Monday, September 3, 2007
Jennifer Avelino's Statement on Facebook Shit-Talking
You may or may not be aware of my infamous Facebook message, but I'd like to take a moment to talk about it.
To my Student Action senators and EVP Gupta, from the moment I joined the family I was taught to never talk negatively about another candidate. I was taught that negative campaigning never works, and Student Action tries to push a very positive campaign by personal connections with the students and not worrying about the other parties. Even when I talked to SA candidates this year, I stressed never to speak badly about CalSERVE, no matter what they do to you. I, however, did not practice what I preached, and I apologize for breaking Student Action tradition. It was impulsive and uncharacteristic of me and I apologize for that.
The message was intended only for my friends, its colloquial manner and my free flowing speech expressed that. Nevertheless, it was leaked out to other people, and other people were affected by it.
Senator Wasserman brought something to my attention which I would not have otherwise seen. In that message there is a part which discusses Senator Nguyen's voting practice in relation to his ethnic identity. This could imply that someone's ethnic identity is dependent upon their votes, and this should never be the case. A person's identity should be based on your own personal experiences, and should not be defined for you. This touches upon the "you're either with us or against us idea," or my favorite, "you're not BLANK enough," something I personally have faced in my own community. Just because this kind of racial slander was done to me, does not give me the right to do it to others. It was definitely not my intention, but the fact that at least one person took it that way is a problem. I am not a racist, but I am not perfect and neither are all of you. Everyday we engage in this racial card game, forcing people to identify a certain way. Look at the elections, everyday I saw people appealing to a certain ethnic group for support solely based on ethnicity. This is not how to progress past this racially based society, and I apologize to those who may have been hurt by that part of the message.
I expected a negative response from those who opposed my opinion which I am entitled to, but I did not expect the kind of recourse that was taken. No student, no human being should ever have to go through what I went through and actually am still going through. What people did to me was outright dehumanizing. Let me put this in psychological terms. There's group-think where people in a group tend to think alike, then there's ingroup/outgroup. This is when one group sees another group as not belonging to their group. Then there's dehumanization. This is when the in-group treats the out-group like they are less than human and have no emotional feelings. This is the framework that led to the Holocaust, this is the type of behavior that ends in 1st grade after your teacher puts you in time out for calling someone a name. This kind of behavior was displayed to me moments after my message was leaked. And this kind of behavior was displayed to many people during this election season.
I was called names, yelled at to my face, blocked from entering buildings, told never to show up to "our" events, I was pranced around while being chanted to like I was an inanimate object, I was told that we hate you, I was told what kind of Asian are you, I was told that I was a disgrace to my community, and the list goes on. My goodness, how old are we? Even days after the elections have ended, I got told to keep on walking, yup you're not wanted here. I didn't even attend the API Issues Conference because of fear from being attacked. I couldn't enjoy the one API event on campus that I have been publicizing to you all about since the moment I took office. This is only my story. What about others? Two people were attacked with eggs during chalking. Egging happens to houses during Halloween, not to people during chalking. These chalkers are helping their friends, and someone thinks that they are a threat and thus has the right to physically harm them. Unacceptable. There are government laws against that kind of behavior. People were yelled at to their face, as if they didn't have eardrums, while they walked someone to class. People got their lit ripped from their hands, and thrown in the trashcan; that's called stealing. Some things are all in fun and games, but other things were taken way too far. I'm not saying any group is responsible for these things, but this should never happen, and I hope no one has to go through anything like this again. This kind of behavior should have ended in 1st grade. I did not expect this from educated college students especially from the University of California Berkeley and those who are trying to represent the entire student body. I do not want this kind of people representing me.
Finally, I'd like to say that I am proud to be a Student Action Senator. We've done a lot of good things for this campus, and it's a shame there is so much negativity connected with our name. Contrary to popular belief Student Action has made change this year and will continue to do so next year for every student. With that, I'd like to say congratulations to those who won the preliminary round of tabulation, and I hope that all of you who will be here next year stay involved with the ASUC.
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Sunday, September 2, 2007
Jennifer Avelino's Facebook Shit-Talking
As senator this year I've seen a lot happen and I'd like to share my personal feelings about this year's elections.
I do NOT support Van for President!
In leiu of today's Daily Cal endorsment of Van Nguyen, I thought I should share my experiences with CalSERVE candidate Van Nguyen. Let's get this clear. He has shown no interest in serving ALL students on this campus. He is only about empowering the minority voice. What about the rest of us? He did not support Spring Concert which would serve over 3,000 students. He did not support fixing the Cannon, which impacts 20,000+ students. He did not support the Student Life fee which affects well over 28,000 students. He did not support the Student Union Complex Fee which would support almost ALL the students. So again, who's voice is he trying to empower?
