Berkeley’s undergraduate student leader: Stay resilient

Victoria Vera, fourth-year political science major and president of the Associated Students of the University of California spoke to new students at Friday’s convocation. (UC Berkeley video)

Victoria Vera, president of the undergraduate student government, gave the following prepared address to UC Berkeley’s newest first-year and transfer students during the fall new student convocation exercises.

Good morning UC Berkeley! I am so excited to welcome you all back to another academic year. This year will be unlike any other academic year we have experienced as a University. We are entering this year in the midst of a GLOBAL pandemic, seeing the impacts of climate change, and the need to address anti-Blackness that is rooted in society.

All are not an easy conversations, but are necessary.

When thinking about the Golden Bear community, one word comes to mind: resilience. Our community comes to UC Berkeley with a wide range of lived experiences and broad world perspectives. These experiences have informed our community’s passion and advocacy but also how it prevails during times of uncertainty.

When thinking about the Golden Bear community, one word comes to mind: resilience.”

– Victoria Vera, ASUC president

My most valuable educational experiences have come from outside the classroom. Yes, UC Berkeley has rigorous academics that set us apart as a University but our community is more than academics — it is our custodial staff, the faculty, the administrators, community organizers, residents of Berkeley, our peers and many more. These individuals continually reimagine what resiliency can be.

Our Cal community is not about shedding our differences but utilizing them as a tool to enhance our learning. This is how we learn to be innovative with our teaching, academics, how we address campus climate and much more. That we as a collective can come together and overcome obstacles.

In order to help protect our entire campus community, no matter where you are in the world, we ask that you go on to your Cal Central to read and accept the Keep Berkeley Healthy Pledge. We can all do our part to make sure that we stay safe and healthy, and to help stop the spread of this virus. The pledge helps us to stay responsible and accountable to one another.

Golden Bears, I wish you luck and that you keep your resiliency.

Read more about a start to Berkeley’s fall semester unlike any other: