City on a Hill Press is dedicated to informing students about the spring campus elections and as a part of this effort, we are profiling the candidates for the Student Union Assembly officer positions. Voting started Wednesday, May 13th and continues through this Wednesday, May 20th. Vote online at

Third-year Oakes student Leda Hernandez is running for SUA Commissioner of Diversity, which supports recruitment and retention programs for underrepresented communities. She cites her experience with resource centers such as the Women’s Center and CARE Council, a committee of all the resource center representatives on campus. Hernandez has also worked with the Feminist Studies department as the undergraduate representative within the Executive Committee, where she reviews yearly evaluations and class descriptions for upcoming curriculums.

CHP: What do you plan on doing if you’re elected?

If I am elected, I would like to help with the retention of professors as well as students. I will also work to help preserve funding for the Engaging Education (e2) programs. I also would like to maintain and create relationships between student organizations, centers and our student government.

CHP: What projects do you want to carry out as Commissioner of Diversity?

One of the projects I have in mind have to do with maintaining student comfort. I plan to work with each resource center to make sure that they all stay preserved as is. Some are looking to be condensed. If the resource centers are combined students will no longer have a place to go where they can relate to a specific type, of not just cultural background, but will have difficulty relating to one’s historical contextual life.

CHP: What issues are you most concerned about?

I’m most concerned about the retention of professors. Right now we are looking save the positions of Latino and Latin American Studies (LALS) professors.

Diversity training for teaching assistants (TAs) and our SUA body. Many of our students do not feel comfortable or feel that their TAs are sensitive to racial, sexual preference or gender issues toward the student body. Guiding TAs to attend diversity training will allow the student body to live a more pleasant life as a student.

CHP: How would you describe the relationship with the SUA and the overall student body? How could it improve?

Over the years the work that SUA does is not recognized or passed along to campus students. We still have a lot of work to do to let the students understand what SUA is doing. Most people don’t know that we even have a student body and that there is a student union. I am trying to get less represented communities to be aware that they have a place to voice their opinions in the SUA.

CHP: What are issues would you like to address?

I would like to address transparency issues involving the budget cuts facing the resource centers and the retention of professors. Something I plan on doing is communicating with departments that face cuts and getting the word out. Many of these issues affect the diversity and appeal for our student body.


Leda Hernandez for SUA Commissioner of Diversity [Facebook]

Elections Guide: Spring 2009 [City on a Hill Press]

UC Santa Cruz Student Union Assembly [SUA]