Campus sophomore Osvaldo Barba is running independently for ASUC Senate on a platform centered on basic needs and student engagement with politics.
Barba, a political science major, describes himself as a representative of the Latine queer community on campus. He said in an email that the campaign is advocating for issues ranging from providing accessible housing, food security, student health support, networking services, local political engagement support and collaboration between the ASUC and student body.
“I would describe myself as tenacious, responsible and most importantly sympathetic,” Barba said in the email. “These are some of the values I am not willing to budge on.”
Barba is part of Berkeley CopWatch, an organization that monitors police activity for accountability. Barba said in the email he has experience lobbying school board members for educational reform and safer streets, as well as the mayor of Los Angeles for alternative contacts for mental distress calls.
Barba identifies civic engagement, housing and food insecurity, mental health resource accessibility and club funding equity as some of the biggest issues that the campus is facing.
“I plan on working with my fellow students on the issues I have addressed in my platform,” Barba said in the email.
For basic needs, Barba aims to create guides that make the housing search easier and more accessible for students, according to a campaign Instagram post. The post also notes his plans to improve food security by advocating for more swipes for lower prices and collaborating with the campus Food Pantry, Berkeley Student Food Collective and Basic Needs Center.
Barba also wants to foster better relationships between the ASUC Senate members and the students they represent, according to a campaign Instagram post. For instance, Barba plans to set up coffee chats and lunches where students and the ASUC can discuss issues they care about.
“I will … fight to ensure accountability and transparency within the ASUC, making sure the (general) population understands what the ASUC even does and how it affects students,” Barba said in the email.
Barba’s campaign Instagram notes his plan to further look to expand accessibility to campus Counseling and Psychological Services, the Disabled Students’ Program and other health and disability services. The post also includes plans to provide more services to support minority student populations in networking and accessing job and internship opportunities.
Additionally, Barba wants to increase student engagement with local politics by encouraging participation during Berkeley City Council public comments and processes to address grievances with representatives. Further, he looks to help set up community projects where both students and long-term Berkeley residents.
“If elected … I will facilitate conversations and connections with student leaders and local elected officials to create equitable communities,” Barba said in the email.