The former At-Large Representative for ASUCI Legislative Council and Speaker, Reza Zomorrodian, has entered the presidential race hoping to use his past leadership positions in ASUCI to convince voters on campus that he is the best bet for the future of UCI. Zomorrodian, a third-year political science major, first joined ASUCI as a freshman on legislative council, where he served until fall 2013, authoring a number of bills on his campaign website. Additionally, Reza has since gone on to become a SPOP staffer and Resident Advisor at Mesa Court.
Reza is running on the “Action Pact” slate, which includes Administrative Affairs candidate, John Delshadi, Academic Affairs Vice President candidate Nikki Kathuria, and Student Services Vice President candidate Joshua Ngyuen.
“All of us at Action Pact believe in the ability of students to organize and build movements to help facilitate major impacts on campus. We want to help insure that when students meet their call to action, that we can stand by their side and help them meet their goals,” the slate’s website says.
Some of the topics Zomorrodian lists on his platform include campus climate, student life, Greek life, and voter registration. Reza has laid out his platform for his presidency with the topic of campus climate being his top priority.
“The big thing with campus climate is that people don’t understand what people mean by campus climate, when you talk about it in a general consensus in the student body, I feel like people are confused about what we mean when we say campus climate,” Zomorrodian said.
“Campus climate is the notion that students feel safe campus and there have been plenty of incidents on campus that show that these [incidents] are not just isolated occurrences and that students don’t feel safe,” Zomorrodian said.
Reza does not want to duplicate the already existing council of students working under the chancellor’s office to address campus climate. Instead he is looking to create a student-oriented enterprise that focuses on the foundational safety and respect that students working toward their degrees need to be successful. This council would work to create agendas that would go directly to the Office of the President after a vote to establish a better campus climate.
After campus climate, Reza would like to address in this order, his “60 by 16” initiative, student life issues, Greek life, and student outreach & retention. Reza described in his platform his plans of wanting to have 60 percent of the student body registered to vote by the 2016 elections. Within his goals for more student engagement, he and his staff would put together a formula to measure the number of registered voters on campus and reach a threshold of 60 percent registered by 2016. As of now, the 60 by 16 is still an idea in transition without a recipe for the citizenship, age, and other variables that lie within a university campus and voting laws.
As for the Greeks, Reza would like to implement reforms focusing on assault and wants to clean up the public image of the Greek memberships. In Reza’s agenda, he would establish something called “ACE the Awareness on Cultural Education.” The goal would be to have this program implemented by winter quarter 2015 in time for the winter Greek new members. When probed about the enforcement of this new commission, Reza said that over the summer he and the members of his staff would develop a carrot and stick operation that could work with CARE and the different Greek organizations to make sure that most if not all undertake this cultural sensitivity orientation.
In last week’s New U opinion section, a writer authored a piece about why he supported Reza for president. In response to the article’s claim that Reza was “forced” to leave his seat as speaker of the legislative council due to outside obligations, he said that the author’s liberties did not exactly capture the moment.
“I willingly chose to resign my position as speaker to become an RA at Mesa Court,” Reza said to set the record straight. He said that the enormity of being president is different than speaker and that only an uprising could keep him away from his duties.