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Lizeth Torres Resignation

March 2, 2020

Dear UC Merced community,

It is with a heavy heart I announce my resignation as the External Vice President of ASUCM, effective today, February 25, 2020. The reasons are entirely due to personal matters which further affect my capacity in this position. I will remain dedicated to the betterment of the students and community University of California, the community in the city of Merced and further. I ask we keep awareness of the labor, both physical and emotional, that is required in the spaces of our institution.

I had the opportunity to be a part of systemwide spaces, meet students across the University of California, and interact with all our UC campuses. Reflecting on my experiences throughout the past four years, my entire career as an undergraduate student, I ask for us to understand and keep in mind the inequities of the systems we are a part of and how social factors intertwine and affect our campus resources and climate. Sharing our experiences and needs in our university, while upholding values of uplifting our most marginalized communities, should be a priority across the University of California system.

I ask that we address how difficult it is to sustain ourselves, and often the reality of having to support our loved ones, in the elected positions of ASUCM due to the underfunding and inaccessibility of the stipends. It is difficult to serve and survive, as the External Vice President, when up to and over 100 hours a month is provided with fifty dollars ($50) every two weeks and one-hundred dollars ($100) MONTHLY. Addressing the wage gap, the same position is paid nine hundred to a thousand dollars ($900 - $1,000) MONTHLY at other UC campuses. I address this because in systemwide spaces this creates a barrier to time capacity, and equity. The burden of sustaining our wellbeing in underfunded positions is a circumstance students face across the university system throughout departments and positions. We must collectively uplift and support movements calling for an increase in funding of our University.

I ask that we, as a community, understand the effects and realities of mental health, societal barriers, and limitations created in these spaces.

I am grateful for my growth and experiences while being a part of the Office of External Vice President of ASUCM.

Lizeth Torres