Campus Organizer: Sander Kushen – [email protected]
We are the UC Berkeley’s premier student public interest activism group and has been since 1972. We work to protect the environment, provide hunger relief, and promote civic engagement.
Our CALPIRG chapter works with professional staff on campus to educate the public, run grassroots campaigns, and lobby our elected officials in Sacramento and in Washington DC so we can get real results.
The thing that makes us effective is that we are funded by the student body through a the CALPIRG voluntary pledge fee. Thanks so much to those of you who pay the fee and if you haven’t yet make sure to pledge CALPIRG.
We offer opportunities for you to become an intern or volunteer, where you can learn a variety of skills while really making a difference. By joining CALPIRG Students, you can see how easy it is to get involved in a large movement for social change.
Nicole Haynes // Chapter Chair and Plastic-Free Seas Coordinator
Nicole Haynes is a senior studying sustainable design and minoring in city planning. For the past year, Nicole has been coordinating CALPIRG’s Plastic-Free Seas Campaign where they’ve worked to pass a monumental Foodware Ordinance in the City of Berkeley, created UC Berkeley’s student-led Zero Waste Coalition, and got both their Senator and Assemblymember to co-author two unprecedented state plastic bills. She is now also taking on the role of Chapter Chair this year and couldn’t be more excited to make CALPIRG Students the strongest grassroots organizing nonprofit at UC Berkeley!
Mika Yoneda // Vice Chair and Zero Hunger Campaign Coordinator
Mika Yoneda is a third year English major and Public Policy minor at UC Berkeley. As the Statewide Secretary for CALPIRG Students, Mika believes that prioritizing students’ basic needs is integral to their success, whether that be in classes, in their personal lives, or even while making social change. Mika is excited to continue to grow the passionate team of activists on campus and to make social change in Berkeley and across the state!
Tessa Stapp // Treasurer and Zero Hunger Campaign Coordinator
Tessa Stapp is a sophomore studying political science with minors in GWS and LGBT studies. Tessa spent this last year working as the assistant coordinator for the Zero Hunger Campaign and will now be stepping into the role of coordinator. In addition to that, she is the Treasurer for CALPIRG, Director of two different Senators offices in the ASUC, and an intern in the Food Pantry on campus. Her passions surrounding food insecurity stems from growing up on government food assistance programs and being the third generation of women in her family facing basic needs insecurity. Her goal is to end this toxic cycle, which seeks to hold back traditionally underserved groups and secure students’ food security through committing our campus to Zero Hunger by 2025.
Annie Mitchell // Chapter Secretary
Annie Mitchell is a sophomore studying Society and Environment at UC Berkeley. She has a deep passion for environmental justice and political advocacy which is demonstrated in her work for CALPIRG as a former grassroots intern and assistant coordinator for the Plastic-Free Seas Campaign. As Secretary for UC Berkeley’s CALPIRG Chapter, Annie is eager and excited to build bridges to chapter-wide communication and focus her passion into meaningful work alongside like-minded individuals!
Kassandra Mendez // Chapter Communications Director
Kassandra Mendez is a sophomore pursuing her degree in American and Media studies. She started interning with CALPIRG in the Fall of 2019, managing our chapter’s social media presence. While working for the Plastic Frees Campaign last semester she met with numerous faculty including the Vice Chancellor and Vice Provost to garner support for a UC-wide commitment for reducing plastic. She is currently the chapter’s Communications Director where she continues to bring awareness to all of CALPIRG’s campaigns. Kassandra is passionate about the wellness of humans and animals alike and focuses on bettering our environment for a better future for all.
