Neil McClintick for ASUC Senate
I'm a third year (transfer) from De Anza College, and I'm majoring in political science. I'm running for Senate because I want to leave behind a campus that is more welcoming for my prospective transfer friends that I love. The transfer community deserves a representative who has innovative solutions to the complex issues we face. Perhaps my most well-suited qualification is that I am a former competitive World of Warcraft PvP player, ranking top 0.5% when I was like 13 years old. You've probably seen me rollerblading around Berkeley. I enjoy really awful movies -- watch one with me sometime!
I. Transfer Students
New Housing Facility for Transfer Students
Currently the 6th floor of Martinez Commons serves as the pilot to the “transfer living and learning program” — exclusively housing transfers with a transfer RA and integrated programming. I want to expand this to the entire building, especially now that the pilot has exceeded expectations with a 100% retention rate. Housing is particularly difficult for transfer students who may have priority but are often forced into unacceptable living conditions. UCLA is able to provide transfer-exclusive housing, so there’s no reason the true #1 university cannot as well.
Post-traditional and transfer student inclusion
While “transfer” typically instinctually elicits an image of a student in their early 20’s, the umbrella term frequently encompasses re-entry students, veterans, parents, formerly-incarcerated students, and others. These groups are rarely recognized despite their struggle as students here at UC Berkeley. I want to find innovative ways to include these students in unique research positions, scholarships, leadership positions, and student organizations. Student organizations could agree to take an Inclusion of New Transfer Opportunities (INTO) pledge which would commit to incorporating more transfers in membership and leadership. We need to address the transfer opportunity gap created by time-constraints and on-campus discrimination. Special attention should be applied to the fact that most transfers are lower-income and from communities of color.
More accommodating new student services
GBO should be more conducive of transfer-specific needs along with two transfer leaders for each cohort. Ideal programming should include more content on mental health and career services, especially due to transitioning difficulties. Working with admissions, transfer day deserves to be bolstered similar to the incredibly transfer-friendly Transfer Bruin Day that UCLA hosts.
Expansion and refinement of Education 198 classes which house a majority of new transfer students. This class is key for the transitioning process and is effective for learning about the many necessary services. However, over a hundred students were waitlisted last year -- unacceptable for such a resourceful primer. Transitioning courses should also be reviewed as a means of developing social cohorts for the purposes of community development.
Expansion of CE3 (equity centers)
Outlining and reviewing a potential expansion of the Cesar Chavez center, partially through a buy-in of administrators, philanthropy, and a referendum in order to properly accommodate under resourced education, equity, and excellence groups which serve diverse and underserved student demographics. Many of these existing student spaces are embarrassingly small and severely understaffed. An innovative long-term solution must be sought for long-term equity.
II. Low-income Students
Creation of a new food-voucher program by partnering with private grocery stores.
Through the facilitation of counseling services such as through EOP and the transfer center, food-insecure students will be eligible for a redeemable voucher at select stores, coupled with supplementary programming inclusive of the vast number of resources available to help these students get back on track, including CalFresh, the food pantry, the Collective, EOP resources, and others.
A dedicated voice on the housing crisis
I will advocate for an increase in housing supply, with an emphasis on innovative ways to include affordable units. Already, I’ve been active on the city-politics end with councilmember Kriss Worthington’s joint plans with student groups. I vow to help continue this work on the ASUC Senate because we are facing a serious crisis that needs to be addressed now. Public-private partnerships (with the right stipulations) are key as well ensuring that graduate students are apart of the housing discussion.
III. Campus Accessibility
Working toward creating a subsidized BART for commuter students.
Compared to previous ideas, this buy-in would not need to be as significant, and its much more monetarily feasible than a discount for the entire campus. In the case of SF State, students get a 25% discounted BART, but the supermajority of their students use BART to get to and from campus. Within the context of UC Berkeley, however, roughly 10% of students rely on the BART, often because they are displaced by exorbitant costs of living. It only makes sense to prioritize these students first with a pragmatic model that will also promote ridership and environmentally-friendly use of public transit.
More city-wide private housing protections for students with formerly incarcerated students
Chair ASUC Transfer and Non-traditional Committee
Outreach Coordinator, ASUC Office of Carmel Gutherz
Labor Commissioner, City of Berkeley
Member, Re-Entry Transfer Student Association
Former Transfer Student Issues Columnist, Daily Californian
Lead Organizer, Our Revolution - De Anza College Chapter
Intern, Office of Assemblyman Evan Low
Opinions Editor, La Voz News
Public Policy School Student Lobbyist, De Anza College
Deputy Field Organizer, Bernie Sanders for President
Campus Organizer, De Anza College
Intern, YMCA Youth and Government
Lead Organizing Fellow, Mike Honda for Congress
- ASUC Senator Carmel Gutherz — Transfer-Endorsed Senator*
- Alina Yang, President of the Re-Entry Transfer Student Association
- Jamari Snipes, Public Relations of the Re-Entry Transfer Student Association
- Erika Cota, Social Affairs Project Director
- Rogelio Medrano, Transfer Student Center Peer Advocate
- Hannah McCarthy, Transfer Student Center Peer Advocate
- Tara Sreekrishnan, Staff for Office of Berkeley Councilmember Harrison
- Alejandra Colon, Vice-Chair Cal Alumni Scholars*
- De Anza Community College Associated Student Body
- James Chang, Berkeley City Rent Board
- Igor Tregub, Berkeley City Rent Board
- Scott Strgacich, Undergraduate Political Science Association co-issues chair
*Titles for identification purpose only