A special regents' committee has nominated Sadia Saifuddin, 21, of Stockton, to be the student regent in 2014-15. Confirmation by the full regents' board is expected next month. For the next year, Saifuddin would be a regent-designate, able to participate in all discussions but without voting rights until her one-year term as a fully empowered student representative begins in July 2014, officials said.
The daughter of immigrants from
Saifuddin said that a priority will be keeping tuition from increasing again. "We need to stabilize tuition levels so that students can plan more adequately for their future and focus on school, rather than worry about increased student debt or working that extra job," she said, explaining that she has had to take on additional jobs to help pay for her education.
An observant Muslim, Saifuddin is thought to be the first Muslim to serve as student regent. "My faith is a big part of my life. What I love the most about Islam is that it preaches tolerance and love, which is the reason that I have close friends and networks outside of the Muslim community as well. Growing up, I was taught to service this world in whatever way I could, and for me that means reaching out and learning about the narratives of all communities and finding common ground to unite on," she said.
Saifuddin has been a senator in UC Berkeley's student government and founded a UC systemwide committee seeking to improve conditions on campus for minority students. She was co-sponsor of a controversial student Senate resolution that called for the UC system to divest from companies that do business with the Israeli military in its occupation of Palestinian territory; the UC Berkeley student Senate narrowly passed that non-binding resolution in April after an emotional debate.
The student regent for 2013-14 is Cinthia Flores, a law student from