Associated Students of the University of California

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Associated Students of the University of California
FormationMarch 2nd, 1887
TypeStudent association
Legal status501(c)(3) organization
Headquarters412 Eshleman Hall, Berkeley, California[1]
Chaka Tellem
Executive Vice President
Giancarlo Fernandez
External Affairs Vice President
Bailey Henderson
Academic Affairs Vice President
James Weichert
AffiliationsUniversity of California Student Association[2]
$1,678,558 [3]

The Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC) is the autonomous and officially recognized students' association of the University of California, Berkeley. It is the only students' association within the University of California that is fully autonomous from the university administration. Founded in 1887,[4] the ASUC is an independent, 501(c)(3)[5] non-profit, and unincorporated association. The ASUC controls funding for all 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 2, 1887. Prior to this, 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."[6] 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.[7]

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.[8]

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.[9] 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."[10]

The history of ASUC political parties includes large and small parties advocating for a multitude of interests. 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.[11] 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.[12] 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.[13] BAMN itself began at Berkeley in 1995 and ran candidates starting in 1996 under its own name, which, at the time, was The Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action By Any Means Necessary.[14] The major parties from the late 1980s and early 1990s included: the Bears Party, drawing from a similar constituency as today's Student Action; Students for Progress, a center-left party; as well as Cal-SERVE. Minor Parties that won seats during that era included: More centrist groups like GRASP (Grass Root and Student Power), APPLE (A People's Party for Loyalty and Experience), Vision,[15] SEED, a progressive party to the left of Cal-SERVE; Crusaders for the Rights of Undeclared and Confused Students (CRUCS), focused on initiatives to improve student life such as extending the P/NP and drop deadlines beyond the first round of midterms; the Monster Truck Party, appealing to Greek constituencies with the slogan: "what will knowledge of other cultures do if your car throws a rod 10 miles outside of Kettleman City"; the PENIS Party, with the slogan "erect a leader," and a platform advocating for more urinals and a taller Campanile; and the Science and Engineering Party, which advocated for the interests of science and engineering students and who partnered with CRUCS to win 4 executive seats between 1990 and 1992.

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.[16]

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.[16]


The ASUC Constitution establishes a students' association with elected officials modeled after California's separation-of-powers and plural elected executive framework.[17]

The executive officers and the Senate of the ASUC are popularly elected by single transferable vote.[17] Chief Appointed Officers are non-partisan officials appointed by the Senate. The six Chief Appointed Officials are the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Legal Officer (CLO), Chief Communications Officer (CCO), Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Chief Personnel Officer (CPO), and Chief Grants & Scholarships Officer (CGO).[18]

The five elected executive officers of the ASUC are the President, Executive Vice President (EVP), External Affairs Vice President (EAVP), Academic Affairs Vice President (AAVP), and the Student Advocate.[17] 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.[16]

In 2019, the student body passed the Transfer Remedy Act ballot proposition, which added the Transfer Student Representative as a unique ASUC office intended to represent the campus' growing transfer student population.[19] The Transfer Student Representative is a voting ex-officio member of the ASUC Senate, serving as the de facto twenty-first member of the Senate and maintaining all of the responsibilities of a regular ASUC Senator. The Transfer Student Representative is chosen a separate election using the single transferable vote mechanism.[19] The position was on the ASUC election ballot for the first time in the spring 2020 election.[20]

Notable alumni[edit]

List of executive officers[edit]

Years President Executive Vice President External Affairs Vice President Academic Affairs Vice President Student Advocate
1985-1986[21] Pedro Noguera Karen Licavoli Linda Asato M. Bruce Robinson Steven Ganz
1986-1987 M. Bruce Robinson Michael Branch Christopher Cabaldon Patricia Vattuone Laurel Steinberg
1987-1988 Michael I. Berry Julie Chang Beth Bernstein
1988-1989 Jeff Chang Pamela Brown Pete Kennedy
1989-1990 Tisa Poe Pamela Brown Jose Huizar Jan Young Bonaparte Liu
1990-1991 Bonaparte Liu Shahed Amanullah Bess Dolmo Ben Austin
1991-1992 Mark Yablonovich Cecelia Wang Rachel Settlage
1992-1993 Marco Pulisci Mimi Aye Lisa (Swartout) Zwicker
1996-1997 Grant Harris Sharon Yuan
1997-1998 Sharon Yuan Lee Fink Sanjeev Bery Margie Brown Hikari Kimura
1998-1999 Irami Osei Frimpong (resigned)

