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Jakob Morgan runs for ASUC Senate on platform of art, design equity

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Morgan is a founding member of the new party Progressives at Cal.


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MARCH 26, 2023

Jakob Morgan, a second-year student majoring in urban studies and minoring in American studies, is running a campaign for ASUC Senate.

Noting that senators and other elected officials often choose to represent Greek life, STEM and cultural communities, Morgan said there is limited representation and low funding for humanities, art and design.

Morgan also explained the importance of accountability and transparency in the ASUC since the body acts as a “direct connection” to the administration for negotiations. They described the ASUC as “spineless” when the administration decided to cut student services.

“I would say the biggest thing is anti-austerity,” Morgan said. “In short, just protecting our student services and using the power that comes with the office to leverage the administration to not cut our student services. If we’re paying tens of thousands of dollars a year and we’re supposed to be one of the best institutions in this country, we should be guaranteed the services.”

As a founding member of the new party Progressives at Cal, which is founded on principles of labor, housing, justice, anti-austerity and “putting students before profit,” Morgan said they are committed to standing up to the administration.

Morgan also noted their priority to focus on the needs of students and not be shy to hold the ASUC accountable.

“I’d show backbone,” Morgan said. “We’re not going to take s—t from the administration, we’re going to stand up for us and other students on campus and make sure we’re afforded the opportunities of success around every corner imaginable.”

As the former director of housing advocacy and student needs in Senator Kailen Grottel-Brown’s office, Morgan noted they lacked the proper resources and recognition that they needed to succeed in that position.

Despite these limitations, Morgan explained that they gained valuable leadership and organizing experience through working on departmental goals such as hosting a voter informational forum and a housing town hall.

ASUC Vote Coalition Director Alex Edgar, who partnered with Morgan for the voter education event, said Morgan was an “absolute pleasure” to work with, noting how their progressive activism, community engagement and event management skills would be valuable as a senator.

“I put my money where my mouth is,” Morgan said. “I’m able to get s—t done while many of the other people in ASUC aren’t and, quite frankly, some of the other candidates that are running aren’t able to even articulate what platform they’re trying to run on.”

Morgan plans to reintroduce the Housing Task Force through the Office of Planning and Analysis to focus on student housing needs. They also hope to ensure that the ASUC “adequately” represents the student body and upholds the organization’s standards of integrity.

Grottel-Brown’s Chief of Staff Rena Lu, who worked with Morgan as a supervisor for their department, described their “relentless sense of drive and commitment.” Despite encountering challenges in housing-related efforts, Lu noted that Morgan never let this deter them from upholding their commitment to fair and accessible housing.

Morgan also noted their concern over Zionist protests on campus and their priority to make the school an “inclusive” space that values human rights. They also hope to apply their experience in organizing behind anti-austerity to focus on outreach with external organizations.

To hold the administration accountable, Morgan and their party hope to implement systematic reforms.

“(The administration says), ‘Oh, we’re doing this work in office right now, let’s continue to do this,’ but no one’s talking about reforming the ASUC,” Morgan said. “The system is broken if students don’t feel represented, if our libraries are being shut down, if our chancellor is able to get more and more pay raises, while our services are experiencing severe budget cuts.”

Contact Matthew Yoshimoto at 


MARCH 26, 2023