Helena Wu, a campus sophomore majoring in legal studies and minoring in history, has announced her candidacy for the ASUC Senate.
Wu said she is representing international students, the East Asian community and the pre-graduate/law community. Her platforms extend over four main areas: prioritizing international students’ rights and needs, improving student life on campus, strengthening the international pre-graduate/law community and emphasizing East-Asian cultural presence and community cohesion.
Wu believes the main issue facing international students is the non-resident student enrollment cap at Cal, which she has held as a focus during her time at the ASUC and will continue to prioritize in her candidacy.
“With this enrollment cap, the presence of our international students is at risk, and our contribution to the diversity of the campus life and learning experience of all students has been neglected,” Wu said in an email. “I plan to do long-term advocacy to stress the importance of the presence of international students.”
Wu has previously worked as an associate for the Legislative Affairs and Advocacy department under former Senator Amy Chen and is now the director for the same department under current Senator Charles Peng.
In her last two years with the ASUC, Wu has drafted various senate resolutions and bills that benefit the international student community.
This includes appealing to various major departments to expand the accessibility of the Curricular Practical Training, or CPT, credit course unit options from 0.5 to 4 units, which would allow international students to opt out of the $1000 tuition fee when participating in summer internships off-campus.
Wu has also written two bills in support of harassment-free transportation and a safer campus environment in response to a recent growth in hate crimes against the Asian community.
“I want to make my community visible and respected, safeguard our rights on getting the necessary support from the university regarding issues like CPT and emergency support, and support my community with resources that are necessary for our success,” Wu said in the email.
Wu notes that although there are many resources for undergraduate students, none specifically elevate the interests of international students, many of whom are left unsupported in emergencies. Therefore, her platform also includes providing guidance for international students on using medical insurance, safety facilities, information on local hospitals, cheaper transportation and an improved learning environment on campus.