” width=”300″ style=”float: left; margin-right: 30px;”>
Name: Connor Strobel
VOTE CONNOR STROBEL for AGS President!
In tumultuous times, graduate students need a leader with a track record of improving policies for graduate students. Graduate students are broke, hate crimes on campus are more frequent, police officers are assaulting alumni, and COVID-19 has thrown the education and research experience upside down. Graduate students need their student government to improve their lives in immediate policy. AGS has not communicated with the student body about all the changes as a result of COVID-19 or the COLA movements systemwide.
This past year, AGS has abdicated its responsibilities to the graduate student body. Don’t take my word for it, the AGS legislation webpage shows that it has not advanced any on-campus policies to improve diversity and inclusivity, housing affordability, cost of living, the ability for students with dependents to access free childcare, police officer misconduct, or improve faculty mentorship. Instead, the only on-campus policy proposal is an ill-guided attempt to substantially raise the AGS fee while students are struggling to make ends meet and while AGS has run an annual surplus. AGS needs to be more than an organization that takes your money, fails to make lasting change, and runs the same social events year after year. Students need AGS to change policies to improve student well-being more than ever!
CONNOR has actually gotten lasting things done, and can make AGS the organization that graduate and professional students deserve.
HOUSING: Right now, UCI Housing runs exclusively off our rents. If nothing changes, either the housing prices continue to rise or we don’t fix the outdated apartments we have. CONNOR has fought and won important changes to UCI housing policy. As the current President of the UC Graduate and Professional Council, the systemwide student government, CONNOR has gotten the UC to change and makes itself eligible for low-income housing money and programs from the state and federal government. Once this transition is complete, UCI Housing won’t have to keep taking all of our money and the UC, legally, can’t charge us as much. CONNOR also convinced the UC Regents to stop approving new housing units based on market rates, and instead got them to look at the percent of student income the rents are. As the current Chair of the Palo Verde Resident’s Council, CONNOR has pressured UCI Housing and Risk Management to actively pay students for mold and rodent damages in their apartments and cars, respectively. CONNOR has also worked with UCOP to get money from the state for mandated low-income housing. If you really want to improve on-campus graduate housing, vote for CONNOR.
DIVERSITY: This year, AGS has not done a single thing on campus to improve UCI policy related to diversity. Hate crimes have gone up, AGS has said nothing. Faculty diversity has largely stagnated, AGS has done nothing. This is insulting and unacceptable. Two years ago, when CONNOR was the AGS Internal Vice President, CONNOR pressured UCI administration to add a student from the Black Student Union on the committee to create a police accountability board. CONNOR has advanced policies for Undocumented graduate students at the systemwide level, as students brace for the outcome of the Supreme Court case. When Iranian students were not allowed back into the United States, CONNOR was on the phone working with UC federal government relations and Congressional staffers to reopen their visa applications. When CONNOR sends students to Sacramento and DC, they have been students from every school and reflective of the beautiful array of diversity that our graduate community truly has. The current AGS President and his office opposed CONNOR‘s push to appoint an Undocumented Student Policy Director, despite that being exactly what AGS should be doing.
LABOR: AGS has not done anything in policy to support the UAW on campus this year. Wildcat strikes, COLA campaigns across the UC, and the current AGS President and his office have not released a statement about how this affects UCI or what AGS should be doing to support the union. We need leadership. CONNOR was a union representative for the sociology department. When the last UAW contract was being negotiated, CONNOR worked with then leadership to make sure they had every piece of institutional knowledge in drafting their demands. As the President of UCGPC, CONNOR regularly worked with the systemwide UAW leadership. That’s support; not silence. If elected AGS President, I commit to appointing an AGS union representative and working closely with the UAW in their advocacy work.
STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES: CONNOR is autistic, and he has seen firsthand how UCI does not pay attention to students with physical and cognitive disabilities. The Disability Service Center has denied needy students with service animals, and only gives students in research labs the irrelevant accommodation of more time to take exams. UCI’s aging buildings become more inaccessible each day for students with disabilities. We need an Americans with Disabilities Act audit of the campus. CONNOR has led trainings on inclusive course design and policy.
MENTORSHIP/PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: AGS has done nothing with the Faculty Senate to make mentorship more important in tenure reviews, and nothing in policy to make sure that students are better prepared to use their degrees after graduation. CONNOR worked in economic development before graduate school, exploring ways to improve the school-to-job pipelines. CONNOR has volunteered at the AGS Graduate Research Symposium for several years. CONNOR has worked with faculty to normalize the support for non-traditional career pathways. CONNOR knows what graduate students need and how to get it from the Graduate Division and the Faculty Senate.
CAMPUS COMMUNICATION: This year, the AGS President has been silent on keys issues affecting graduate students. There has been no statement on COVID-19 and the ways the pandemic is affecting graduate student life, and nothing about the union and its working to improve TA pay and protections. If elected President, I would get resolutions passed in the AGS Council and take a stand on the key issues at UCI. I commit to sending regular updates to the graduate student body about AGS’s work on policy and improve AGS’s accountability to the student body. CONNOR has a track record of reaching out to populations that tend to be less engaged with AGS, like master’s degree, international, and undocumented students. CONNOR wrote the code of conduct policy for AGS travel and the AGS Elections Code.
AGS BUSINESS: AGS cannot be effective if council meetings cannot even be scheduled for over a month. We cannot have experienced leadership if AGS is a hostile workplace and leaders are mistreated and pushed out. Two Vice Presidents and student staff were pushed out after being mistreated, weeks have gone by without regular Council meetings, and AGS has not made lasting changes to UCI policy. CONNOR has passed over 30 pieces of legislation and has served as the AGS Parliamentarian. If elected, he would make sure that members of Council are empowered to write legislation that reflects the priorities of the students they represent. AGS needs to be accountable and needs leaders who will commit to empower AGS Council and greater student engagement on the issues. Voting for CONNOR means making AGS work the way UCI students deserve.
Let’s get AGS working for students! Vote CONNOR as AGS President
- AGS VP External Affairs (2018-Present)
- Record Numbers of Students Going to Sacramento and DC
- Oversaw AGS voter registration efforts
- Represented AGS on systemwide policy issues
- Overcome opposition to hire an Undocumented Graduate Student Policy Director and advanced resources for Undocumented Graduate Students
- 2019 Debbie Davis Graduate Student Award for student service
- AGS VP Internal Affairs (2016-2018)
- Fought to get students of color on the campus safety committee (a committee to create the police accountability board)
- Worked to get permanent funding for the CARE Office
- Helped survivors of sexual violence and harassment navigate campus resources
- Fought for scholarships for undocumented graduate students
- Pushed for an on-campus Americans with Disability Act audit
- Improved policies for students needing a service animal
- Worked to get housing to guarantee and TA guarantees for program-to-program graduate transfer students
- Worked to get institutional funding for the Graduate Symposium
- Helped the union in the lead up to contract negotiations.
- AGS Social Science Representative (2016-Present)
- Based on the AGS website, holds the record for most pieces of legislation passed.
- AGS Parliamentarian (2017-2018, 2019-Present)
- AGS Judiciary Committee Chair (2019-Present)
- UC Graduate and Professional Council President (2019-Present); Chair (2018-2019); Vice Chair (2018)
- Led the systemwide effort to get housing costs lowered
- Fought professional degree tuition increases
- Represented UCGPC at the Regents meetings
- Student Fee Advisory Committee Chair (2019-Present); Graduate Representative (2017-Present)
click here to close