Bridging the Gap: Adilla Jamaludin

Name: Adilla Jamaludin

Year: Junior

Fun Fact: Is an ordained minister.

Spirit animal: Dire Wolf

Favorite quote: “Our backs tell stories no books have the spine to carry.” Rupi Kaur

Photo Credits: Marlon Antunez

She’s tracked elephants in South Africa, fed cheetahs in Namibia, and hiked through the jungles of Malaysia, and now she wants to be the next Vice President of ASUCD. Adilla Jamaludin is an International Agricultural Development major at UC Davis, and although she is only a third year, she has already done so much and has no intention of slowing down now.

Originally from Malaysia, Adilla came to the United States when she was fourteen to attend boarding school in Connecticut. “Integrating into American life was essential to survival,” Adilla commented on her adjustment to life at a US boarding school. But America life wasn’t the only thing she learned in her high school years. Adilla’s boarding school years is where she learned to be independent and think critically, which inspired her to further experience the world first-hand.

“I think I’ve spent half of my life on a plane,” Adilla remarked on her love for travelling. After graduating high school in 2013, Adilla took a gap year to travel. She worked with the Wildlife Rescue in Malaysia, assisting with research in the rainforest. She then continued to Namibia where she volunteered with the Cheetah Conservation Fund, and South Africa to help monitor and track elephants. Considering she wanted to be a vet, it was fitting for her to spend as much time as she could with animals, it was even more fitting that it was in South Africa with elephants that she committed to UC Davis. Adilla’s last stop of her adventures before heading to California was Israel, Jordan, and Palestine where she worked in occupied areas.

Photo Credits: Laura Benedict

When Adilla got to Davis, she didn’t waste any time getting involved. “I decided I wasn’t going to say no to anything,” Adilla laughed as she began to explain everything she has jumped into within the past 2 ½ years. As a freshman she joined Kappa Kappa Gamma. Although she enjoyed her time in the chapter, she decided to drop after a year of membership. She was later encouraged by friends to join Epsilon Alpha Sigma, the Arab cultural sorority on campus. Being of Arab background, Adilla found a home in the shared language and culture of the sisterhood.

Adilla’s heritage also influenced her to get involved with student activism on campus, leading to her involvement in Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which she became president of in her sophomore year. “[SJP] was a gateway to other student organizations on campus for me,” Adilla explained how her involvement with SJP introduced her to the idea of participation in ASUCD. She originally intended to apply for a staffer position for one of the senators, but decided to run for senator instead. “I almost dropped out of the race a week before elections,” she said, “I didn’t think I had a chance at winning.” Despite her doubts, she was elected into senate and served until the end of her term.

Photo Credits: Uracha Chaiyapinunt

“ASUCD has been the most significant part of Davis for me.” Adilla threw herself into her senator position, and at the end of her term she continued her involvement in ASUCD as Pro Tempore. “Even though [ASUCD] can be frustrating, stressful, and a total GPA killer, it is nice to feel like you can actually do something on this campus.”  Adilla explained how much she loves to see the collaboration that happens between students; in fact, some of her favorite things to do in ASUCD is hiring new people and making connections between students and resources to help them achieve what they have set out to do, “it is amazing to see what students can do.”

The idea of running for exec arose last Spring, and seemed like the natural next step in her student government career. Adilla and her running-mate Josh Dalavai are running on the BASED slate, a few of their main platforms include: ensuring UC Davis becomes a sanctuary campus for Muslim students, more student engagement in academic decisions with administrators, and affordable housing and food security for students. Overall, Adilla and Josh want to bridge the gap between students and the administration, “we [the students] are so bogged down by school and work that we forget that together we are the biggest stakeholders in this campus.”

To read more about the platforms of Adilla and Josh, as well as the other candidates’ visit https://elections.ucdavis.edu/. And remember to vote February 21-February 24!