He has shown no support for current activities in the President's office. President Gabriel has worked very hard with the administration to get the Lower Sproul redevelopment project off the ground. He and AAVP Joyce Liou have even put together student forums to hear the student voice. Now let's face it, Eshelman and MLK student union are not the most attractive of seismicly safe buildings. Students deserve better, and students have expressed that they want more. It is clear that the university will not move unless students are ready to put down a monetary committment. Van thinks that money is not the solution. What the heck does he know? He hasn't been involved with Lower Sproul Redevelopment at ALL!! His only involvement is asking whether or no there will be a multicultural center in the plans. This project is going to cost the university millions of dollars! A nice student union is a privilage not a RIGHT! We have to show we are committed. He hasn't shown that committment at all.
His sentiment that "Students should not have to pay for their voice" will fall flat on its face when NOTHING is done next year. Let's flash back to when he opposed giving money to Cal Lobby Day. REALLY?! Not putting any money where your mouth is!! Then a few weeks later Van asks EAVP Jason Chu why he thought Cal Lobby Day was a success, if not much was accomplished. Well DUH!!! If there isn't enough money to put on a successful Cal Lobby Day, then you can't have a successful Cal Lobby Day!! Come on Van!
Representing his community? I think not! Van wanted to lower the amount of money for the VSA Culture Show. What? That's your community!! He said he wanted to be more financially responsible and leave more money to other groups. If you're not supporting your own community, then who ARE you supporting?
Now about this Election Council Chair witch hunt mentioned in the Daily Cal. I was all for approving Jessica Wren in the beginning, but seeing her in action I take it back. Van argued that if we don't approve her now, we won't have elections. Bologna! Van argued that she has the experience to run a smooth election. Well so far, she's pushed back the filing deadline for candidates but not parties, so people who wanted to be part of a party after the orginal deadline couldn't. They HAD TO run independent. The new deadline was past the candidate's meeting, which meant that anyone who signed up late could have missed that very important meeting (read yesterday's daily cal). Van said that she will act professionally. She has sent emails to the entire senate disrespecting me and my role as a senator. She has not come to a senate meeting during the campaign season, and she probably won't. She said that she would mark off the polling stations before the elections so no chalking violations will occur in those areas. Where are the markings? It's the day before voting and its the first time I've seen advertisements for voting posted up. She's taken away polling stations from graduate student hot spots, but has made no effot in publicizing the elections in those areas. Van supported this ineffecient, disrespectful, and unprofessional chair. This shows his bad judgement.
Cal is a community. It encompasses the students, the faculty, the staff, and the administrators. Van supports more ASUC independence from the administration. Well there is a reason there is an administration in the first place. First and foremost we are students, and the ASUC should come second. The administrators are there to put the ASUC first, the students first. Without their support, a student would be overwhelmed, and lots of things would not get done. The Cal community needs to work TOGETHER to accomplish things. Not independently.
I have sat in senate with him this past year and all I have seen from him are complaints. He's been running his presidential campaign since day 1 and has spent little time making CHANGE this year. What makes you think he'll make any change next year. He complains about the executive offices, but takes no action in changing things. So much progress has been made in the president's office. Voting for Van is taking a step backwards. Actions speak louder than words, and Van has been a sitting duck in senate this year.
Why I support Ilana Nankin?
She bleeds BLUE and GOLD. She has a love for this school like no one I have ever seen. That kind of passion for a school is what the president should have. That's the kind of passion that donors to the university are looking for. She has proved that she will do great things on this campus. As SENATOR, she put together a resource conference for student groups, helped the greek community with philanthropic bills, put together a first ever Spring Welcome Week, and helped the Cal Band and UC Rally Committee continue their timeless traditions in Cal spirit. These are just a few of the things Ilana has accomplished this year.
A president should be someone you can relate to, someone who understands the students needs. As one of the most personable people I have ever met, she can relate to all of us. She is a Fall Freshman Extension student, a Jewish student, from the Bay Area, a sister in Alpha Delta Pi, a former ASUC intern, a former UCRC member, a former Unit 2 resident, a Cal Football fan, an ASUC Senator, and so much more.
As a good friend of mine, I have sat with her to talk about my goals in the Asian American community. She has shown me that she has an open mind about issues, and continues to offer her assistance in achieving my goals. Unlike Van who constantly criticizes me efforts. (Bitter? Yes.)
Ilana's passion for Cal and her current achievements as Senator show that she is ready to be president. Being one year younger than Van does not mean she is less experienced. She has proved her experience this year. Being a woman, the first one in 10 years, would not only empower women on this campus but show the world that Cal is PROGESSING.
Vote Ilana Nankin for ASUC president!
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