Midyear Update from Senator Justin Sayarath

Hello everyone,

Happy Holidays! I hope you are all gearing up for a great new year. It’s been a long, but eventful semester filled with some of the most exciting things in Cal and UC history. I am writing to you today to update you on progress of my Senator-ship. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Justin Sayarath and I am one of your twenty elected ASUC senators. I have served our campus community as Head of Production for Caliber Magazine, Vice President of Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity, Assistant Vice President of the Interfraternity Council, and as a Cal Student Orientation Counselor, and am extremely proud to represent you in our student government.

 

Support for Student Organizations

As always, student organizations are officially registered with the campus through the Center for Student Leadership (CSL). Whether your group is a dance group, fellowship, cultural group, fraternity, sorority, or anything in between, your organization has some sort of tie to the CSL. In the past the ASUC has not effectively reached all student groups and corners of the campus population, and this is something my office is actively trying to resolve. While many CSL recognized organizations are registered with the ASUC as well, not all student groups are. And this is the dilemma that many student leaders across campus have faced, are facing, and will face. In any case, if your group is looking for ASUC funding or sponsorship, please do not hesitate to contact me at Sayarath.justin@gmail.com or at (619) 313 -3737 for more information. In addition to financial support, your ASUC elected officials have served as student leaders in all sorts of communities. I am always happy to meet and get to know you and your group. As an ASUC Senator, there is a wealth of information at our fingertips and we struggle to pass that information onto all students so please do not hesitate to get in contact.

 

My Platform Updates

During Election season, I ran on three major initiatives that I am still working on. My office has made much progress, but it’s extremely important to me to keep our greater campus community updated.

1)    Enhancing the Online Student Experience

The Cal Online Student Experience (COSE) portal, CalCentral, is progressing smoothly with renewed support from our campus administration. Throughout the semester, funding for the initiative was questionable because of different priorities within Operational Excellence. Recently, however, Vice Provost Koshland has been making a push for alternative funding for this project. In this effort, we will see many of our scattered online resources consolidated for more efficient access. Imagine accessing telebears, bearfacts, bspace, financial aid, email, and other vital student resources in one modern online portal. It would make all of our lives easier. This is the goal of CalCentral. Throughout the fall semester I worked with students on the COSE team as well as developers in Educational Technology Services to begin developing the basic architecture for the portal. We even began working on specific tools like a calendar and newer better bspace. With a project this huge we are constantly looking for new student input so please contact me if you are interested in getting involved.

2)    Fostering the Growth and Development of the Publications Community

Campus Publications are thriving. We have never seen so much support for campus publications. Publications serve as a historical record, documenting not only the happenings of our campus and the world, but also the culture and feelings of the times that we live in. While different publications serve different communities, I believe we are slowly coming together to leverage all of our resources and talented staff members. This past semester we worked together with the OCF to ensure that we have spaces within the Eshleman Surge Process where student groups will be moving out of Eshleman hall in 2012 in order to construct a rejuvenated Lower Sproul. In addition, our community heard about all the wonderful ASUC resources in a Publications leadership mixer complete with crackers, cheese, and lemonade. This coming semester we hope to see more events. I wanted to thank all of the wonderful editors who put their pens, reporter’s notebooks, and indesign files aside to meet and get to know each other. I am so proud to serve a community that is just as diverse as our campus community and also one that is willing to set differences aside to learn from each other.

3)    Increase Support for Google Apps for Education on our Campus

This past semester, we saw some huge gains in this goal. Throughout the semester I worked with Gabriel Gonzales, the Chief Technical Officer at Boalt Law School and the Project Manager for the Operational Excellence Email and Calendaring initiative, to gauge student support for alternative email and calendaring systems. Following the CalMail overload, I continued to voice student support for Google Apps for Education on our campus. It’s been a project that I worked on as Technological Development Officer in the ASUC last year and something I needed to see through this year. Campus officials were faced with the difficult choice between Google Apps for Education and Microsoft 360, and in the end, they chose the Google. It’s a great win for students as we are finally seeing the quality of student resources finally becoming better after years of cuts and fee hikes. This coming semester I hope to work with more Information Technology officials to tailor Google services to fit the needs of the diverse Cal community. This awesome new service that we are receiving is the result of work from years of student, staff, and administrative advocacy, and I am so happy to see it happen now!

 

It has been a great year partly due to the overwhelming support from my fellow senators and executives. I have received from Finally, I just wanted to thank you as a member of the Cal community for being engaged and for contributing to the diversity that makes UC Berkeley so wonderful. And Go Bears!

 

Best,

Justin Sayarath

University of California, Berkeley
B.A. Economics | Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies Minor | Class of 2013
Sayarath.Justin@gmail.com | (619) 313-3737

Senator | Associated Students of the University of California*
Vice President | Alpha Tau Omega | Gamma Iota Chapter*
Assistant Vice President of Event Programming | Interfraternity Council*
Senior Adviser | Caliber Magazine*

Student Action | http://www.studentaction.org | “Every Student, Every Year.”

*Titles for Identification Purposes Only

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