Alexis Clare // Zero Hunger Assistant Coordinator and Social Chair
Alexis Clare is a sophomore at UC Berkeley studying Public Health. This upcoming semester, Alexis is assisting coordinating the Zero Hunger Campaign with Valerie Nguyen and lead coordinator Tessa Stapp where their goal is to declare UC Berkeley a zero hunger campus by 2025. This semester Alexis’ goal is to help guide her interns while also pursuing work that will help get Chancellor Christ to sign-on in support of the campaign. Fall semester of 2019 was her first time interning for CALPIRG and she was inspired by the amount of action that took place. She worked to meet with council members and organize volunteer work with the food pantry on campus. She is excited to see the efforts of all of her campaign members to come together and meet their end goal!
Lizzi Nickerson // Ban Fracking Campaign Coordinator
Lizzi is a senior studying Society and the Environment, and Food Systems. She got involved in CALPIRG her sophomore year and participated in the Hunger and Homelessness Campaign. She was first drawn to CALPIRG after hearing about how students made a real difference in their communities and in the state while still in school. Later, she coordinated the 100% Clean Energy Campaign and served as the CALPIRG Chapter Chair. In 2019 she worked to commit UC Berkeley to 100% clean electricity by 2050, the first UC to make this commitment. Now she is shifting her focus to fracking and working on a statewide ban on all fracking projects. In her free time, she enjoys skiing with her boyfriend and cooking Korean food.
Taylor Rein // Save the Bees Campaign Coordinator
Taylor Rein is a second-year environmental science student with a passion for buzzing insects. At home, he tended a small fruit orchard and recognized the fundamental relationship that pollinators have with our food supply. He is working this semester on winning a UC Berkeley Campus-wide initiative to become a bee-friendly space with facilities management and the office of sustainability. One of his major goals for the semester is to attain a bee-friendly commitment in the city of Berkeley and promote green spaces in areas that are otherwise devoid of life. He envisions a world in which all people, creatures, and plants coexist without placing any one in danger of extinction. He hopes for a greener and healthier future for a society where everyone can enjoy the gifts life has to offer us, regardless of class, ethnic background, or status.
Michelle Wang is a second-year Economics and Data Science Major. Michelle has been working on the New Voters Project for the past year and a half, helping to register thousands of students and personally contact tens of thousands of people to get out to vote. Michelle is passionate about making voting more accessible to students as they face unique barriers and deserve to have their voices heard and addressed. She testified in the California state senate on behalf of SB 72 which passed, requiring conditional voting to be added to every polling site, allowing more and more people access to their civic right. She is passionate about civic engagement and ensuring that everyone has all the tools they need to be properly civically engaged.
Vivek Adury // Assistant New Voters Project Coordinator
Vivek is a first-year intending to study Economics with a minor in Public Policy. For the past semester, Vivek has worked to centralize voting efforts on campus through student coalition building and voter institutionalization. Through grassroots organization, Vivek hopes to institutionalize voter participation at Cal and help make sure that the voices of students are heard by our elected officials. Vivek is passionate about fighting for a representative democracy and is thankful to be able to continue this work at CALPIRG students.
Valerie Nguyen is a second-year Society and Environment major hoping to minor in City Planning. While she was initially drawn to CALPIRG’s environmental campaigns, learning about the thousands of students who didn’t have their basic needs met inspired her to join the Zero Hunger campaign as assistant coordinator. She is excited to relaunch the Affordable Textbooks campaign at Cal as part of the nationwide fight to make college more accessible.
Nikita Chigullapally // Ban Fracking Campaign Co-Coordinator
Nikita Chigullapally is a second-year majoring in Nutritional Sciences at UC Berkeley. Nikita has been passionate about fighting climate change since high school and has worked with her community to implement waste sorting and food recycling programs. In the past semesters, Nikita has worked on the Stop Overuse of Antibiotics and 100% Clean Transit campaigns. She believes that if we want our future generations to enjoy the luxury of mother nature we have we must start protecting it right now. Nikita is also a premed student who likes to focus on the public health aspects of all the issues CALPIRG fights for. She is motivated to work with other enthusiastic members of CALPIRG to save the world for our children one campaign at a time.