The ASUC Student Advocate’s Office (SAO) is a nonpartisan executive office in UC Berkeley’s student government. The office effectively serves as a campus public defender and provides free and confidential assistance for students who have disputes with the university. We have four divisions—academic, conduct, financial aid/residency, and grievance—all of which are composed of caseworkers who not only assist and represent students but also work on important policy projects around the university.
SAO has worked with the university ombudsperson to develop a more restorative approach to mediating conversations between students, faculty, and staff. Furthermore, in our individual representation of students, we strive to help students understand community impact and to critically analyze restorative practices to ensure a holistic solution to the issue at hand.
The SAO is open from 10am to 5pm Monday to Friday during the Fall and Spring Semesters. Their office is located at 114B Hearst Gym.
Human Rights of the Incarcerated (HRI) is a coalition of organizations and DeCals that work to increase awareness of cycles of incarceration and the prison industrial complex in the UC Berkeley community and support a network of resources for student engagement. In the past, HRI has brought a mock solitary confinement cell to Sproul to discuss the issue of solitary confinement and stand in solidarity with the prison hunger strikers. HRI has also held panels bringing community leaders to campus as well as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture. HRI is currently working with the Restorative Justice Center to plan a community building circle for its members. HRI believes that community-based solutions, such as restorative justice, rather than incarceration will create and foster strong, safe communities.
IGNITE (Invest in Graduation Not Incarceration, Transform Education) is a UC-wide campaign that is tackling the school to prison pipeline and the underrepresentation of students of color. IGNITE is currently working with the Restorative Justice Center to plan a conference for high school students and undergraduates. The conference will promote the use of restorative justice and community organizing as alternatives to the school to prison pipeline and punitive policies in general. The conference’s keynote speaker will be George Galvis, the Executive Director of Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice.