Hey there everyone!
My name is Abrham Castillo-Ruiz, I am a fourth year student here at UC Davis. I am from Greenfield California, and I am double majoring in Chicana/o Studies and Native American Studies. Currently I work in the Chicana/o Studies Department as the Community Relations Co-Intern and I hold the External and Political Chairs for M.E.Ch.A. de UC Davis.
I am running for ASUCD because I would like to take this campus towards movements of social justice. I believe that the issues I am fighting for would improve student life all across campus, and they would be relatively easy to do.
The Ethnic and Lavender Graduations are not taken seriously on our campus, yet they are necessary spaces for specific communities to properly celebrate the achievement of higher education. It is important for Universities and students to recognize the need for these spaces and to support them in as many ways possible. Institutionalizing funding for these celebrations would show that there is student support for these communities and their continuing struggle for higher education. I will advocate for ASUCD to institutionalize funding for these incredibly important ceremonies.
Assembly Bill 540 allows students with no legal residence status to attend institutions of higher learning and pay in-state tuition fees if they meet certain requirements. However, the majority of these students do not meet these requirements and are therefore forced to pay higher fees. Aid for AB540 students is usually scattered throughout university campuses, if it is even present, making it even more difficult for students to find their way into universities. I will push to create a centralized AB540 support network throughout the Financial Aid and Student Affairs Departments to help retain these students, making entering UC Davis much easier for new students.
The 24 Hour Room is the only room on the UC Davis Campus that is open 24 Hours a day, 7 days a week. The 24 Hour Room usually fills up quickly, leaving students who come at later times to stand around waiting for a spot to open up or to simply go back home. Having more places open throughout campus for 24 hours would lessen the stressful impact put on the 24 Hour Room and give students a guaranteed place to study. Opening various lounges throughout campus (such as the Wellman Lounge) would be relatively cheap and easy to do, and would make a large impact on many students who would otherwise be spending time waiting for spots to open up. I will open up these spaces for students so they can have free movement about campus and not be limited to one space.
Recently, UC Davis has made it mandatory for any event taking place in either Freeborn Hall or the Memorial Union to go through Sodexo for food catering. This is problematic because it takes away the freedom from organizations and departments to choose their caterer should they host an event in Freeborn Hall or the MU. Sodexo has also had ties with labor issues (modern day slavery, unjust wages, etc.) in the State of Florida. I oppose this new regulation and will advocate for having it lifted off of both buildings. Seeing that ASUCD has already passed a bill that opposes the unjust practices of Sodexo, I believe this action would strengthen the stance that our Student Government has already taken against giving money to a corporation that refuses to answer these accusations.
In the past 3 years, the Chicana/o Studies Department at UC Davis has gone from 9 Full Time Employees (Professors) to 6 and has faced increasing opposition to gaining those positions back. Taking away these positions puts unnecessary stress on the Chicana/o Studies Department, essentially weakening it and thinning out the resources it has available to students. The department has persevered through these difficult times but needs the support of students to regain these positions. I will push for student and community support to regain these positions for Chicana/o Studies, making it a better equipped Department for students on campus.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to contact me through facebook, e-mail, phone call, or text, and I will get back to you as soon as possible :)
2009-11-09 15:18:54 It's sad to see such poverty in a place like California. His poor parents couldn't even afford to buy a vowel for Abrham's first name. —CarlaLewis
2009-11-10 23:08:43 nice to see that you couldn't find anything wrong with his platform Carla. The best part is that your sentence is not even grammatically correct. Sarcasm doesn't work when you don't even have your shit together. Wow.
- I do not see anything grammatically wrong with Carla's comment and she has not made any edits to fix anything. I do however find a few problems with Ruiz's platform. I fully support weakening Sodexo's grip on students and can somewhat support the extra 24/7 rooms. However, I cannot support providing in-state tuition to non-citizens before citizens from other states are given the same tuition rates. Not only does it seem unfair in my eyes to those residing in other states, but this will either bankrupt California further or make education more unaffordable for the middle class, who receive no help at all (and ten-thousand a year is a lot to middle class families making less than a hundred-thousand a year). And why are Ethnic and Lavender Graduations more important than other ones? Plenty of people work hard to get through college. You do not have to be a member of a specific race or have a certain sexual orientation to struggle to pay for education or need to study harder to pass classes. Do we really need funding to show that you are extra special because you are gay or not white? Finally, maybe the university cut full time employees because of the lack of interest in those classes, so without knowing some facts on the matter like the amount of students who enroll in Chicano Studies classes for the sake of interest, not easy units, we should not tell the university to just hire more professors. —hankim
- I was amused by Carla's comment. But upon further reflection it does seem un poco racist. —GreatRyan
- I personally did not find it amusing, but I did not think it was offensive enough to warrant such malice. I do however seem some racism (or reverse-racism) in Ruiz's ideas. The problem with people these days is that they cannot take a joke. —hankim
2009-11-13 15:28:38 Good luck! —GreatRyan