Sanaa Khan is a third-year political science major and has worked within the Executive Vice President’s office for two years under former Executive Vice President Andrea Gaspar and current EVP Melissa Gamble. She wants to continue their focus on social issues affecting the student body. In her platform, Khan calls on continuing the EVP office’s focus on supporting social justice initiatives and lobbying efforts in support of students.
The first of Khan’s major goals is to expand the EVP’s interaction with students and take a more active role in student life on campus.
“The first [goal] is creating positions within my office that work to build coalitions with students on campus… and have this within my office so my office can be the place where students can come and share these ideas,” Khan said.
In addition to her plans which she outlines in her platform (viewable on the ASUCI elections website), Khan will continue to build on her career with the EVP office. She includes lobbying for the Middle Class Scholarship Act, a California State act which increased financial aid to families making less than $100,000, as one of her highest achievements while working in the EVP office and will continue to advocate in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. on behalf of students.
In addition, Khan wishes to expand lobbying efforts on the national level to push for interests that affect university students across the country, such as the expansion of federal financial aid to college students, the expansion of research grants and opportunities for students and increased funding for education by the federal government. She wishes for the EVP office to give out grants for undergraduate students in a similar manner that AGS, the graduate student government at UC Irvine, provides them to graduate students. However, unlike the research grants of AGS, Khan wants these grants to facilitate travel for students to lobbying and advocacy conferences and actions.
“There is no mechanism to help students actually outreach into the community, they have to take those first steps completely by themselves, there is no support mechanism for that. So I hope to create the beginning of a support mechanism,” Khan said.
“There are some travel grants out there but those are only for academics and my office is focused on advocacy.”
Khan wishes to work in a similar way to current Executive Vice President Melissa Gamble, with a strong focus on social issues and student activism, and will continue to spearhead the EVP’s office support of student lobbying efforts such as the Student Lobby Conference and the Students of Color Conference.
Even though the Executive Vice President has vague powers under the ASUCI Constitution, it is seen as one of the most powerful positions in ASUCI, if not the most powerful. Duties for the Executive Vice President include presiding over the ASUCI Legislative Council and connecting with students on behalf of ASUCI. If you wish to vote for Sanaa Khan, elections are open this week at www.elections.uci.edu.
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