By Jay M. Semana
The purpose of the Student Union Assembly (SUA) is to promote student activism and civic engagement among the undergraduate students at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Unfortunately, the SUA presently stands as a bloated, bureaucratic structure that is not conducive to grassroots organizing, promoting student activism, and building student agency. While the current President has gone to some length to hear student concerns in the Quarry, he lacks any substantive knowledge regarding the budget. The Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion champions athletics instead of working with ethnic and identity organizations as his priority. The External Vice President may fly to Washington D.C., but there has been little grassroots organizing on campus from this office. Further, the creation of the new Vice President of Student Life position, replacing our Organizing Director as a member of the office corps, sends a message to the student body that student activism is no longer our priority. Above all these grievances, there remains the fact as a student organization we have chosen to be placed under the Dean of Students rather than SoMeCa severing our ties with SOAR groups and placing an immense impediment to our goals as an activist body. The cold, hard reality is we will never be able to participate in a movement for intersectional change with the SUA in its current state, and members who attack problems at the root must realize this. We can be an SUA for students again, a beacon for student voice, student action, and student power. Radical change requires that we go through radical reorganization, and this will only happen when we realize that we stand for student advocacy and not political posturing.
For the moment, I will continue my activism and service outside of the SUA at Merrill Student Government, the Filipino Student Association, and the UCSC March Collective. To my friends in the identity organizations, activist groups, and student government: I celebrate your activism, courage, and sacrifice. You are the future of this Student Union and your voices matter. Let them be silenced no longer! For those of you who fail to execute the mission of promoting student activism, and reside in the comfort and access the SUA grants you I have one word: Providence.
And so believing all these assertions to be true, I, Jay M. Semana, hereby resign from the position of the Student Union Assembly Representative for Merrill College.