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02 Dec 2022

Candidate Profile: Justin Riordan
By CHP Staff

Justin Riordan is running with Campus Focus — a coalition of Riordan, Jessica Greenstreet and James Ramsey — for SUA internal vice chair. With two years in SUA and experience as the executive vice chair of the Student Committee on Committees, the Kresge second-year and legal studies major said he knows how SUA works and what it needs to do to increase student involvement.

“The relationship that SUA has had over the last couple of years was: SUA sitting there, and people could come to us,” Riordan said. “But I think that SUA really needs to go out to the students and work with student orgs, our SOAR orgs, the Student Media Council and all the student media.”

He also said he is prepared to produce a newsletter from SUA to keep students up to date on the decisions that are being made on their behalf.

Riordan is not only focusing externally — he also wants to improve the internal workings of the SUA by creating training for incoming committee members. Riordan is proposing to have less involved committees view a basic training video on how to use SUA and other mechanisms on campus, how to involve students in committees and how to speak up in those committees. More involved positions on the committees — which include the committees on planning and budget, educational policy, and admission and financial aid — will participate in a more intense, almost day-long process on how to write resolutions for SUA and involve the student body.

“I think the biggest issue on our campuses is the lack of a sense of community,” Riordan said, “and a lot of that has to do with [the fact] that there are a lot of events on campus but there are not a lot of centralized events on campus where it’s directed at everyone and gets everyone involved.”

Riordan plans to work on bringing more centralized events to campus, such as concerts and town hall forums each quarter.

“It’s a work in progress,” Riordan said. “I think it’s not just one type of event. I think it’s going to be multiple large-scale events.”

Riordan wants to play into what he believes is UCSC’s greatest strength — its students.

“UCSC has a lot of students with a lot of passion,” he said.

Riordan would like to channel that passion into making student voices heard.

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