Karina Sun for ASUC Senate
I am a second-year Political Economy student at UC Berkeley that is the dance community-endorsed Senate Candidate. I understand the needs of the dance and larger performing arts community intimately, and I will work to ensure that we have access to the space, financial resources, and environment that we deserve. Student life is more than just academics, and I am so honored to be doing this.
I am currently dancing with Main Stacks, Abba Modern, and Danceworx; I have previously danced with AFX and Movement.
I. Establish an Advantageous Relationship Between Student Performing Arts Groups and Campus Administration
Berkeley’s Student Performing Arts Groups are independent and student-run, a proud fact that unfortunately leaves them in a vulnerable position when it comes to campus administrative decisions. The ASUC already has a relationship with administration and is able to leverage both its many resources and established clout, conditions that are essential to protecting the interests of performing arts groups. It is necessary that we have a representative in ASUC who is then able to communicate effectively on behalf of performing arts groups with a direct line of communication rather than just advocacy. As Chief of Staff for Senator Josh Wilson, I worked with the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs (VCSA) to sponsor numerous showcases when performing arts groups were overlooked in the creation of a new interim events policy. Following that, I also helped ask for specific language that simplified the security process for RSOs in the events policy rework, ensuring lasting protection for student performing arts groups. This relationship between VCSA and performing arts groups is one that must be continuously strengthened, as has proven to be necessary when some groups with different structures have been unfairly targeted financially. A major benefit of an ASUC representative is refined pathways for establishing long-term working relationships and ensuring that student life is not overlooked in administrative overhaul. As your ASUC Senator, I hope to continue this work as a representative of Student Performing Arts Groups.
II. Organize, Maintain and Extend Student Group Practice and Performance Spaces
Art needs sufficient space to grow and flourish. That means appropriate practice space as well as performance space options. The student performing arts community at Berkeley is consistently over 1,000 students and growing; it is imperative that we have a representative in ASUC that will work to not only update these spaces but to increase their financial accessibility. Currently, I’ve been meeting with CalPerformances to explore options regarding discounts for campus organizations and prioritization for bookings for large showcases. Though in progress, there is much more work to be done in order to assure accountability and practical implementation. Another avenue that I believe needs exploring is the lack of campus-sponsored spaces.The only performance and practice space currently available is fully ASUC-sponsored, while other student clubs have campus-sponsored space. This must be expanded. Hearst Gym is another resource that I believe is under-explored-- though owned by RSF, I believe improvements to the current working schedule as well as reservation process must be made. I will work to move the booking method to virtual EMS to address the current issues of double booking and confusion.
Along a similar vein, this past semester, I have worked regarding the frustrations of maintenance and insufficient funding. With Eshleman renovations, we’ve experienced three rounds of financial setbacks, but this has only reaffirmed my determination to push for greater efficiency. Another aspect of this goal is the need these spaces have for regular maintenance. There is currently no regular part of the budget dedicated to the maintenance of Eshleman Practice and Performance rooms, a serious mistake proven by the amount of malfunctions that exist and have persisted in these spaces, and regularly applying for project funding for small repairs is not feasible. Without a consistent student voice, student orgs are easily overlooked and pushed aside. A main goal of mine would be to establish a sustainable relationship as well as mitigate future financial hikes between the ASUC and CalPerformances.
III. Expand Night Safety Options and Improve Reliability of Existing Services
Berkeley at night is notoriously unsafe. Many student performing groups, by necessity, meet at night, and are often faced with difficult decisions when it comes to getting home safe. In order to better care for these students as well as our greater Berkeley campus, we need a representative in ASUC that will prioritize the improvement of such services. Current services like the Nighttime Door-to-Door Shuttle and BearWalk are underfunded and overused, creating a discrepancy between need and fulfillment. Working specifically to improve the Nighttime Door-to-Door Shuttle, I hope to establish a working relationship with UC Parking and Transportation to search for feasible solutions. Budgeting is always a problem, but I believe this is an issue we can garner support for. Either a referendum or partnerships with AC Transit- I believe there must be an option for this. Along with this, I have also been involved with the on-campus lighting project, a $2 million fund that will add new lights to cover campus north to south and east to west. As your ASUC Senator, I would make this project a top priority, in search of a lasting and inexpensive solution to get our students home safe.
Chief of Staff, Office of ASUC Senator Josh Wilson
Co-Chief Director, Dance Board of UC Berkeley
Previous Dance Senators:
Dance Board (Josh Wilson)