Defend Affirmative Action Party's ASUC Candidates Advocate Civil Rights, Equality

Photo: Maria Belman, Talya Hezi and Jonathon Brooks (left to right) will run for external affairs vice president, president and student advocate, respectively. Damien Anderson (not pictured) will run for academic affairs vice president.
Nathan Yan/Staff
Maria Belman, Talya Hezi and Jonathon Brooks (left to right) will run for external affairs vice president, president and student advocate, respectively. Damien Anderson (not pictured) will run for academic affairs vice president.

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UC Berkeley's Defend Affirmative Action Party will run four executive candidates in the 2010 ASUC general election on a platform advocating civil rights and equality for all students across race, gender, sexual orientation and socioeconomic class.

This year's DAAP candidates are Talya Hezi for president, Maria Belman for external affairs vice president, Damien Anderson for academic affairs vice president and Jonathon Brooks for student advocate. The party is not fielding a candidate for executive vice president.

The candidates are also all running for senate seats.

Hezi said DAAP's priorities include keeping education public, affordable and accessible, fighting for financial aid for undocumented students and eliminating the SAT requirement in UC admissions.

If elected to the presidency, Hezi said she would propose initiatives to the senate to encourage public officials to support the rights of underrepresented students, fight to overturn California's constitutional ban on gay marriage and work toward making an attorney available during student conduct hearings.

DAAP's candidates criticized the ASUC's current elected officials for not taking a more active role in student advocacy efforts.

"We will still keep organizing even if we aren't elected," Hezi said. "They're politicians, we're activists."

Belman, who was one of the students arrested after walking onto the I-980 freeway on March 4, said she would mobilize students to speak out to administrators. She said all parties' candidates should turn out at the March 23 to 25 UC Board of Regents meeting at UC San Francisco "to fight for institutional financial aid for undocumented students."

Anderson said one of his first priorities would be to reinstate affirmative action in public education.

The DAAP candidates emphasized that a lack of minority student inclusion was partly to blame for recent race-related tensions at UC San Diego. They added that the activism demonstrated during the March 4 day of action is a positive step to reduce the tensions.

"The fee hikes created a movement that is really integrated," Hezi said. "Creating a unified movement will lessen the hostility and bring people together."

Brooks said he would draw on his theater background to use personal narratives to tell the story of hardships faced by minority students.

"Every generation has to fight for that next step towards equality," Brooks said. "We're just doing our part."

Tags: DEFEND AFFIRMATIVE ACTION PARTY, ASUC ELECTIONS 2010


Contact Nick Myers at [email protected]



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