Rigel Robinson for ASUC Senate

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Platforms:

1. Fighting for an Environmentally Just University of California

UC Berkeley is not doing enough to be environmentally just. Despite surface-level commitments to sustainability, our campus community can do much more to lead the fight against climate change and reduce our own carbon footprint. As the ECO-endorsed ASUC Senator*, Rigel will escalate the pursuit of a sustainable land use policy through the Office of Real Estate to reduce irrigation, fight food insecurity, and restore the native ecologies of our campus. As CalSO evolves into a one-week event, Rigel will pursue the creation of an environmental waste management and food security segment for all incoming students so they are educated about the culture of sustainability at Berkeley and know how to best use the existing environmental resources on campus as soon as they arrive. Additionally, with the preservation of environmental positions within the ASUC being so contingent on elections and partisanship, Rigel will institutionalize internal environmental efforts through the creation of a nonpartisan Chief Sustainability Officer to ensure and enforce the sustainability of the ASUC as an organization. As an extension of Rigel’s work lobbying for students in Berkeley, Sacramento, and Washington D.C. with the Office of External Affairs, Rigel will form an ECO lobby corps to engage the environmental community in organized lobbying targeted at the state and at the university administration to pressure the UC to end its hypocrisy and fully divest from fossil fuels and to ensure that UC Berkeley limits its environmental impacts on the surrounding community, particularly amidst the construction of the Berkeley Global Campus in Richmond.

2. Ensuring Reasonable, Reliable, and Sustainable Student Housing

UC Berkeley is already facing a crisis in student housing, but as hundreds more students are enrolled next year than usual the crisis will only be exacerbated. Ensuring reasonable, reliable, and sustainable student housing should be the least of students’ worries, and as ASUC Senator, Rigel will do everything he can to fight this trend. Rigel will cooperate with the Financial Aid & Scholarships Office to reform how financial aid is reassessed for students as they leave the residence halls to ensure that they are getting the coverage they need. Using the connections he has made with members of City Council and local government, Rigel will educate students about opportunities and risks associated with off-campus private housing providers. Furthering Rigel’s work implementing the ASUC Solar Initiative, he will advance student efforts to secure funding for solar panels for student group-living facilities such as fraternities, sororities, and co-ops, which in turn can become crucial sources of long-term savings and rent reductions.

3. Advocating Accessibility, Affordability, and Quality in Our Education

Trends of privatization and lack of state support have led to the compromising of the accessibility, affordability, and quality of education in the UC system promised by the UC Master Plan. As the ASUC EAVP campaign manager of the UC Student Association’s Fund the UC campaign* and a key organizer of the recent tuition protests, Rigel has consistently advocated for affordability in our education and it is time that the student front of activism be united with our faculty. As an ASUC Senator, in order to preserve the affordability of this institution, Rigel will engage faculty in consultation and cooperation for long-term solutions. In order to protect the accessibility of our university, he will advocate for extending the UC minimum wage of $15 an hour to include part-time workers, many of whom are students. In order to revive the quality of our education, he will pursue smaller class sizes and more lectures for impacted majors, address inconsistencies in hiring and firing practices for faculty, and explore the possibility of enacting an Environmental Engagement/ Sustainability Studies Requirement similar to a Breadth or American Cultures requirement.

Qualifications:

Vice President of Membership, Cal Berkeley Democrats*
Founder & Communications Director, UC Berkeley Students for Bernie*
Fund the UC Campaign Manager, ASUC Office of the External Affairs Vice President*
Grassroots Organizing Weekend Trainer, United States Student Association*
Campus Editor-At-Large, Huffington Post*
Member, Cal Fencing*
Member, Korean American Student Association*
Former Intern/Community Development & Relations Manager, ASUC EAVP*
Former City Council Intern, Berkeley City Councilmember Jesse Arreguin*
Former Congressional Intern, Congressman Lacy Clay*
Former Communications Intern, American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri*
Former Campus Ambassador, AB InBev*
Former Campus Writer, LinkedIn Pulse*
Former Evening News Anchor, KALX Radio*

Endorsements:
ECO – The Environmental Coalition at UC Berkeley*
Wes Adrianson – ECO-Endorsed ASUC Senator*
Marium Navid – ASUC EAVP*
Caitlin Quinn – Former ASUC EAVP and Former ASUC Senator*
Jacob Elsanadi – Chair, ECO – The Environmental Coalition at UC Berkeley*
Forest Barnes – President, Cal Berkeley Democrats*
Isabel Song – President, UC Berkeley Students for Bernie*
Kathleen Tierney – President, Undergraduate Political Science Association*
Brooke Maushund – Co-President of BERCU*
Charlie James – President of Food, Equity, Entrepreneurship, & Development (FEED)* and Anti-Oppression Coordinator at the Berkeley Student Food Collective*
Laura Jessica Douglas – Former President of the Re-Entry and Transfer Student Association* and Student Director of the Cal In Sacramento Fellowship*
Pallavi Sherikar – Co-Chair, Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability*
Ryan Lynch – Co-Director of ASUC Sustainability Team*
Kielan Rathjen – Co-Director, ASUC Sustainability Team* (STeam), Former Chair of The Green Initiative Fund* (TGIF)
Narayan Gopinathan – Co-Director, Berkeley Water Group*
Allegra Saggese – Vice Chair, ECO* – The Environmental Coalition at UC Berkeley and BSFC Member*
Julie Nguyen – Executive Board Member, ECO* – The Environmental Coalition at UC Berkeley*
Rhea Misra – VP of Finance, Cal Berkeley Democrats*
Suher Adi – Communications Director, Cal Berkeley Democrats* and National Lobby Corp Director of ASUC EAVP Legislative Affairs*
TJ Grayson – Political Director of Cal Berkeley Democrats* and State Affairs Manager of ASUC EAVP Legislative Affairs*
Jake Soiffer – Core Member of Fossil Free UC* and Organizer at Fossil Free Cal*
Maggie Li – Campaign Director, Seize the Grid*
Jean Ji – Project Leader of ASUC Sustainability Team – Energy*
Eva Malis – Communications Associate for the Student Environmental Resource Center and Manager of SERC* Blog and Staff of Words of the Watershed and Founding Member of the Students of Color Environmental Collective*
Brian Gialketsis – The Green Initiative Fund Program Associate*
Hannah Stommel – Facilitator, Human Rights of the Incarcerated Coalition*
Evelyn Montenegro – Former VP of Finance and Former Sustainability Director of Cal Dems*
Lucy Huang – VP of Finance for Berkeley Women in Business* and Scheduling Assistant Supervisor of ASUC Student Union Event Services*

*Titles for identification purposes only