The Chair in Charge

Hometown: Los Alamitos, CA

Major: Politics and earth sciences

Class- Senior ‘14 

Shaz Umer is the Student Union Assembly Chair (SUA) for UCSC. He was elected last year to lead the student government and work with various campus committees to help enhance the student experience on campus. Even before he attended UCSC, he always was “determined to join student government regardless of the university [he] chose to attend for the sole reason of never letting a student down,” he says. Since his first year, he’s been actively engaged with the student body, and he’s worked with the SUA for the last two years in elected officer positions.


Through his extensive experience in student government, Shaz was determined that as chair, he’d want to make a difference and take the SUA in a new direction. According to Shaz, the direction he wanted to take was to “build lasting relationships between our student organizations, college governments, campus administration, creating more student jobs, creating a scholarship fund, keeping our budget fiscally transparent and supporting a major wide event.” The major wide event is one of the biggest advances coming from the SUA to the student body, and Shaz is “proud to say our campus will be having a spring concert come spring 2014, which we haven’t done in over 10 years at UCSC.”


Although Shaz may be one of the most recognizable faces on campus, he describes himself as being a “shy and introverted student in high school.” After four years at UCSC, he still considers himself to be shy, but the impact of UCSC has helped him “develop lasting relationships and social skills.” Initially, Shaz came to the university as an astrophysics major, but he is instead leaving as a politics major. Other than holding several positions in student government, he’s also worked at the university library and as a residential assistant (RA) for two years.


Shaz credits Barry Jakov as one of his mentors who has helped him throughout his college career. Shaz credits Barry to helping him pursue the Slug Shuttle program that was on its trial period last year. However, due to the results of last year’s ballot, it is no longer a service to students. Barry and Shaz worked closely together with Larry Pageler, the Director of Transportation and Parking Services, to create the program, which “in all, we transported over 1100 students in both San Jose Diridon train station and San Jose Mineta International Airport for free.” Throughout the time that Barry has worked with Shaz, Shaz states, “he’s given me so much support and confidence over the last few years, and that gave me the best advice: ‘If you want to succeed, you work hard and do everything by merit.’”


As we come to the second half of the school year, Shaz “wants to make sure I provide as much support to all of our students gearing up for the spring festival and that resources are provided to ensure that the concert we have is ready to go.”


His advice to anybody: “If you want to succeed, you need to work hard, and do everything by merit.”


Fun Facts:

When I was younger I wanted to be: an astronaut. Now I want to be: a United States  Congressman.

One thing you still want to cross off of your UCSC Bucket List: A relationship


Are we going to see the Tigger costume at some point again this year?

If I get enough inquiries from the student body, I will.