Associated Students of the University of California

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Associated Students of the University of California
Formation 1887 (1887)
Type Student association
Legal status 501(c)(3) organization
Zaynab AbdulQadir-Morris
Executive Vice President
Helen Yuan
External Affairs Vice President
Rigel Robinson
Academic Affairs Vice President
Andrew-Ian Bullitt
Main organ
ASUC Senate
Formerly called
Associated Students of the College of Letters and Sciences

The Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC) is the officially recognized students' association of UC Berkeley. It was founded in 1887,[2] and is an independent 501(c)3[1] non-profit unincorporated association. The ASUC controls funding for ASUC-sponsored organizations, advocates on behalf of students to solve issues on campus and in the community, engages with administrators to develop programming, increase student-organizational resources, and increase transparency.[citation needed]


The ASUC was founded on March 2nd, 1887. Prior to this, UC Berkeley had no residence halls, sport teams, or permanent student organizations. The original purpose of the ASUC was "to organize the Student Body in such wise that it might take effective action upon all matter relating to the general welfare of the student body and the University in general."[3] The organization went on to absorb the Cal Student Store, become the center of student organization oversight, and run all university athletics until the 1960s. [4]

Various student political parties – popularly known as "slates" – and independent student communities participate in the ASUC.[citation needed] SLATE, a pioneer organization of the New Left and precursor of the Free Speech Movement and formative counterculture era, was a campus political party at Cal from 1958 to 1966, while VOICE (a radical party) and Pact (a liberal party) were campus political parties at Cal in 1967.[5]

At present, two parties primarily dominate ASUC politics. Student Action, founded 1995, is a coalition of organizations, with key support groups being the Greek life and pre-law community. [6]. CalSERVE (Cal Students for Equal Rights and a Valid Education), founded 1984, is also a coalition, but one centered directly on "access, representation, and social, environmental, and racial justice."[7]

In addition to these two parties, smaller third parties have been known to run for seats. SQUELCH! is a satirical party which has run and won seats in the past before suffering a major blow in the 2017 elections, when they won no seats in the senate.[8] The Pirate Party centers their messaging on technology and humor, campaigning in pirate costumes during election season. As of the 2017 elections, they held one seat in the ASUC Senate.[9]. The Defend Affirmative Action Party (DAAP), founded by national activist and left-wing militant group BAMN, campaigns on a platform of radical racial justice and inclusion for students, though has found relatively little support, having won no seats for 9 years as of 2017.[10]

Programs and resources[edit]

The ASUC's responsibilities include allocating student group funding through a yearly spring budgeting process. The finance officer evaluates each club's funding request, length of time as a sponsored organization, and history of funding in order to determine how much money each registered student organization should be allocated. The ASUC budgets in excess of $1 million each year to campus organizations, including the Bridges multicultural resource & retention center.[11]

The offices of the president and the external affairs vice president focus much of their time on student advocacy, often relating to issues of sexual assault, campus safety, student voice, mental health, equality, and diversity.[11]


The ASUC Constitution establishes a students' association with elected officials modeled after California's separation-of-powers and plural elected executive framework.[12]

The executive officers and the senate of the ASUC are popularly elected by single transferable vote.[12] Chief appointed officers are appointed by the senate. These positions include a chief financial officer, a chief legal officer, a chief communications officer, a chief technology officer, a chief personnel officer.[13]

The five elected executive officers of the ASUC are the president, executive vice president, external affairs vice president, academic affairs vice president, and student advocate.[12] Political parties that compete in ASUC elections usually run candidates for the first four positions, while the fifth, student advocate, is traditionally won in a nonpartisan race by a member of the staff of the outgoing student advocate.[11]

List of executive officers[edit]

