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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Student Assistants to the Chancellor aim to encourage student-administrator interaction

The 2012-2013 Student Assistants to the Chancellor (SAC), Annemarie Stone, Artem Trotsyuk and Miguel Espinoza, hit the ground running this year, organizing events to bridge the gap between students and the administration at UC Davis.

“We act as liaisons between the administration and the students,” said Trotsyuk, a fourth-year biological sciences major.

The student assistants all come from very different backgrounds, giving them the opportunity to bring something unique to the table.

“We can approach things differently, but we work as a team,” said Miguel Espinoza, a fourth-year women and gender studies major. Espinoza served as an ASUCD senator and member of the Gender and Sexuality Commission before beginning work as a Student

Assistant to the Chancellor this year.

Trotsyuk served as a member of the ASUCD Business and Finance Commission and as a research ambassador for the Undergraduate Research Center.

Stone is a fourth-year English major. Last year she chaired the ASUCD Academic Affairs Commission and was vice chair of the ASUCD Scholarship Committee.

The student assistants work to understand the diverse student body at UC Davis in an attempt to represent and cater to the needs of all students, according to the SAC. Their goal is to ensure that UC Davis serves as a safe, inclusive environment to all of its students.

The SACs do this by meeting with students and the administration separately and coordinating events throughout the year that will allow students and administrators to interact.

According to Trotsyuk, the theme that the SAC is working around this year is student wellness with a holistic view. Programs are geared toward keeping students healthy, both mentally and physically.

Stone said that the SAC wanted to bring the administration to the students this year, as opposed to having the students come to the administration. The assistants are featuring three major programs this year that intend to do just that: Meals with Mrak, Exercise with Mrak and the 5K Wellness Walk.

Meals with Mrak is a breakfast series taking place in the Segundo Dining Commons that will allow students to sit down with various Mrak Hall administrators, including Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi and Provost Ralph Hexter, to talk about their concerns and experiences on campus. These events will take place every quarter.

Exercise with Mrak invites students to speak with various campus leaders in smaller group settings. Activities will include walking and bowling.

Students, parents, administrators and community members are invited to participate in the 5K Wellness Walk later this year. Participant entry fees will raise funds for scholarships.

“A lot of [administrators] like the idea of talking to students,” Trotsyuk said.

The SAC aims to organize events related to current events. Most recently there were presidential debate gatherings in the Student Community Center multi-purpose room.

“Election years are always important in an institution of higher education,” Stone said.

The SAC collaborated with the South East Asian Resource Action Center to coordinate the gatherings. Students were also able to register to vote at these events.

A post-election town hall will be held in November, allowing students and administrators to speak about what the results of the election will mean for the UC Davis community.

The assistants have open office hours, which are listed on their website, sac.ucdavis.edu. Information about how to get involved with current campus events and programs can be found on the SAC Facebook page.

LAUREN MASCARENHAS can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

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