Candidate Profile: Jessica Greenstreet
By Mikaela Todd
Jessica Greenstreet is running for the position of SUA Commissioner of Academic Affairs. A second-year student of Politics and Theater Arts from Stevenson College, she has interned for the Academic Affairs Office, and currently sits on the Committee on Planning and Budget as well as the Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid.
“[My experience] has made me realize how much of our university is based around academics, which some people don’t associate,” Greenstreet said. “Everything relates back to our experience in our classes and I think that that’s the most important part of why we come to the university in the first place.”
One of Greenstreet’s main concerns is ensuring that there is adequate student representation in the decision-making process within the Academic Senate, and also making sure that an informed student voice is heard during those meetings.
“Academic Senate gives you so much insight into what’s happening on this campus, so it’s unfortunate that a lot of it is confidential,” Greenstreet said. “But being able to make that distinction between what’s confidential and what can be shared is really important to the student knowledge.”
Greenstreet has also worked for the past two years on academic surveys to gather student input on issues like class and lecture availability.
“I think it’s really important that we gain student testimonials of their academic experiences and things like loan debt,” Greenstreet said. “I want to actively gather those testimonials through web testimonials, one-on-one conversations, and issue-specific town halls.”
Another goal that Greenstreet said she wants to accomplish is reinstating the Student Academic Senate.
“[The SUA has] the Student Academic Senate with bylaws, but I’ve never seen it,” Greenstreet said. “So I want to create new bylaws for it and create a space to where these issues can be talked about amongst the students who sit on the Academic Senate Committees, as well as include students who aren’t on those committees in what’s happening.”
For Greenstreet, the main issue at UC Santa Cruz is time to graduation. She said that issue encompasses all other issues from advising structures to class availability to utilization of classrooms.
“If you are here longer, you have to spend more money to be here,” Greenstreet said. “It’s not just about getting students out of the university, but getting students the education they need and want in a time that they expect to be here.”
Greenstreet’s slate is called Campus Focus. She and two other candidates have teamed up to bring focus back to the campus.
“We want to revitalize campus life and get the campus focused on campus organizations because we’ve been doing a noteworthy job on the state level, but during these budget cuts we need those offices completely focused on what is happening in the campus community,” Greenstreet said. “Those budget cuts are going to hurt students in their everyday life on this campus. We think that getting the balance between off-campus and on-campus focus, we can really make sure that students are as little affected as possible in this budget crisis.”