Amma Sarkodee-Adoo for ASUC Senate
My name is Amma Sarkodee-Adoo and I am a second year studying political science, public policy, and education. I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, but I absolutely adore the Bay Area and never want to leave! My passions include breakfast foods, musical theatre, and being a huge policy nerd. I want to be a senator because I love my communities so much and want to make sure that their voices are heard and that the changes that they need are facilitated.
I. Making the Greek Community More Accessible, and Supporting Underrepresented Greek Organizations
The Panhellenic and Interfraternity Councils provide members with invaluable academic resources, alumni networks, housing security, opportunities for service, and a sense of community. However, these organizations, particularly Panhellenic sororities, are largely inaccessible for many due to the financial burden they place on students. As your ASUC senator, I will work to make the Greek community more financially accessible. One way I will accomplish this is by creating a Recruitment Fee Waiver for low-income students to alleviate the financial pressure that exists before women even join a Panhellenic sorority. I also will work in conjunction with UC Berkeley’s financial aid advising and the executive financial officers for each Panhellenic sorority to create awareness about what kinds of resources and scholarships that are available both within the university and within each sorority. With this collaboration, Panhellenic sororities will be more equipped to help members manage the costs. When Greek life is more financially accessible, it makes possible a community based on values, rather than on socioeconomic privilege.
I also want to work on strengthening the Cal Greeks brand and supporting underrepresented communities that fall underneath this brand. As an ASUC senator, I aim to represent Greek councils beyond just the Panhellenic Council and the Interfraternity Council. This means recognizing and serving the National Panhellenic Council (NPHC), which is comprised of historically African-American sororities and fraternities, and the Multicultural Greek Council (MCGC). These organizations frequently lack the allocation of spaces, funding, and recognition needed for their continuity and growth. I will support these organizations by helping them find consistent meeting spaces and promoting their recruitment and philanthropy events. I also would establish a shared risk management council among all Greek councils, as well as standardizing risk management practices such as consent talks and alcohol safety programming. I would also encourage representation from MCGC and NPHC in community-enhancement organizations such as Greening the Greeks and Greeks Against Sexual Assault (GASA).
II. Increase Student Engagement With Berkeley Politics
Berkeley’s local legislature has an inherent impact on students’ daily lives. Local policy includes student housing specific legislation, noise ordinances, parking fees and fines, and public transportation issues. However, a majority of students are underexposed to local political issues, and many are not registered to vote in the city of Berkeley. As a senator, I will work to increase student engagement with Berkeley politics. One of my office’s main goals will be registering students to vote locally before the November 2018 elections. I also will coordinate transportation between invested students to City Council meetings where issues pertinent to students are being discussed. In addition to this, I would like for my office to send out comprehensible and easily-accessible newsletters on upcoming, relevant legislation so that students are informed and can feel comfortable giving public comment before city council. Given that UC Berkeley students make up roughly 30% of the city’s population, I also will advocate for a non-voting student seat on Berkeley city council by working with city officials to write this position directly into Berkeley’s municipal code. I also want to increase student representation on Berkeley commissions so that student perspectives are taken into account with policy regarding issues such as mental health, housing, and police review. In order to accomplish this, I will hold commissioner training workshops for students in conjunction with the offices of Berkeley Districts 4, 7, and 8.
III. Promote Diversity and Inclusion Among RSOs
Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) serve the academic, social, and specialty interests of almost every UC Berkeley student. However, many students experience marginalization within these organizations. I want to make Cal a place where everyone feels comfortable pursuing and developing their interests through their membership in all organizations. One of my goals as an ASUC senator is to increase diversity and inclusion among RSOs. I will work with the LEAD center and the Restorative Justice Center to develop workshops on the effects of inequity in on-campus clubs, based on the experiences of real Cal students. In addition to this, I will support RSOs in effective, nondiscriminatory recruiting and leadership by providing education on community development topics such as implicit bias. I also want to support the LEAD center in providing resources for students within RSOs who feel marginalized to eventually eliminate marginalization within RSOs.
Director of Statewide Issues Advocacy and Policy [ASUC Office of the President]
Advocacy Department Member [ASUC Office of the President]
Human Welfare and Community Action Commission, Vice Chair [City of Berkeley]
Intern, District 8 [City of Berkeley]
Community Development Committee [Alpha Phi]
Philanthropy Committee [Alpha Phi}
Diversity and Inclusion Chair [Berkeley National Organization for Women]
Leadership Board Member [Younglife]