Wheels”. This would supply each large center on campus (e.g. Cross Cultural Center, AB540 Center, Veterans Success center, etc) with a moveable cart that is supplied with non-perishable food items and fresh vegetables and fruits. The Pantry On-Wheels will also help with storage and space of food/hygiene items as the pantry is allocated a small space. We have talked to Mayra Llamas, Interim Executive Director of Community Resource & Retention Centers about how we should go about our project and she was in full support of it and recommended first steps we will take.

Bridging the Gap Between Transfers & Traditional Students:

Career Discovery Groups are a partnership between the College and the Internship and Career Center, that give freshmen and first-year transfer students an opportunity to explore campus resources, student involvement opportunities, career possibilities, and make academic choices for future success. Career Discovery Groups also provide students with a mentor to introduce them to campus resources, help them explore potential career paths, and to guide them with course selection. There are only 20 students per CDG, so students will be part of a small group with shared interests. Students who participate in Career Discovery Groups have higher rates of retention at UC Davis. Interaction with faculty and advisors helps them gain focus; guidance from graduate student mentors helps Career Discovery Group students learn to navigate the research university and use campus resources. The College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences is the only college that currently has Career Discovery Groups. We want to bring this program to the other 3 colleges so that all first-year Transfer and Reentry students have the opportunity to be connected with their peers and the campus itself.

Transparency:

During our time in Senate, we have strived to increase transparency on the table through a number of projects. First we suggested live streaming senate, something which will be implemented soon, we authored legislation which notifies students before they will be mentioned at Senate, and we attempted to pass an amendment in order to make the External Affairs Vice President (EAVP) an elected position--all in an effort to ensure students’ voices are better heard and fairly represented. The EAVP’s primarily roles would entail being our representative to the UC Student Association, lobby on our behalf in Sacramento and DC, and help organize campus around the issues that matter to you. If elected, we will establish the External Affairs Vice President, and make it elected, as well as work with Senate to use social media and other digital tools to make our student government more transparent, and help reformat how ASUCD brands itself to students in an effort to make it more accessible.

Clubs:

As President and Vice-President, we want to change the way ASUCD interacts with students. Instead of ASUCD reaching out to organizations for help with our advocacy, we want ASUCD to give back and help student organizations with their goals. This would be facilitated through the establishment of a new committee, the “Committee on Clubs.” Its members’ roles would be to research philanthropic and charitable efforts around campus and use ASUCD’s outreach and marketing abilities to help events hosted by student organizations reach new numbers of students on campus. We have already met with the internal affairs commission chair to make sure that this is both feasible and pragmatic, and we are excited to bring this forward over the next year.

Disability Activism:

We believe the administration’s attention is lacking for students who have physical, mental, and learning disabilities. We want to make our campus more accessible for all students, especially ones with disabilities. To address this, we would start by organizing town halls to listen to student voices. During our time serving as your President and Vice President, we will work with the Disability Issue Administrative Committee (DIAC), the ASUCD Disability Rights Advocacy Committee (DRAC) , and the Student Disability Center (SDC) to create effective communication between these three groups, as they all represent students with disabilities. We would lobby administration to make sure all buildings are accessible, that testing accommodations become easier to acquire, and that a permanent testing center is established. We will use the new SDC space in the Memorial Union as a starting point to advertise and expand current disability services.