Euridice Pamela Sanchez, ASI President: Fall 2020 Convocation speech

Hello Pioneers and  East Bay community, welcome to our 2020 Virtual Fall Convocation. My name is Euridice Pamela Sanchez, and as the newly elected President of Associated Students Incorporated, it is a great honor to be able to represent students during a time where fierce advocacy and optimistic leadership is crucial. Associated Students Incorporated is East Bay’s student government which consists of several student leaders who are passionate about advocating for student needs on the campus and statewide level. I am here to share with you two of ASI’s main areas of focus this year that we believe are absolutely necessary for the wellbeing of our community and our students.

Firstly, ASI will continue to emphasize advocacy efforts in providing basic needs resources in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will support our Pioneers for Hope program to increase the number of emergency housing units that will be available for students in crisis. We acknowledge the increased unemployment rates in our students, and will be against any and all increases in costs of attendance. Since COVID-19 hit, ASI has offered 50 $500 COVID-19 emergency scholarships so far, and will continue to make this scholarship available to students every semester this entire academic year.  Student stability is our goal. We want our students to not only be financially, internally, and academically balanced, but also confident that they can and will excel, not only now, but in the future as well. 

ASI’s second main focus for the year is fulfilling diversity demands by protecting targeted minority communities. The Trump administration has specifically targeted our DACAmented students and our international students in the past couple of weeks. Trump’s agenda has expanded beyond building physical walls. He is determined to obstruct the success of OUR students using figurative walls built with hatred and cemented with racism. I myself am a DACA recipient in the Trump Era, and have experienced Trump’s efforts to rip our education and lives from us. Unfortunately, there are many Pioneers that are being targeted and dehumanized at this very moment. ASI stands with our Black students and the Black Lives Matter movement that has unapologetically highlighted the institutionalized racism that is very much prevalent in today’s society. ASI will continue the decade long fight for the much needed resource centers: the African American Resource Center, and our Undocumented/DACA Student Resource Center. ASI will always stand with our students, especially with matters regarding social justice and equity. Since diversity is something we truly value, we must prove that with actions. It is not only our responsibility to ensure that students know they belong, but to ensure they know they are essential members of the East Bay community. East Bay is nothing without the students, and we must cherish every single individual with every decision we make.  East Bay is so beautiful, not only because of the view of the bay, but because of the diversity that makes us special.

Now we all know that East Bay is no longer the same, and it most likely will never be the same again.  East Bay is no longer only in the Bay Area.. East Bay is all along the west coast, it’s on the East Coast, and in the midwest. East Bay is in India, and it’s even in Europe! The Pandemic didn’t really close our classrooms, but instead created one in every Pioneer home. There are Pioneers all over the world right now sharing this very moment all together. Although all the dramatic changes in our lives are disheartening, I believe that with persistent advocacy work, active student representation, and hopeful leadership, nothing could stand in the way of a Pioneer’s education. Not even a Pandemic. Stay safe Pioneers, and let’s get the year started!