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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Senator term review: Samantha Boudaie

Outgoing Senator Boudaie served as advocate for Jewish community on campus, though not fully accomplishing all platforms

As ASUCD Senator Samantha Boudaie’s one-year term ends, fellow ASUCD senators and unit members looked back at a brief but fruitful career uplifting UC Davis’s Jewish community. 

ASUCD Vice President Emily Barneond said Boudaie was hardworking during her time on the Senate table.

“[Boudaie] is a super active advocate for the Jewish community and scheduled meetings with Chancellor May to advocate for the community she represents,” Barneond said.

Boudaie’s platform of reducing antisemitism at UC Davis came in the form of a report she developed which showed three out of four Jewish students were made to feel uncomfortable on campus.

“I make the joke that I became a statistician in my term because I had to learn the right way to ask these questions, the appropriate methods, collecting the data,” Boudaie said. “I believe that it came out really strong.”

Boudaie said that she has been pushing to inform members of ASUCD about the wants and needs of the Jewish community on campus.

“We thought that it was important that there was some education taught by the Jewish community,” Boudaie said. “So this entire quarter, my staff has worked to assemble and consolidate information from the Jewish community in a programmatic way to be eventually taught to ASUCD.”

It is unclear when and how this will be implemented, as Senator Boudaie only said “it is very likely it will be handed off.”

She also pursued stocking Kosher foods at the ASUCD Coffee House (CoHo) in an effort to foster a welcoming environment for Jewish students.

“[Boudaie’s] biggest collaboration with us was on the idea of bringing more kosher food items to the CoHo,” said CoHo Foodservice Director Darin Schluep via email. “Unfortunately, a lot of the momentum behind the idea was lost due to closures last spring due to COVID.”

COVID-19 also affected her ability to accomplish her first campaign platform, pursuing grant and scholarship opportunities from local businesses and increasing student discounts.  

“We felt it was inappropriate to ask businesses, ‘Hey do you feel like you would like to contribute to student welfare scholarships?’ because they were already hard-hit by the pandemic,” Boudaie said.

Barneond said that Boudaie coordinated on a much-needed rewrite of the ASUCD bylaws.

“[Boudaie] expressed her willingness to work with me when I was still the chairperson of IAC,” Barneond said. “We both recognized a dire need for this rewrite because our government documents have so many grammatical errors.”

Emmanuel Fernandez, the general manager of KDVS, said via email that he was impressed with Boudaie, even though she only recently acquired the unit. 

“I sincerely wish I had more time with her,” Fernandez said via email. “She has proven a very strong ally and advocate for our media unit and has kept all communication about ASUCD succinct and understandable.”

Though Boudaie was unable to meet her platform goal to revamp the hiring process for senate staff during her term, she was able to create a transitional development workshop out of existing training materials.

“[Boudaie] spearheaded that effort, and I think it’ll definitely come through when the new six senators are elected,” Barneond said.

Moving forward, the outgoing senator said she hopes that ASUCD will move away from strict partisanship.

“A lot of the projects were made possible by working with everyone on the table,” Boudaie said. “Be nice and play nice.”
Barneond said Boudaie was one of the most active senators on the table. 

“I’m honestly excited to see where she’ll go and what she’ll do,” Barneond said. 
Written by: Kathleen Quinn — campus@theaggie.org

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