English and music double major and sophomore Mia Shelton is running for ASUC Academic Affairs Vice President, or AAVP, on platforms of holistic wellbeing, intellectual curiosity, inner ASUC collaboration and student-accessible committees.
Shelton currently serves as chief of staff under ASUC President Chaka Tellem and vice chair of the senate. She is also the student representative on Vice Chancellor Steve Sutton’s Student Advisory Committee.
She noted that her two years of experience under Tellem have allowed her to build a trusting relationship with ASUC and campus administration.
“Academic affairs is not a one size fits all solution,” Shelton said. “I want to be able to tailor solutions to match all academic needs for each student and for so many identities.”
From pushing with the Latine caucus for more faculty support to tailoring the academic calendar for students during the strike, Shelton expressed her commitment to students’ and ASUC needs in administrative meetings.
She remarked that creating open and clear communication channels with student entities, specifically marginalized identities, is her number one priority for the AAVP’s office. Shelton aims to accomplish this by establishing routine meetings with community stakeholders.
“I believe the most impactful student advocate understands and has experience across various cultures and communities in and outside of the ASUC,” Shelton said in an email.
In conversation with leadership in Asian American campus organizations, she noted that transparency and communication regarding academic policy should take form in regular updates.
Shelton wants to build “avenues for engagement” towards specific community groups by partnering with professional and communal organizations. Through town halls, LISTSERV, Slack, general meetings and more, Shelton hopes to circulate widespread resources for students in a straightforward, explicit way.
“I commit to carrying the burden of seeking out the student voice,” Shelton said, adding that it is “unfair” for students themselves to have to find unpromoted sources.
Moreover, she aims to promote more professor involvement and shorter class times and class requirements in interdisciplinary classes, which she believes will allow students to access a larger network of students, alumni and faculty to engage them in varied career paths.
Her policies further include creating accessible committee appointment applications for students to provide their own feedback to administration and recognizing and funding unpaid undergraduate positions, like lab mentors, by working with the UAW and deans of campus departments.
Shelton is endorsed by President Chaka Tellem, Chinese Students Association President Laura Fok and pre-law professional fraternity Phi Alpha Delta Vice President Delaney Degner.
As an older sister, Shelton emphasized that her central mission is to leave the campus a “better place” for the next generation.
“Berkeley is constantly changing, and that being at the forefront of change through student government is so important to me because it means collaboration and it means inclusivity,” Shelton said. “It means rewriting structures that can impact my sister’s life, her friends’ lives and the lives of those around me.”