Years President Executive Vice President External Affairs Vice President Academic Affairs Vice President Student Advocate
2004-2005 Misha Leybovich
2005-2006 Manuel Buenrostro
2006-2007 Oren Gabriel
2007-2008 Van Nguyen
2008-2009 Roxanne Winston
2009-2010 Will Smelko
2010-2011 Noah Stern
2011-2012 Vishalli Loomba
2012-13[14] Connor Landgraf Justin Sayarath Shahryar Abbasi Natalie Gavello Stacy Suh
2013-14[15] Deejay Pepito Nolan Pack Safeena Mecklai Valerie Jameson Timofey Semenov
2014-15[16] Pavan Upadhyayula Justin Kong Caitlin Quinn Summer (elected): Jeanette Corona

Fall (acting): Pavan Upadhyayula[17]

Fall-Spring (appointed): Mon-Shane Chou[18]

Rishi Ahuja
2015-16[19] Yordanos Dejen Lavanya Jawaharlal Marium Navid Melissa Hsu Leah Romm
2016-17[20] William Morrow Alicia Lau Andre Luu Frances McGinley Selina Lao
2017-18[21] Zaynab AbdulQadir-Morris Helen Yuan Rigel Robinson Andrew-Ian Bullitt Jillian Free

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b ASUC Form 990 for the 2008-2009 tax year
  2. ^ Johnson, Robert S. (1966). "Berkeley: Student Government". University of California History. Retrieved 2015-12-01. 
  3. ^ ASUC Constitution of 1887
  4. ^ "ASUC". Retrieved 2017-12-18. 
  5. ^ Glusman, Paul (October 6–12, 1967). "Anti-Plaque Claque Wins". Berkeley Barb. p. 14. Retrieved 2017-01-29. Voting in the affirmative were [Norm] Pederson, Steve Greenberg, Herb Englehardt (all of VOICE, the radical party), and Martinas Ycas, an anarchist. Voting against were the conservative senators, and Pete Ross, Charlie Palmer, and Bill Bennet of Pact, the liberal party. 
  6. ^ "Student Action - Every Student, Every Year". Retrieved 2017-12-18. 
  7. ^ "CalSERVE". Retrieved 2017-12-18. 
  8. ^ Article in The Daily Californian
  9. ^ Article in The Daily Californian
  10. ^ Article in The Daily Californian
  11. ^ a b c "What is the ASUC?". Associated Students of the University of California. Retrieved 2016-03-17. 
  12. ^ a b c "ASUC Constitution". ASUC Central Drive (Google Drive). 
  13. ^ "Staff Directory | ASUC". ASUC. Retrieved 2017-06-25. 
  14. ^ Staff, J. D. Morris | Senior (2012-04-19). "2012 ASUC general election results". The Daily Californian. Retrieved 2017-06-25. 
  15. ^ Staff, Curan Mehra | Senior (2013-04-18). "ASUC Election 2013 results: CalSERVE takes 3 of 4 partisan executive seats". The Daily Californian. Retrieved 2017-06-25. 
  16. ^ Staff, Megan Messerly | Senior (2014-04-17). "2014 ASUC general election results". The Daily Californian. Retrieved 2017-06-25. 
  17. ^ As ASUC President, Pavan Upadhyayula was the de jure acting AAVP under the ASUC Constitution during the constitution. However, AAVP Chief-of-Staff Denim Ohmit was the de facto acting AAVP.
  18. ^ "Mon-Shane Chou confirmed as academic affairs vice president | The Daily Californian". The Daily Californian. 2014-10-09. Retrieved 2017-10-05. 
  19. ^ Chinoy, Sahil; Weiner, Chloee (2015-04-16). "LIVE: Results from the 2015 ASUC general elections". The Daily Californian. Retrieved 2017-06-25. 
  20. ^ Staff, Katy Abbott | Senior (2016-04-08). "LIVE: Results from the 2016 ASUC general elections". The Daily Californian. Retrieved 2017-06-25. 
  21. ^ Andrea Platten | Senior Staff (2017-04-14). "LIVE: Results from the 2017 ASUC general elections". The Daily Californian. Retrieved 2017-06-25. 

External links[edit]