The University of California Board of Regents appointed a UC Berkeley undergraduate as the 2021-2022 student regent at its meeting Wednesday.
Alexis Zaragoza, a rising fifth-year transfer geography student, will serve as student regent-designate for the upcoming 2020-2021 academic year. The board unanimously approved her appointment.
Zaragoza, who was chosen from a pool of 83 candidates, will be the first undergraduate student regent since 2016 and will be the first undergraduate transfer student regent.
As student regent-designate, Zaragoza will be able to participate in all discussions with the board and will receive voting privileges when she takes over as a voting student regent July 1, 2021.
Jamaal Muwwakkil, a graduate student at UC Santa Barbara, was the 2019-2020 student regent-designate and is currently the student regent for the 2020-2021 academic year.
Zaragoza previously was a trustee on the California Community Colleges Board of Governors, where she helped the board file a lawsuit against the Department of Education after it denied coronavirus relief funds to undocumented students and helped pass legislation to help California community college students finish transfer-level coursework.
Zaragoza also participated in the Cal Grant Reform Workgroup to address financial aid issues for students throughout the state. She also helped establish the Statewide Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Implementation Workgroup, which works to address issues of faculty diversity.
Zaragoza said at the meeting that as a Chicana and citizen of the Cherokee Nation, she believes she has a unique perspective on undocumented, immigrant and indigenous issues in the UC system.
“I’m excited to work alongside all of you (at the Board of Regents) to bring the knowledge I have learned over the years as an activist in higher education as well as the experience I bring as a current undergraduate student in our system (who is) passionate about racial equity and student rights,” Zaragoza said.