nuha for external affairs vice president

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Hi! My name is Nuha Khalfay. I am a third year majoring in Public Health with minors in Public Policy and French. I am currently an ASUC* Senator, and serve as the Chair for the City of Berkeley’s Community Health Commission*. As a senator, I focus on increasing resources and empowering students of students of color, as well as the professional pre-health community. Beyond representation, some highlights of my work have been focused on improving accessibility to physical and mental health on and around campus, and improving the hate crime reporting process on campus.

Through my continued work at the local level around the closure of Alta Bates Hospital, and at the UC Regents level, I have developed a nuanced understanding of how the political system works, and more importantly how as students we can work the system to get results and policies that will help us thrive, not just survive on this campus.

I am running to be your next External Affairs Vice President of the ASUC because I want to elevate our voices and have them heard– and really listened to by the campus administration, the City of Berkeley, the UC Regents , the California legislature, and beyond. When we work together as students, we can make incredible things happen; like get UC Regent Norman Pattiz who was accused of sexual harassment to resign, or stop a tuition hike at the eleventh hour. There is no magic in the system, but through hard work and a lot of strategic planning we can and will make intentional strides to creating change on and beyond our campus.

As your next External Affairs Vice President, I will focus my attention on three main areas. First, addressing issues at the UC/State level including tuition and misconduct related policies. Second, I will focus on making the upcoming national midterm elections accessible to students, and ensuring students are able to get involved in policy and the political process beyond voting. Finally, I will focus on empowering our student community through increasing affordable housing around campus, keeping healthcare accessible, and organizing with communities to elevate our voices. Want to know more? Check out the detailed descriptions of all my platforms below!

*Titles for Identification Purposes Only

 

Read more about my platforms and goals below!

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Our Campus, Our City, Our Community

Make Midterm Elections Accessible

I – More Affordable Student Housing

II – #SaveAltaBates

III – Organizing with Communities

I – Promote Informed Voting & Civic Engagement

II– Student Voter Registration

III – Establish a Pop-Up Voting Center on Campus

IV – Make Election Day an Academic Holiday

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State of the UC

 

I– #FundtheUC

II– UC Regents Reform

III– #TimesUpUC

 

Qualifications & Leadership Roles

ASUC Senator*                  

Chair, ASUC Senate Finance Committee*                    

Chair, City of Berkeley Community Health Commission*                    

Chair, Pre-Health Student Council*                    

Member, Save Alta Bates Regional Task Force Member*                    

ASUC Representative, Chancellor’s Commission on Free Speech*                    

Member, City of Berkeley Community Health Commission Acute Services Subcommittee*

Member, City of Berkeley Community Health Commission Basic Needs Security Subcommittee*

Researcher, UC Berkeley School of Public Health                    

Co-Director, ASUC Senator Filart* Pre-Health Department                    

Logistics Director, SSWANA Coalition*                    

Chair, American Medical Students Association* Philanthropy & Fundraising Committee        

Director, Berkeley United in Literacy Development - UC Berkeley Public Service Center*        

Campus Organizing Intern, Office of the ASUC External Affairs Vice President*            

Printwriter, threads magazine (previously named Al Bayan)* Spring 2016 Issue            

Attendee, UC Students Association* Students of Color Conference 2018                

Attendee, UC Students Association* Student Lobby Conference 2016                

Volunteer, UC Students Association* Students of Color Conference 2015

*Titles for identification purposes only


Nuha's Platforms, explained

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Our campus, our city, our community

  • #SaveAltaBates

In 2016, Sutter Health announced that they would be stopping services at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center Berkeley Campus, and instead consolidating services at their Oakland campus. This would leave the city of Berkeley, and our campus community without close access to a full services acute services hospital, or more alarmingly an emergency department. The next closest emergency department takes twice as long to get there. As a Community Health Commissioner for the City of Berkeley Nuha has already been working closely with the City of Berkeley and other partners to keep Alta Bates Hospital open and fully operational. As External Affairs Vice President, Nuha would continue to be involved with the Regional Alta Bates Task Force. Beyond this, she wants to engage and empower students who are interested in this issue to organize around the hospital closure as well as around health policy at the state level. Student mobilization around Alta Bates would involve putting pressure on Sutter Health, and working with the City of Berkeley, California Nurses Association, and the University to respond quickly to movements happening at the city and regional platforms. More broad level organizing would involve advocating for more equitable health policies, improving student health insurance plans statewide, and working on repealing the menstrual tax on sanitary products. Student health– mental and physical–  directly correlates with student performance and needs to be a priority at the city and state policy level.

