ASUC Senator Zaynab AbdulQadir


Zaynab AbdulQadir is currently in her third year at the University of California, Berkeley as a Regents’ and Chancellor’s scholar and now as a Senator-Elect in the ASUC. She is primarily endorsed by Berkeley’s Black / Afrikan diasporic community and the Berkeley Student Cooperative System. Zaynab intending to declare her double major in African American Studies and Social Welfare this Fall. While serving her communities in Senate, Zaynab plans to focus on: i. improving the retention of Black and Afrikan diasporic students on campus; ii. having campus resource better serve students of color and encouraging more cross-cultural engagement among organizations that already serve historically underrepresented students; and iii. ensuring the Berkeley Student Cooperative System continues to champion affordable and accessible housing while also creating safer identity based living accommodations. As a representative of both the Black and Student Cooperative community on campus, her office aims to create a dynamic, intersectional and fluid structure. Though there are specific positions available, she also aims to bring in folx that wish to be a part of a collective that collaborates on programs, legislation, and campaigns that utilize our power as students to transform campus climate, movements, and critical decisions

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1. Building Black Futures – Improving Retention of Black Students

In my time at UC Berkeley, I’ve realized that there is not only a small critical mass of Black students (2.9%), but there also is a small sense of community for incoming students. Due to fragmentation of community based organizations and lack of centralized resources, students who are not residents of the African Theme Floor or the African Theme House often navigate the university in isolation. As an ASUC Senator, I will collaborate with the African American Student Development Office, the Black Retention and Recruitment Center, and the Black Student Union in order to have a create a cohesive community. I will work to expand BlackSO to a Fall and Spring Black Welcome Week — a weeklong series of events for incoming first years and junior transfers. In addition, I will create a Mentorship Program for lowerclassmen Black undergraduates to connect with upper classmen. I also will ensure that the African American Initiative is implemented properly during the next academic school year.

2. Cross Cultural Engagement & Support

Although UC Berkeley celebrates its campus diversity, the demographics of the state of California are currently not reflected in the demographics of UC Berkeley. First year students of color comprise only 17.3% of the undergraduate population, leading to isolation, lack of community, and poor academic success. As a Senator, I will work to ensure that these students are included within greater student life. I will do so by building on the efforts of the Multicultural Community Center, the Multicultural Student Development Offices, and bridges Multicultural Resource Center, to create inclusive and welcoming programming. In addition, I will coordinate with various student groups and campus organizations to bring communities of color at Cal together. One event I will create is a Berkeley ‘Story Time’ – a structured open mic night, modeled like Ted Talks, for students of color to share their narratives.

3. Streamlining Residential Hall Theme Programs to Off-Campus Housing

For many underrepresented students, living in a residential hall is not just about having a place to stay, but is also about fostering a sense of community. However, after leaving the dorms, many of these students experience a difficult transition into off campus housing. As a former resident of the African American Theme Program and current member of the African American Theme House, I know how comforting and important it is to live in safe, affordable, and identity-based housing. Therefore, by collaborating with the Berkeley Cooperative System and its Demographic Inclusion Taskforce as an ASUC Senator, I aim to streamline the process of providing priority off-campus housing in the Berkeley Student Cooperative (BSC) System for residents who are part of all residential hall theme programs. Moreover, I will collaborate with BSC to institute a boarding program for students in the residential halls so that they can experience Co-op culture before joining the cooperative system.


Chief of Staff, Office of ASUC Senator Alana Banks*
Diversity and Equity Policy Director, Office of Academic Affairs Vice President*
Student Representative, Wellness Initiative Fee Advisory Committee*
Chief Production Assistant, ONX*
Resident, African American Theme House*
Member, Black Student Union*
Member, Muslim Student Union*
Member, Regents’ and Chancellor’s Scholars Association*
Former Peer Tutor, Student Learning Center*
Former Social Manager, African American Theme House*
Former Student Representative,  Academic Senate American Cultures Committee*
Former Events and Projects Intern, Office of ASUC Academic Affairs Vice President*
Former Political Action Committee Intern, Black Student Union*
Former Resident of African American Theme Floor*


Yordanos Dejen – ASUC President*
Marium Navid, ASUC External Affairs Vice President*
Melissa Hsu, ASUC Academic Affairs Vice President*
Alana Banks – Current ASUC Senator*
Sheena Paul – Current ASUC Senator*
Kwamena Hansen-Sackey – President, Black Retention and Recruitment Center*
Cori McGowens – Chair, Black Student Union*
Oumar Ba – President, Organization of African Students*
Yaadam Jobe – President, National Council of Negro Women*
Anita Agoh – President, Nigerian Student Association*
Sidney Lee – Haas Undergraduate Black Business Association*
Myles Santifer, African American Theme Program Resident Assistant*
Edward Stinson – Former Chair, BSC Demographic Inclusion Task Force*
Yasmeen Ahmed – Muslim Student Association’s External Affairs*, Office of ASUC EAVP’s Organizing Director*, and Interfaith Action Initiative’s Campus Relations Co-Director*
Spencer Pritchard – Former CalSERVE Chair & Black Lives Matter Berkeley Co-Founder*
Vicente Román – Co-Department Head of Events & Projects Department of Office of AAVP*
TJ Grayson – Political Director of Cal Berkeley Democrats* and State Affairs Manager of ASUC EAVP Legislative Affairs*
Suher Adi – Communications Director, Cal Berkeley Democrats*
Anthony Williams – Co-Chair of UC Berkeley’s Sociological Research Symposium and Editor-in-Chief & Prison Divestment Communications Director of the Afrikan Black Coalition*
Blake Simons – Deputy Communications Director of the Afrikan Black Coalition and National Council Member for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Loss & Healing Department*

*Titles for Identification Purposes Only