When asked about the role of the EAVP, Alex Edgar emphasized his goal: “Be that megaphone to the student body.”
According to Edgar, the EAVP is the external-facing head who should demystify ASUC initiatives and make them more accessible. He wants to be hands-on about student voices being heard — both at local and national levels.
While Edgar said Votechella — a concert series centered around making civic engagement more about civic joy — won’t be happening this semester, he has other goals in mind. These include bringing more underrepresented students to lobby in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., obtaining more mental health resources for everyone and working toward the establishment of a housing committee on campus. He additionally plans on expanding student safety protocols, particularly with regard to dorm life.
He stressed that the first step to bringing this support to students is just showing up in the first place — Edgar plans to continue supporting coalitions on campus, such as LUCHA4LSRC and Justice for Ivonne. He recognizes the importance of holding space for students and believes that the ASUC should push for more involvement in spacing distribution on campus.
One of those key spaces is Eshleman Hall, where Edgar wants to establish a central hub with voting and polling resources. By centralizing democratic engagement in Eshleman Hall, he hopes students will have better access to voter resources and engage more with politics that might otherwise feel overwhelming.
On a national level, he highlighted the importance of students speaking with media outlets about the problems directly impacting the UC Berkeley community. One example mentioned is the current rulings on DACA, as Edgar wants to amplify DACA student voices in government and news. According to Edgar, this will bring diversity, equity and inclusion efforts to function in a more student-led way, not just a university-led one.
Edgar brings a withstanding passion for student engagement and uplifting voices in our community. However, he admitted that the relationship between the ASUC and students — especially students from marginalized communities — is a shaky one.
In order to accomplish his goals, he will also have to mitigate any distrust students have toward the ASUC. And although showing up for student coalitions brings a sense of community, Edgar will also need to push the ASUC to actively hold the campus administration accountable if he wants to see his actions make tangible change in support of students.
His plans for a polling hub in Eshleman Hall seem feasible, but according to Edgar, this will be the first time in years the ASUC will not have to pay any money for a polling location. Bringing students to Sacramento and Washington, D.C. also requires funds, so it is imperative to ensure there is money to make these initiatives last.
Edgar wants to be the megaphone for the student body, but we believe it’s important to note he ran unopposed — just like his predecessor. Responses from students themselves will ultimately decide if they feel heard.