  • More Affordable Student Housing

 

Despite years of advocacy from within the ASUC, Berkeley is still in a dire housing crisis. Rents are rising , there is not nearly enough housing, and in the process of trying to house students we are inevitably contributing to gentrification within the city of Berkeley. As External Affairs Vice President, Nuha will continue to hold Chancellor Carol Christ accountable to her promise to double the number of beds available to students, as well as hold the City of Berkeley accountable to resolutions such as the More Student Housing Now item that was designed to remove barriers to building dense housing units close to campus. She will ensure that these projects are carried out without delay, but also that developing student housing does not displace Berkeley’s resident families and long standing community members. Increasing the supply of University owned and privately developed housing is not enough without also addressing the greater issue of consistently rising rents in the city of Berkeley. On average, rents in Berkeley have increased by 7.5 percent every year and show no sign of slowing down. As External Affairs Vice President, Nuha will advocate for more equitable rent control policies at the city and state level that take into account the fact that most undergraduate students, and some graduate students are on campus for four years or less, precluding them from many of the benefits of what few rent control policies are in place.

  • Organizing WITH Communities

 

The past year has shown that when communities come together and support those being marginalized, incredible things can be achieved as we saw with organizing around the various iterations of the Muslim Ban, among many other issues. As External Affairs Vice President, Nuha will strive to center those narratives that are being silenced and give marginalized communities the platform to uplift and empower themselves. A concrete step Nuha will take to achieve this is securing funding to establish an ASUC bail fund, which has precedent in other UC student governments past. for those who are detained during peaceful protests, and for other causes outside of their control. By removing the financial fear that comes with organizing against injustice, Nuha hopes to empower students to continuously stand up for what they believe in and organize around issues. Additionally, Nuha will work to ensure that the External Affairs office is in partnership and constant collaboration with campus and external groups that strive to protect the most marginalized communities on our campus. For instance, as the UC student workers union, UAW 2865, enters into contract negotiations with the university, the office of the EAVP will support galvanize undergraduate student support. Recognizing that UAW 2865 workers’ (GSIs, readers, tutors, etc.) working conditions are our learning conditions, Nuha will coordinate statewide turn out in support of the unions’ actions.

 

 
 
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Making midterm elections ACCESSIBLE

  • Promote Informed Voting & Civic Engagement

Making voting and civic engagement beyond voting accessible for students will be a main priority for Nuha as External Affairs Vice President because of the far-reaching impact that students being involved in the political process and casting their ballot can have . This platform has two different but equally important approaches. Firstly, Nuha’s office will create a comprehensive non-partisan voting guide for students to understand exactly what local, state, and national level candidates are prioritizing; to understand the different referenda on the ballot and to ensure that students feel they have all the necessary information to cast a ballot for the candidates whose policies they believe in. Beyond this, it is essential to recognize that not all of our students have the privilege to vote. The second but perhaps more essential aspect of civic engagement will be spearheading ways in which all students can be empowered to influence the outcome of elections, and public policy, beyond elections, regardless of voter status. This will involve continuing work to keep current and future representatives accountable to students’ needs around tuition increases, affordable housing policies, and SVSH policies, among countless other issues. Every student on our campus should feel like they can be involved in the political process whether through voting, organizing protests, making public comment at meetings, or simply calling representatives. Nuha will establish systems to make this engagement as easy and stress-free for students as possible to encourage participation.

  • Register Students to Vote

With 2018 midterm elections happening in the next academic year, student voter registration should be a top priority of our next External Affairs Vice President. College students are one of the most underutilized voting blocs because of historically low turnout rate, and this turnout drops even lower during midterm elections. If we want legislators to take us seriously and address student issues, we need to show them that our votes are worth fighting for. Berkeley is gaining 10,000 prospective voters, and Nuha intends to capitalize on that. As EAVP, she will set up voter registration stations at residence halls, Sproul Plaza, and popular student hubs including MLK Student Union,  Bechtel Engineering Center, Moffitt Library, Li Ka Shing, and Soda Hall. She will also provide voter registration forms to UC Berkeley Residence Halls, Berkeley Student Cooperative houses, Greek houses, and local businesses with high student traffic such as Caffe Strada, and Cafe Milano. As an ASUC Senator, Nuha has already started working on building the necessary relationships, and getting the infrastructure in place, to ensure that these goals can be met, and as many students as possible can be registered.

  • Establish a Pop-Up Voting Center on Campus

As External Affairs Vice President, Nuha will strive to make voting as accessible as possible, and that’s why she will  establish a pop-up voting center on Lower Sproul. A voting center would be different from a polling place in that it would open a week before Election Day and would be a one-stop-(non partisan)-shop for voter registration, information on candidates, and referendums. There will be informed staffers present to answer any questions that voters may have around issues. On November 6th, this center would double as a polling place to ensure that students do not have to go out of their way to be able to vote. The process to establish a polling place on campus is already being explored,  and Nuha has been already been in conversations around how to make this happen for the November 2018 election. In addition to a centralized voting center, Nuha will establish ballot drop-off locations in multiple campus areas including MLK Student Union, Bechtel Engineering Center, Moffitt Library, Li Ka Shing, and Soda Hall.