Preston Taylor

Rishi Chandna Shin Honma Amanda Canning Randolph Gaw
1999-2000 Patrick Campbell Conor Moore Gray Chynoweth Ally McNally Jen Shen
2000-2001[22] Teddy Liaw Alex Ding Nick Papas Jen Chang (resigned November 2000)[23]

Jose Luis Lopez (appointed December 2000)

Kevin Hammon
2001-2002[24] Wally Adeyemo[25] Justin Christensen Josh Fryday Catherine Ahn Alex Kipnis[26]
2002-2003[27] Jesse Gabriel Han Hong Jimmy Bryant Tony Falcone Salam Rafeedie
2003-2004[28] Kris Cuaresma-Primm Taina Gomez Anu Joshi Gustavo Mata Dave Madan[29][30]
2004-2005[31] Misha Leybovich Christine Lee Liz Hall Rocky Gade Dave Madan
2005-2006 Manuel Buenrostro Anil Daryani Sharon Han Jason Dixson Vikrum Aiyer
2006-2007 Oren Gabriel Vishal Kumar Gupta Jason Chu Joyce Liou
2007-2008 Van Nguyen Taylor Allbright Danny Montes Curtis Lee
2008-2009 Roxanne Winston Krystle Pasco Dionne JIrachaikitti Carlo De La Cruz Matthew David Demartini
2009-2010 Will Smelko Tu Tran Dani Haber John Tran
2010-2011 Noah Stern Nanxi Liu Ricardo Gomez Viola Tang
2011-2012 Vishalli Loomba Chris Alabastro Joey Freeman Julia Joung Samar Shah
2012-2013[32] Connor Landgraf Justin Sayarath Shahryar Abbasi Natalie Gavello Stacy Suh
2013-2014[33] Deejay Pepito Nolan Pack Safeena Mecklai Valerie Jameson Timofey Semenov
2014-2015[34] Pavan Upadhyayula Justin Kong Caitlin Quinn Summer (elected): Jeanette Corona

Fall (acting): Pavan Upadhyayula[35]

Fall-Spring (appointed): Mon-Shane Chou[36]

Rishi Ahuja
2015-2016[37] Yordanos Dejen Lavanya Jawaharlal Marium Navid Melissa Hsu Leah Romm
2016-2017[38] William Morrow Alicia Lau Andre Luu Frances McGinley Selina Lao
2017-2018[39] Zaynab Abdulqadir-Morris Helen Yuan Rigel Robinson Andrew-Ian Bullitt Jillian Free
2018-2019[40] Alexander Wilfert Hung Huynh Nuha Khalfay Melany Amarikwa Sophie Bandarkar
2019-2020[41] Amma Sarkodee-Adoo Andy Theocharous (resigned in April 2020) [42]

Nathan Mizell (appointed in April 2020) [43]

Varsha Sarveshwar Aastha Jha Nava Bearson
2020-2021[20] Victoria Vera Melvin Tangonan Derek Imai Nicole Anyanwu Joyce Huchin
2021-2022[44] Chaka Tellem Aditya Dev Varma (resigned in August 2021)

Antonio Kobe Lopez (acting)

Giancarlo Fernandez (appointed in September 2021)

Riya Master James Weichert Era Goel
2022-2023[45] Chaka Tellem Giancarlo Fernandez Bailey Henderson James Weichert Crystal Choi

