Written by Svetlana Dotsenko
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As the Commissioner of Academic Affairs at the University of California Santa Cruz, Shiku Muhire has aligned her work in the Student Union Assembly with her classes in politics and legal studies, focusing on how current issues translate to working directly with students. As an example, American student loan debt recently surpassed credit card debt, totaling 1 trillion dollars nation-wide. For some students, especially for those who are first generation college students or the children of immigrant families, student loans can be a completely foreign concept, and what might seem like a national problem can disproportionally affect some students over others.
Muhire works to improve dialogue between the administration and the student body, especially with regards to students of color and other segments of the student population that may be disenfranchised for one reason or another. When the administration makes a decision, Muhire examines not only how that decision affects academic affairs on a student wide level, but also how it might affect marginalized populations disproportionally. She hopes to use what she learns in the classroom to have an immediate impact on the students she has been elected to serve.