My name is Maya Wong, and I am a second year majoring in Microbiology running for the position of ASUCM Internal Vice President. To be entirely honest, I never saw myself in higher education; I am a low-income student from an immigrant, single-mother household, and in high school I had a GPA of 2.7 in my graduating year. I -- nor did the people around me -- didn’t even think I’d be the type to go to college or even get into a four-year university. Yet, here I am -- blessed among such inspirational human beings. As someone who had never been a part of a student body or much into school-spirit, I was ironically dragged into ASUCM by my roommate. However, as soon as I walked into the Senate meeting, I knew that this was a space I wanted to occupy.
In my freshman year, I served as an Interclub Council (ICC) Delegate, a Law Clerk at UCM’s Law Clinic, and was involved with various organizations both on and off campus. Having the privilege to live in Washington, D.C. during my Fall semester, I interned in politics in order to have a taste of federal level organizing as a policy and fundraising intern; on my weekends I would help Vietnamese elders in Virginia prepare for their citizenship test. Coming back to campus, I knew I wanted to continue not only being a part of ASUCM, but also larger efforts such as Labor Commissioner in order to support workers in their fight for equality and human rights.
If I were to be elected, I would like to spend my term creating a bigger sense of community between UC Merced students and Merced itself. I truly believe that it is crucial to not only give back to folks who are heavily impacted by education systems such as our own, but also to reinforce this idea that UC Merced was built to support the future generations of the Central Valley. I think there is a huge disconnect between the campus and the folks five miles south of it; by holding events and reaching out to the county, I hope that more students and the Merced community can benefit from each other.
I would also want to continue fighting for better conditions for our students. While many of us are more than grateful to be here, I don’t completely believe that this campus need to be held accountable for hearing students; it’s not just about having students’ and faculties' needs on the menu, but for them to be at the table. I want to commit my time to ensuring that everyone has a chance to change what they see as a promise unkempt. If you ever see me, please feel free to say hi and tell me what you’d like to see changed on this campus. Also, if you would like to be involved! Spaces such as the student body need to truly represent everyone here at this campus, and I want to make sure that happens. Thank you so much!