Campus sophomore Enrique Martinez is running independently for the ASUC Senate on platforms centered around prelaw students, the Latine community, undocumented students and mental health and basic needs advocacy.
Martinez, a political science major and public policy minor, noted the lack of resources and sense of community among prelaw students. After taking a prelaw DeCal and seeing the tight-knit community that was built in the classroom dissipate after the course ended, Martinez realized the importance and necessity of creating a strong, unifying network of prelaw students.
“Prelaw students are all spread out across campus, but there’s not really a set space for them,” Martinez said.
Martinez added that he is currently the associate director for the ASUC policy and legislation department and a student member on the ASUC Undergraduate Scholarships, Honor, and Financial Aid committee.
As a first-generation, low-income student on the prelaw track, Martinez realized the lack of resources on campus for prelaw students who may come from disadvantaged communities.
“I want to also develop a long-term agreement between the Princeton Review and UC Berkeley to provide discounts on LSAT prep books,” Martinez said.
Besides supporting prelaw students, Martinez is passionate about advocating for better mental health resources and basic needs for students. This includes collaborating with the ASUC Mental Health Commission to host workshops on stress management and providing therapy dogs during midterm and finals season.
Additionally, Martinez said he will work with the university to make Counseling and Psychological Services more accessible to students and increase the number of free counseling appointments.
“Under my mental health platform, I also hope to have a basic needs and housing security initiative,” Martinez said. “I will allow my stipend to be given to any student who reaches out to my office and demonstrates the need for financial support.”
Martinez’s campaign also focuses on creating a sense of belonging among students, specifically for the Latine community and undocumented students.
Martinez said he wants to make the Latine community feel more represented. He added that there’s a strong presence of Latine students whose culture is not represented.
“I would do this by hosting events for the Latinx community during certain heritage months or in general throughout the year, allowing that safe space for the Latinx community to feel their culture here,” Martinez said.
Besides being a representative of the Latine community, Martinez wants to be a voice for undocumented students who have spoken to him about the discrepancies within their financial aid packages.
By collaborating with undocumented student programs and ASUC, Martinez hopes to provide financial literacy workshops to assist undocumented students with their financial aid and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals applications, as well as provide legal and academic support.
“I want to create a sense of belonging for all students and make sure that everyone feels comfortable and represented here on campus,” Martinez said.