Meet Vishalli Loomba, Berkeley’s 2011-12 student leader

It’s not that Vishalli Loomba wasn’t already busy, managing a major in molecular and cell biology, a minor in global poverty and practice and an engaged sorority life that won her the title of CalGreeks’ Woman of the Year in 2010. Her name also populates the leadership rosters of the South Asia Council, the Hate Crime Review Board, the Panhellenic Council and more.

Vishalli LoombaBut when the chance to lead Berkeley’s student government presented itself, Loomba went for that too, in typical all-out style. And now, she’s the 2011-12 president of the ASUC.

“Part of what makes UC Berkeley so incredible is our diversity,” says Loomba, a Bay Area native who is the first Indian-American to lead the ASUC. That diversity is critical to the campus’s culture, but is “challenged daily,” Loomba has said in her campaign materials.

As president, she promised to “foster our campus community and integrate groups from all corners of our university, so we can come together on similar interests.” When the recent “diversity bake sale” controversy arose, she showed what she meant, helping guide the ASUC Senate to pass a resolution intended “to make sure student groups keep in mind the value of equity and inclusion.”

As president, Loomba also vowed to “stand up for the student voice” and, for the first time, submit a formal budget proposal, based on student input, to the chancellor’s office so administrators are fully aware of student concerns.

Loomba served as an ASUC senator and as finance officer for the organization’s executive vice president, before running for the top job. She won the endorsement of outgoing President Noah Stern. A member of Delta Delta Delta, Loomba has said that she’s the first president to also be a member of a Panhellenic sorority.

As if all that weren’t enough, Loomba still makes time to work out most mornings, and to read something unrelated to her classes before she goes to sleep, she has said. She hopes to attend medical school.