The Nexus endorses third-year English major Menelik Dagnachew for the office of Associated Students external vice president of statewide affairs (EVPSA).
The EVPSA acts as a liaison to the federal government, state government and UC Regents as well as statewide and national coalitions. While both he and his opponent, Kristin Hsu, are very qualified for the position — especially considering both of their experiences in the EVPSA office and lobbying on behalf of students — the Nexus believes Dagnachew’s platform is more comprehensive and clear.
Both candidates are concerned about the ever-increasing cost of tuition and want to continue lobbying efforts on behalf of the students; however, Dagnachew said student lobbyists are oftentimes out of touch with the goals of their campus, and they need to adjust their approach.
He also believes students should be aware of exactly how student leaders plan to address increasing tuition costs.
Dagnachew supports the $48 fix, a solution that adds a $48 tax on the median California taxpayer to eliminate tuition, and he plans to lobby for a tuition freeze while working with other UC campuses to get the $48 fix on the ballot in 2018 so it is in effect by 2020.
This is where he differs most profoundly from Hsu, who said deciding an exact resolution is a “step too far.” She instead focused on acquiring the signatures necessary for an undecided ballot measure.
Dagnachew’s experience working as a mental health service coordinator within the EVPSA gives him the experience to continue working on his platform, which also involves continuing work on mental health following the UC-wide #HowAreYou campaign that ends this year.
Although the candidate will face a learning curve, having had less experience working with statewide affairs, the Nexus believes Dagnachew’s varied experience and emphasis on transparency will better address student needs.
Profiles of all 51 A.S. candidates can be found here.