Monday, January 20

USAC Presidential Candidate: Sunny Singh

(Brandon Choe/Daily Bruin senior staff)

Sunny Singh saw the payoff of his parents’ resolute belief in the American dream.

Leaving friends and family in Delhi, India, the Singh family struggled for years to make ends meet before achieving prosperity in their new home.

Singh said he hopes to emulate his parents’ unwavering work ethic to serve the needs of UCLA students.

The Bruins United candidate said his dedication to work for students is one of the reasons he is running for president of the Undergraduate Students Association Council.

Sonali Singh, his older sister, said she has seen Singh take the lessons learned from their parents and incorporate them into his dealings with other people.

“He is a man of character and integrity,” she said.

Singh has worked with Bruins United since his freshman year, serving as an intern in the president’s office. Last year, he worked as the internship director under former USAC President David Bocarsly.

“He created a safe space where interns could think critically,” said Madison Murphy, the former chief of staff in the president’s office and Singh’s mentor.

While heading the internship program his second year, Murphy said Singh had an open door policy with interns. She added that she thinks Singh engaged first-year students to show them USAC’s ability to listen and respond to input from students.

Singh said part of his platforms are to make council responsible for its decisions and relevant to students. He added he thinks the president needs to create unity within council to make sure it functions well.

“I trust (Singh) because of his character, compassion and intuition,” Murphy said.

As the only presidential candidate with a current seat at the council table, Singh said he thinks his experience as a general representative this year has given him insight into USAC’s decision-making processes.

“It’s easy for an outsider to think about how to make change, but there’s nothing like sitting at council and knowing what needs to be improved,” Singh said.

Sonali Singh said she talked at length with Singh throughout the year about working to separate his personal feelings with matters of council.

Singh said he hopes to unite next year’s council by implementing a campus-wide mental health campaign that all council members could rally behind.

As a resident assistant this year, Singh said he saw how homesickness, stress and anxiety often made it difficult for residents to connect with the larger community.

He added that he aims to work with administrators to increase the funding and resources for the Counseling and Psychological Services. Currently, students are limited to 10 sessions a year and may wait up to 20 days before seeing a clinician.

If elected, he wants to introduce a community-based campaign similar to 7000 in Solidarity, a yearlong sexual assault prevention campaign.

Singh said he thinks most students are affected by mental health, either personally or though a friend.

Sophia Paik, a fourth-year psychology student and Singh’s campaign manager, said Singh reaches out to as many people as possible and cares about their experiences as students.

Paik added Singh goes out of his way to remember small details, like a stressful test, and follows up with heartfelt concern.

“He has a genuine love for people,” Paik said.

If elected, Singh said he plans to work every day to make his office an approachable and accessible place for students to air their grievances.

“I may not have all the answers, but I will always work to make the university better for (students),” Singh said.

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  • Kathryn Kate

    that avinoam thing is messed up. wow