Representatives from two major political parties, Student Action and CalSERVE, currently make up the majority of the ASUC’s elected officials.
Student Action has traditionally represented the engineering and Jewish communities, in addition to students involved in Greek life. The party’s 2014-15 senate class, however, also included representatives of the Muslim, Vietnamese and undocumented student populations on campus, reflecting the party’s efforts to expand its constituency over the past few years.
CalSERVE, a progressive campus political party, has typically aligned itself with underrepresented groups, including the Hispanic and LGBT communities. The party has broadened its representation in recent years to include transfer and re-entry students, in addition to student-parents. SQUELCH!, a traditionally satirical party that has slated several serious candidates in the last few elections, has recently emerged as a prominent alternative to the ASUC’s largely two-party system.
Demographic information — including political affiliation, race, major and identification as LGBTIQQA — for the three major parties are below.
Males made up a greater percentage of Student Action's constituency than of any other party. In contrast, 64 percent of respondents who identified with CalSERVE identified as female.
Student Action’s constituency comprised mostly liberal and moderate students, while CalSERVE won support from liberal and very liberal students. No respondents who considered themselves conservative or very conservative identified with CalSERVE, and only six students who said they were very liberal identified with Student Action.
SQUELCH!’s constituency had the largest proportion of white students, 66 percent, followed by Student Action at 46 percent and CalSERVE at 34 percent. Respondents who identified with a race other than white, East Asian, South Asian or Hispanic/Latino were the least likely to identify with a political party.
Although Student Action’s candidates have typically included representatives of the Jewish community, Jewish students made up an equal proportion, 11 percent, of Student Action’s supporters as they did CalSERVE’s, while 21 percent of SQUELCH!’s constituents identified as Jewish.
CalSERVE’s constituency had the highest percentage of LGBTIQQA students: 25 percent. Only 3 percent of respondents identifying with Student Action identified as LGBTIQQA.
Student Action had the highest proportion of respondents who reported family incomes in the highest bracket. Respondents who identified with CalSERVE, in contrast, had the highest percentage of students who reported incomes in the lowest bracket.
CalSERVE’s constituency was made up of 26 percent first-generation college students — students who are first in their immediate family to attend college — while SQUELCH!’s and Student Action’s supporters comprised 17 and 13 percent first-generation students, respectively.
Forty-three percent of respondents identifying with Student Action and 36 percent of respondents identifying with SQUELCH! were affiliated with one of these organizations. Members of the Greek community made up 13 percent of respondents who identified with CalSERVE.
SQUELCH! had the highest proportion of Berkeley Student Cooperative members in its constituency, with 15 percent of its supporters reporting BSC membership. CalSERVE was close behind, with 13 percent, and Student Action had the lowest percentage, with only 2 percent.
Student Action drew much support from students majoring in business administration, while CalSERVE was particularly popular among students in the political science department and the arts and humanities division of the College of Letters and Science. Students studying political science were the most likely of all majors to identify with a party.