Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

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Student trustee Natasha Masand finds her voice

Student Trustee Natasha Masand believes her voice has the power to impact the PCCD community. (Photo: Eliot Faine/The Citizen)

Natasha Masand used to be shy in high school, and didn’t always feel like she “fit in.” But at Peralta Community College District (PCCD), Masand found her voice.

“Being a student trustee changed my life,” she told The Citizen.

Masand is a full-time student at Berkeley City College (BCC), where she also works part-time at the Career and Transfer Center. She co-founded two clubs at the college, the Sustainable Business Club and The Traveler’s Association. Last June, Masand joined the PCCD Board of Trustees as a student trustee.

Masand is a Berkeley native and the child of immigrant parents from India. She is in her fourth semester as a business major.

Masand shared how becoming a student trustee has been very important for her personal and professional development.

“It helped me to find myself and realize that my voice has the power to make changes,” Masand said.

She told The Citizen that she wanted to become a student trustee to help other students find themselves and amplify their voices.

Masand with student leaders from across the district and Chancellor Tammeil Gilkerson at a district-wide student governance meeting. (Photo courtesy of Natasha Masand)

Masand believes a team of student leaders is necessary to make changes at PCCD and encourages students across the district to engage in student government.

One of the things she thinks needs improvement is making housing and transportation resources available to students. She believes this would enable more students to enroll and attend classes without the additional stress of worrying about being unhoused or not being able to get to their classes.

Masand also said that the district’s facilities are in need of desperate attention, and believes this contributes to lower enrollment at the colleges.

“We need more investment on facilities, so students will want to come to campus […] and feel safe there,” Masand said.
While juggling a busy schedule of trustee meetings, club meetings, attending classes and working, Masand keeps up with her homework on the weekends and lunch breaks. She stated that her boss Andrea Williams, a Coordinator at Career and Transfer Center, is very supportive and accommodates her working hours to make sure she can attend classes and maintain her schoolwork.

Masand has many other interests besides the community and her studies. She took graphic design classes at PCCD during her senior year of high school before realizing it wasn’t what she really wanted to do. She found herself studying business while exploring other areas of study.

On her off days, she enjoys listening to music, reading, and water coloring. One day, she hopes to learn how to play the guitar.

After graduating from BCC, Masand plans to stay local and transfer to a nearby UC, so she can be close to her family.

Natasha Masand and Andrea Williams at BCC’s Career and Transfer Center. (Photo courtesy of Natasha Masand)
About the Contributor
Isabelly Sabô Barbosa
Isabelly Sabô Barbosa, Social Media Editor
Isabelly was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil and moved to the US in 2018 to pursue a life change. Back home, she went to communication school where she focused her studies in Radio, TV and Internet productions and worked as a media and marketing producer for 5 years, producing for the biggest Brazilian pop radio and traveling the world to cover concerts and events. Isabelly moved to California as an aupair and extended her stay in the US to explore and study, taking extension classes in Stanford, UCLA and UC Berkeley and now majoring in Journalism at Laney. You can find Isabelly petting all the dogs at the park and cuddling her guinea pig when she is at home. She also enjoys pop culture, Spider Man, playing instruments, karaoke, exploring the bay, a good true crime documentary and spends a lot of time reading and learning about earthquakes.
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