Megha Torpunuri for ASUC Senate

 
 

PLATFORMS

1. Transportation

Adequate and timely transportation for Berkeley students is a significant and burdensome issue, especially for both getting around Berkeley campus and out of this city. I first plan to implement a clockwise South Side Bear Transit line. Currently, the South Side line only runs in one direction and has long wait times, despite serving numerous students late at night. By implementing a concurrent, clockwise line, I plan to decrease wait times by half and make it easier for students to transport themselves around campus. In addition, I plan to work with the Academic Affairs Vice President in order to create a travel grant that student organizations can apply for in order to partially or fully subsidize their travel fees as a group. Current student grants often prioritize independent, academic researchers and it is difficult for student groups to obtain funding for their travels. By creating this fund, I plan to ease the burden on these organizations when they need to travel for events such as conferences, competitions, or meetings.

2. Safety

Many students often feel unsafe walking home at night through various parts of campus. I plan to combat that through two initiatives: increasing on-campus lighting, and creating a BearWalk app. First, by working with UCPD, the City of Berkeley, and the administration, I plan to pinpoint locations with high student volume and crime, such as near Soda Hall on Northside and West Crescent Circle in downtown Berkeley. After scouting these locations, I want to continue to increase lighting in these areas to decrease crime. Next, I want to create a user-friendly BearWalk app in conjunction with incentivisation programs for Community Service Officers (CSOs). Currently, BearWalk has insufficient CSOs to handle the amount of requests that they get, and when students’ requests are fulfilled, their BearWalks are often cancelled. By implementing programs such as priority enrollment for CSOs in addition to a BearWalk app which can pinpoint users’ locations and give them information about their CSOs, I plan to increase students’ safety and BearWalk’s overall efficiency.

3. STUDENT HEALTH

Student health is a significant issue on campus, especially menstrual, reproductive, and sexual health. Tampon and pad dispensers are a rare sight on campus, and when they are present in bathrooms, they are rarely stocked or have low-quality items. I first plan to implement free tampon and pad dispensers in major campus buildings such as Dwinelle, MLK Student Union, and Evans in order to fight for reproductive justice on campus. I plan to meet with the Student Union and the heads of the Colleges at Berkeley in order to ensure that these dispensers are properly taken care of. In addition, I also plan to incorporate a reproductive and sexual health seminar, with group effort from student activists and administration, in the new Golden Bear Orientation program to teach incoming students sufficient knowledge about these topics. The intersections of menstrual, reproductive, and sexual health as a first-year are incredibly important and should be emphasized in our orientation programs.

 

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Solar Energy Director, Office of Senator Monsoon Pabrai
  • External Affairs Vice President Designee, Senate University and External Affairs Committee

  • Vote Coalition Director, Office of External Affairs Vice President

  • Communications and Policy Intern, Office of Mayor Jesse Arreguin

 

ENDORSEMENTS

  • Michael Murran, President of Alpha Epsilon Zeta*
  • Himakar Nagam, President of South Indian Society*

  • Anuva Ganapathi, Co-President of UC Berkeley Indus*

  • Aman Chopra, Co-President of UC Berkeley Indus*

  • Andre Luu, ASUC External Affairs Vice President*

  • Monsoon Pabrai, ASUC Senator*

  • Bianca Filart, ASUC Senator*

 

*Titles for identification purposes only