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Davis

Davis, California

Saturday, July 20, 2024

Meet your representatives: Kriti Garg and Shehzad Lokhandwalla

senators_2_MishaVelasquez

Name: Kriti Garg
Major: Double major in community and regional development and international relations
Position: Ethnic and Cultural Affairs Commission Chair
Year: Third year

1. What did you want to be when you were a child?
I wanted to be a teacher for forever. For the longest time, I also wanted to be a National Geographic Magazine photographer because I wanted to travel and I like to take photos and I didn’t want to have to write. And for a while I wanted to write children’s books and illustrate them. I also wanted to be a journalist at one point. Overall, the theme of everything that I’ve ever wanted to do growing up has been telling people stories.

2. What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned throughout your life?
One of the many big things that I’ve learned is that everyone has a story and everyone’s own story is being written. It shapes the way that they think and the way that they interact with the world.

3. If you could be one character from a book, who would it be?
I think I would want to be Ramona Quimby. Pretty much every book I was into when I was little had a really strong woman or girl as the main character. Ramona Quimby just kind of stood out to me because she was just really caring and loving and spunky and a go-getter. Even though I’m not going to clomp on cans like she did, I go out there and I will ask the tough questions, I am not afraid to do the hard work, I will not stand down to anyone.

4. What is your favorite holiday and why?
One celebration that is particularly meaningful to me is Diwali. It’s a Hindu festival and it is loosely translated as “Festival of Lights,” and different people celebrate in different ways. My experience with the holiday is that it is very family oriented and it is a way to connect back to my culture and my family’s religion. It is so centered around family. Being here in the United States, we don’t really have extended family in the area. Our family friends that we have known for a decade or 25 years make up our family. It is really nice to get together over this holiday and appreciate them. My mom makes a whole bunch of fabulous food and tons of sweets and we light candles all over the house. We go to the temple, which is something I don’t do regularly, and call family in India.

5. If you could change anything about yourself what would it be?
I feel like I was going to say impulsivity. But, impulsivity is a part of who I am and how I interact with the world and it has done me some great things. I was going to say not be so rambly, but it helps me to get my thoughts out. I don’t know, I feel like I’m not perfect, but I like who I am.

6. What about UC Davis has changed you or helped you the most?
The students I’ve met here and my peers have opened my eyes to things that I didn’t even know they needed to be open to. You know how there’s that whole thing about how people will go to the new yoga class at the gym and they’ll be like, “My muscles hurt where I didn’t even know I had muscles?” I feel like my mind has done that and I feel like with all the mentorship and friendships, I mean honestly I’ve met lifelong friends here and people who I would never imagined would be part of my life and their thoughts and ways of thinking and life experiences have all impacted me, so it’s kind of like that whole gym thing. My mind has been exposed to change in ways that I didn’t even know were there to change.

 

Name: Shehzad Lokhandwalla
Major: Computer science
Position: ASUCD Senator
Year: Third year

1. What did you want to be when you were a child?
I wanted to be a U.N. secretary general and followed the U.N. a lot when I was little because my sister was studying international law. She was very obsessed with the U.N. and I shared the same passion as her.

2. What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned throughout your life?
I have learned that whenever you have a doubt the answer is always no.

3. If you could be one character from a book, who would it be?
Snowball, the pig from Animal Farm. Snowball is my favorite character. He is very evil and very sly, but he’s very smart too and he gets everything done. I’m not that evil, but I like his character.

4. What is your favorite holiday and why?
There are a lot of great holidays I can think of, but I would say India’s Independence Day on Aug. 15. Back in India we have a lot of salvation and it means so much to India because we were under the queen’s rule for so many years. It means so much to me to be independent and free. I value that a lot.

5. If you could offer one piece of advice to UC Davis students, what would it be?
I can’t remember the movie, but if you want something go get it — I think it’s by Will Smith.

6. If you could go on vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I have been a lot places around the world, I’ve traveled a lot, but the only thing I can think of is home. So I would want to go back home. I’ve been to almost every continent, I’ve been to 41 countries. The one thing that comes to mind right now is home, I miss home. So I would go home. Home is back in India, not back in The Colleges.

7. If you could ask your future self one question, what would it be?
Why did you run for senate? Big mistake.

8. What about UC Davis has changed you or helped you the most?
It has empowered me a lot. In India, not a lot of students are empowered. When I came to the U.S., I felt like I had a lot of freedom and power to do a lot of things. I feel very powerful and I feel I [can] bring any change I want to campus; obviously if that change is achievable, I can bring any change I want. The feeling of empowerment is amazing.

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