  • Make Election Day a Holiday    

One of the biggest barriers to student voter turnout is class. One aspect of elections accessibility is actually being able to show up on elections day to cast your ballot. As External Affairs Vice President, Nuha will work closely with the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost to ensure that professors plan their fall 2018 syllabus to include a voting holiday on November 6. The goal will be to have a day where classes are canceled, but in lieu of this we will work to ensure that no professor will take attendance, administer an exam, or teach any new material on that day. By establishing a precedent this coming fall, the long term aim is that in all future semesters during which any election falls, voting day will be institutionalized as a holiday or a non-instructional day.

 
 
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state of the uc

  • Fund the UC

UC students are currently providing more funding for the UC system than Sacramento. Over the last ten years, state funding for UC Berkeley has decreased by one-third. As External Affairs Vice President, Nuha’s office will mobilize legislative advocacy to #FundTheUC: lobbying the UC Regents to stop relying on tuition increases, and lobbying State Legislators to increase funding for the University of California system, and higher education in general, both for next year and years to come. Beyond short-term advocacy efforts, Nuha’s office will spearhead a civic engagement campaign to engage UC Berkeley students in the midterm election. In 2016-17, the UC Students Association registered almost as many students as California Calls: a progressive non-profit civic engagement network. Nuha intends to direct this capacity in support of the ballot initiative that would reform Prop 13: bringing in $9bil/year of revenue to the state by cutting a corporate tax loophole.  It is essential that the next External Affairs Vice President capitalizes on the current momentum and collaboration between the UC Office of the President, the UC Students Association, and other partners. Nuha will continue to push for increased funding and tuition rollbacks in the next year. She will work to proactively keep the student body informed around blocking tuition increases and pushing for rollbacks to ensure that the student body is actively and consistently mobilized around this issue. Additionally, Nuha will work to address the state’s continued insistence on tying increasing funding to increasing enrollment. Through austerity, UC Berkeley’s enrollment has increased by 5,000 students. Nuha’s office will advocate for enrollment rollbacks at UC Berkeley as well as lobby against any further enrollment increases.

  • UC Regents Reform    

The UC Regents are the governing board of University of California system.  Regents are appointed for 12 year terms by the Governor, usually as a reward for support during gubernatorial campaigns. They make decisions that impact our daily lives, such as raising our tuition or increasing enrollment, but there’s no mechanism to hold them accountable to the people they are meant to serve, the students. As the next External Affairs Vice President, Nuha will work with the UC Students Association to hold the regents accountable in different ways. Firstly, she will work to instate a requirement that UC Regents have to visit at least one UC campus with an undergraduate and graduate population, and interface with students in the first year after they are appointed. She will also work to ensure that the proper due process for appointing regents is followed by the next California Governor. This is essential because Governor Brown has failed to follow these processes leading to little transparency in the appointment process. In addition, she will advocate for adding and institutionalizing student input to the regent appointment process. She will also advocate for the permanent renewal of the Student Advisor to the UC Regents position to ensure as much consistent student input in regent level conversations as possible. Finally, she will work to implement stricter regulations regarding consequences for regents who have been engaged in any kind of sexual misconduct.

  • #TimesUpUC

Between January 2013 and April 2016 the University of California had 112 reported cases of sexual misconduct involving employees. It is essential that sexual harassment in professional settings is continuously rooted out and pushed back against. We have seen UC Berkeley’s poor handling of sexual misconduct cases through high profile cases such as that of previous Boalt Law School Dean Sujit Choudhry. The University of California needs to hold their employees– our professors, staff members, and administrators- to a higher standard and hold these individuals who hold the power in our institutions accountable for any cases of sexual misconduct. In order to address this, Nuha will work with the UC Students Association to establish a permanent UC wide campaign to address sexual misconduct focusing on faculty, staff, administrators and the UC Regents. In addition, Nuha will work closely with the recently formed Title IX Student Advisory Board to ensure that legislative protections for Title IX within the state of California are institutionalized; especially considering that Governor Brown vetoed a bill that would have done just that in October 2017.She will work with this board and UCSA to implement Title IX complaint resolution officer feedback, in person trainings for staff and faculty and hiring a Confidential Care Advocate for graduate students and employees. In November 2017, Nuha was one of the key students who worked to have the UC Regent Norman Pattiz removed following allegations of sexual misconduct and other forms of harassment leveraged against him. She is committed to supporting survivors, and ensuring that for perpetrators of sexual misconduct in positions of power, #timesup