Saakshi Goel for ASUC Senate
My name is Saakshi Goel and I’m a junior studying Media Studies and Design Innovation. I am from New Delhi, India and moved to California for college two and a half years ago. I am also involved with 100 Strong, ASUC Student Union, and ASUC. I enjoy cooking, photography, and want to go to business school in the future. I am running for ASUC Senate trying to work on sexual violence training and prevention, Student Union revamping, and providing South Asian/ International student resources.
I. Sexual Violence and Harassment Prevention and Training
Making confidential care resources accessible: 1 in 5 women in undergraduate programs are assaulted in college. The data for men/ non-conforming folx is even more deflated as most cases go unreported. Being sexually assaulted is stigmatized to an incredible extent and the policies in place for confidential care and advocacy are even more inaccessible to students seeking help for themselves or their friends right now. I plan to work on making existing resources more accessible by advertising confidential care centers such as Path to Care more where people can go seek secure help and support without fear of notifying UCPD or their health care provider.
Bringing a South Asian confidential counselor for survivors: Additionally, I plan to get a South Asian counselor in Path to Care who understands the struggle of the communities I seek to represent and has a background in dealing with the stigma that comes with being a South Asian survivor of sexual violence. This is especially important because this will help South Asian survivors seek confidential support without anything getting reflected on their health insurance and not alert family members. In addition, this enables South Asian survivors to seek specialized support from a trained professional who is familiar with helping people navigate trauma in such stigma-ridden spaces and communities. I will fund this through submitting proposals to both Wellness Fee Fund and the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Student Services and Fees in order to compensate a professional working at least part-time at Path to Care by February 2019.
Improving training for incoming students: Finally, I plan to work on improving training for incoming freshmen and transfer students by conducting and creating more engaging sexual violence workshops throughout the semester that helps them focus on these significant issues, in addition to other information that they learn at orientation. This will be done by revisiting how Bear Pact is designed, having more events such as Cookies for Consent, or V-day Words of Affirmation, etc. to help positively motivate students to be more informed on this issue instead of throwing statistics at them.
II. Student Union Revamping
Lower Sproul: Given the amount of space Lower Sproul has to offer, it is still underutilized by most of the student population. As your next ASUC Senator, I plan to fix this issue by having more recreational activities on Lower Sproul. This will include having a monthly farmers market by promoting local partnerships with organizations in and off campus like Berkeley Student Food Collective, Imperfect Produce, the Food Pantry, and Cal Dining. This program will expose more students to this area and promote its space for different uses, while also helping these integral organizations increase their on-campus visibility.
Music: Furthermore, I plan to have more live music events on the ground floor of Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union with partnerships with on-campus organizations such as a cappella teams, dance groups, and instrumental bands to help them gain visibility and open up the space to more engaging and interactive student programming.
Long-term business development: The Student Union renovated Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union, Eshleman Hall, and Lower Sproul in 2015. I plan to make sure that there are students advocating for sustainable business development in the Student Union, while also ensuring that the Student Union substantially generates revenue and puts students’ input first. I plan to do this by working with Student Union professionals and expanding the number of spaces available for student input on vital committees which make decisions that directly impact the buildings, such as the Operations and Finance committees.
III. South Asian/ International student resources
Money/ Spaces: On-campus South Asian organizations significantly contribute to building community value at Berkeley through representing UC Berkeley in nationally renowned dance competitions, organizing large-scale events such as Diwali, Holi, and massive a cappella competitions, and more. However, in order to to do so, these clubs require assistance with finances and spaces. I plan to serve as a liaison for these organizations on campus to help them work on budgeting needs and space allocation effectively by providing one-on-one ABSA assistance to every club under this umbrella by helping them be more proactive about getting the funds and spaces they need every year.
Community and Professional Organization: Most ethnic groups on campus benefit from some sort of pre-existing overarching professional or cultural network. I plan to build a similar professional network for South Asians where people can seek mentors working in fields they are interested in professionally and academically and match them up with mentors who could help assist them in furthering their careers. This will take place through dedicated career fairs, networking events, and professional panels, while also working on building relations with South Asian alumni working in and around the Bay Area.
100 Strong, VP of Internal Affairs* and DeCal Instructor* for Women’s Leadership and Mentorship Development
Director of Student Organization Financing*, Office of EVP* Alicia Lau (2016-17)
Legislative Director*, Office of ASUC Senator* Monsoon Pabrai (2016-17)
Campus Policy Director on Sexual Violence*: Office of ASUC President* Zaynab AbdulQadir Morris (2017-present)
Social Media Intern*, ASUC Student Union Marketing
* Titles for Identification Purposes Only