City on a Hill Press is dedicated to informing students about the spring campus elections and as a part of this effort, we are profiling the candidates for the Student Union Assembly officer positions. Voting started Wednesday, May 13th and continues through this Wednesday, May 20th. Vote online at http://www.elections.ucsc.edu.
Third-year politics major Kalwis Lo is the current serving Chair of the Student Union Assembly and is running for re-election. He has been a part of SUA leadership since fall of 2006, and has been involved in multiple organizations including the University of California Student Association (UCSA) and the United States Student Association (USSA).
CHP: What are some of your goals for the office?
This year, my goal was to make sure SUA was a more inclusive space and that we actually talk about important issues around campus and also things going on at a local, state, and national level that directly affect students.
The officers and I work as a collective and deal with the issues. We all have our specific tasks, and I think compared to last year, when we spent almost half our meetings arguing and there were so much larger issues at hand. We’ve been doing really well.
There’s also an issue with our educational fees, how we don’t get the full amount back. We’re hosting the UC Students Association Congress, which represents all undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. That’s one of the issues that we plan to introduce this summer.
We would be advocating at the system-wide and Regental level. The UC President has full authority on how to allocate those fees and we want to lobby him and talk to him about how these fees are really needed back on campus.
One of my goals this summer would be to dig out issues and find what is affecting the student body, so we can get straight to work when the year begins.
I do admit that the SUA has an issue with transparency, but it’s not that officers aren’t doing what they’re supposed to be doing. Officers are so swamped in work that it’s kind of hard to say “this is what I’m doing.”
CHP: Why are you the one for the job?
I think that my experience within the SUA and the results that we’ve achieved this year are really important and countless times I’ve had administrators tell me they couldn’t have achieved certain things without our support.
There has been progress created at the administrative level, building relationships and getting work done, for example, the changes that occurred with the general education requirements. That is going to affect UC students in the long run and attract students to our university.
It’s really hard to say why I’m qualified over another person, but I’d say with the experience of this year and with past experience in the SUA, I have enough experience to lead this organization to where it needs to be. All the candidates have their own ideas and will address things differently, but I feel that the experience I have will be able to move things at a faster pace and in a more productive way because I know how the SUA works.
CHP: What accomplishment are you most proud of?
We haven’t had an argument in the SUA space, obviously not the most important thing, but we’ve been talking about real issues now.
Also, the SUA name is getting out there more than in the past, we passed a resolution for the general education requirements unanimously the first time. I left class early to speak at the Academic Senate meeting because I’m one of the only representatives who has speaking privileges. Only faculty members were speaking up against it and students were defending the general education reforms. I think it was a huge success for us.
I always try to be fair and open and honest with everyone, and I’ve always made myself available to people if they have issues.
Kalwis Lo for SUA Chair [Facebook]
Elections Guide: Spring 2009 [City on a Hill Press]
UC Santa Cruz Student Union Assembly [SUA]