Election Endorsements: Lisa Chen — VP External

    A.S. vice president of external affairs candidate Lisa Chen advocates links between students and workers, citing their causes as similar. She has managed and been a part of multiple rallies and protests such as the one pictured above, when municipal employees took to Library Walk to demand higher wages. (Will Parson/Guardian File)

    Although she is running unopposed, Lisa Chen’s extensive
    lobbying experience warrants her the position of A.S. vice president of
    external affairs, a quintessential link between student interests and those of
    local, state and national legislators.

    A veteran UC Students Association member who has personally
    met with several high-profile politicians to speak about topics ranging from
    student fees to mini-dorms to outreach and retention, Chen sensibly advocates
    building more student internships within the external affairs office in an
    effort to maximize the office’s potential.

    Of major importance next year will be the office’s goal to
    register 4,000 new student voters in time for the November presidential
    election, a task Chen is more than ready to handle, considering her commitment
    to student empowerment.

    But perhaps more importantly, Chen is in a unique position
    to further develop the external affairs office’s relationship with the
    relatively new Student Promoted Access Center for Education and Service, a
    student-run organization dedicated to outreach and retention efforts that was
    created after students passed a referendum last year.

    Chen, who said that persuading Chancellor Marye Anne Fox
    (currently the only UC chancellor not to do so) to match funds for
    student-initiated outreach projects is one of her major goals, is no stranger
    to higher education accessibility issues; she helped lead an 80-member UCSD
    delegation to the annual Students of Color Conference this year and has been a
    very vocal proponent of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors
    Act.

    In an effort to improve the external affairs office’s
    visibility to the average student, Chen said that she would make engaging
    students one-on-one on Library Walk and at campus events such as Bear
    Gardens
    a top priority. Though
    rather lofty to expect that she will be able to meet with enough students to
    make a dent in student apathy at UCSD, at least Chen is willing to try.

    Chen also seeks to bridge the divide between students and
    workers via the creation of an alliance with the American Federation of State,
    County and Municipal Employees. By forging a united front, Chen said students
    and workers would be able to more effectively engage the university when it
    comes to matters that should be of mutual concern, such as student fee
    increases.

    “There’s a problem when workers can’t even afford to bring
    their kids to the university they work for,” she said.

    Chen’s commitment to the office’s growth makes her an ideal
    candidate for the position, especially at a time when a united student front is
    more important than ever before.

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