UC Berkeley transfer student Alexis Zaragoza was nominated for UC student regent for the 2021-22 school year, pending approval by the UC Board of Regents during their July 28-30 meeting.
The UC Office of the President announced the nomination on June 5, and if approved, Zaragoza will become the 47th UC student regent-designate. Zaragoza will serve as a non-voting Regent-designate until her term as the voting Student Regent begins in July 2021. Once validated, Zaragoza will be serving with incoming 2020-21 student regent Jamaal Muwwakki.
“She will be a powerful voice for equity in the space, and a fantastic collaborator with Jamaal next year,” said Hayley Weddle, the current student regent. “As someone who has served in the role, I can say with confidence that students are very lucky to have Alexis and Jamaal representing them at the highest level of UC governance.”
Zaragoza is an undergraduate transfer student majoring in Geography who is expected to graduate in 2021. She currently serves as a Trustee on the California Community College Board of Governors and has worked with the Board to pass regulations towards remedial educational reform, helped file a lawsuit against the Department of Education’s decision to limit emergency COVID-19 funding to undocumented students, and created a new preliminary Cal Grant model.
“Transfers make up a large part of our system. We matter just as much and are beyond qualified to represent not just our own but all students in the UC System,” Zaragoza told The Triton. “I’ve been a Board Member, I’ve worked in administration, I’ve advocated for students statewide, and I have learned how to not to be afraid of using my voice, even if I’m the only one in the room that agrees.”
As both a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and a daughter of a Mexican immigrant, Zaragoza plans on focusing on admissions and faculty diversity, COVID-19 recovery efforts, and increased protections for undocumented students in the UC. Her plans involve creating equitable practices across the UC such as having accessible internet and technology services for incoming first year and transfer students in preparation for the hybrid learning system in Fall 2020.
“For the hybrid classes we need to maintain equity, and for students choosing to live on campus we need to maintain student services while also trying to manage budgets. A student needs to be in the room for those discussions,” Zaragoza said.
If approved, Zaragoza will be the first undergraduate student regent since 2016.
Orianna Borrelli is the Administrative Director for The Triton. You can follow her @orianna_b.