Approximately 200 to 300 students from UC campuses across the state gathered at UC Irvine’s Humanities Hall Plaza on April 8 and 9 to participate in the UC Student Association’s annual Students of Color Conference, which promoted discussions on how to address different issues that students of color face on their campuses and in society in general.
‘The SOCC is a safe space for students to be able to speak out clearly to each other and to hear each other,’ said Vera Konkankit, thirdyear biological sciences major and campus organizing director and head student coordinator for the SOCC.
Zachary Avallone, ASUCI executive vice president, said that the SOCC is important for discussing ‘how to ensure that UC campuses are diverse and adequately represent the population of California.’
Chancellor Michael Drake addressed the students Saturday morning with encouraging words and some advice. ‘Confidence to be able actually to do things is really really valuable when you get to important things that need to be done,’ Drake said. ‘If you don’t have the confidence, nice words are just nice words. If you don’t have the confidence, the passion is just noise. When you put the two together, you can affect the world and produce change.’
After Drake’s speech, UCSA President Anu Joshi spoke about the importance of the conference.
‘This conference is the first step in making the state and making everyone know that we will not be silenced and that we’re going to fight for what’s right for all of California,’ Joshi said.
The conference offered more than 30 different workshops for students to attend. Workshops covered a variety of topics, such as how historical and current events affect certain races and basic lobbying techniques. For example, one workshop, titled ‘Ni Una M