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "ASUC | Home". Associated Students of the University of California. Retrieved 2019-02-11.
  2. ^ "Student Board - University of California Student Association". University of California Student Association. 2019. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  3. ^ "ASUC FY23 General Budget [FINAL ABSA ALLOCATIONS]". Retrieved 2022-05-08.
  4. ^ Johnson, Robert S. (1966). "Berkeley: Student Government". University of California History. Retrieved 2015-12-01.
  5. ^ ASUC Form 990 for the 2008-2009 tax year
  6. ^ ASUC Constitution of 1887
  7. ^ "ASUC". Retrieved 2017-12-18.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ "Student Action - Every Student, Every Year". Retrieved 2017-12-18.
  10. ^ "CalSERVE". Archived from the original on 2017-12-16. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
  11. ^ Fineman, Jake (May 1, 2017). "SQUELCH! is dead, long live SQUELCH!". The Daily Californian.
  12. ^ Lynn, Jessica (March 17, 2017). "Pirate Party announces 3 ASUC Senate candidates". The Daily Californian.
  13. ^ Provencio, Elaina (March 17, 2015). "DAAP announces 4 ASUC general election candidates". The Daily Californian.
  14. ^ Associated Students of the University of California Voter's Guide, 1996
  15. ^ "CalSERVE partners with Cooperative Movement Party, gaining new political ground". The Daily Californian. 2014-03-14. Retrieved 2023-01-01.
  16. ^ a b c "What is the ASUC?". Associated Students of the University of California. Retrieved 2016-03-17.
  17. ^ a b c "ASUC Constitution". ASUC Central Drive (Google Drive).
  18. ^ "Staff Directory | ASUC". ASUC. Retrieved 2017-06-25.
  19. ^ a b Katewa, Aditya (2020-04-01). "ASUC 2020 elections ballot introduces transfer student representative position". The Daily Californian. Retrieved 2020-06-21.
  20. ^ a b "ASUC Elections Council, Judicial Council certify election results for 2020-21 academic year". The Daily Californian. 2020-04-24. Retrieved 2020-06-21.
  21. ^ Krueger, Chris (1985-04-16). "First black president in ASUC history". The Daily Californian. Vol. XVII, no. 67. Berkeley, California. pp. 1, 3. Retrieved 2022-03-17.
  22. ^ "Party Sweeps Top ASUC Seats - The Daily Californian". Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  23. ^ "Error-Ridden Cal-FACTS Stir Demand For VP Recall - The Daily Californian". Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  24. ^ "Elections Results Finally Released - The Daily Californian". Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  25. ^ "Wally Adeyemo | Center for Strategic and International Studies". Archived from the original on 2017-07-06.
  26. ^ Appointed after the elected candidate, Matt Holohan, stepped down shortly after his election.
  27. ^ "Student Action Sweeps Executive Office Slate - The Daily Californian". Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  28. ^ "Cal-SERVE Sweeps - The Daily Californian". Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  29. ^ "Editorial: The Daily Californian Endorsements - The Daily Californian". Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  30. ^ Took over the Student Advocate office following the disqualification of candidate Bryant Yang from the election; his only opponent, graduating senior Richard Schulman, received a majority of the votes but could not serve, according to ASUC rules.
  31. ^ "Student Action Rises Again: Leybovich Nets ASUC Presidency - The Daily Californian". Retrieved 2018-04-05.
  32. ^ Morris, J. D. (2012-04-19). "2012 ASUC general election results". The Daily Californian. Retrieved 2017-06-25.
  33. ^ Mehra, Curan (2013-04-18). "ASUC Election 2013 results: CalSERVE takes 3 of 4 partisan executive seats". The Daily Californian. Retrieved 2017-06-25.
  34. ^ Messerly, Megan (2014-04-17). "2014 ASUC general election results". The Daily Californian. Retrieved 2017-06-25.
  35. ^ As ASUC President, Pavan Upadhyayula was the de jure acting AAVP under the ASUC Constitution during the vacancy. However, AAVP Chief-of-Staff Denim Ohmit was the de facto acting AAVP.
  36. ^ "Mon-Shane Chou confirmed as academic affairs vice president | The Daily Californian". The Daily Californian. 2014-10-09. Retrieved 2017-10-05.
  37. ^ Chinoy, Sahil; Weiner, Chloee (2015-04-16). "LIVE: Results from the 2015 ASUC general elections". The Daily Californian. Retrieved 2017-06-25.
  38. ^ Abbott, Katy (2016-04-08). "LIVE: Results from the 2016 ASUC general elections". The Daily Californian. Retrieved 2017-06-25.
  39. ^ Platten, Andrea (2017-04-14). "LIVE: Results from the 2017 ASUC general elections". The Daily Californian. Retrieved 2017-06-25.
  40. ^ "LIVE: Results from the 2018 ASUC general elections". The Daily Californian. 2018-04-13. Retrieved 2018-05-10.
  41. ^ "ASUC Executive Vice President Andy Theocharous resigns". The Daily Californian. 2019-04-14. Retrieved 2019-05-18.
  42. ^ "LIVE: Results from the 2018 ASUC general elections". The Daily Californian. 2020-04-11. Retrieved 2018-05-10.
  43. ^ "Nathan Mizell to serve as ASUC executive vice president through end of semester". The Daily Californian. 2020-04-23. Retrieved 2018-05-10.
  44. ^ "LIVE: Results from the 2021 ASUC general elections". The Daily Californian. 2021-04-09. Retrieved 2021-05-30.
  45. ^ "Independents hold slight majority in 2022-23 ASUC executive offices". The Daily Californian. 2022-04-08. Retrieved 2022-05-08.

External links[edit]