Zachary Griggy is a fourth-year undergraduate student studying Political Science and Urban Studies. A third year Phi Beta Kappa inductee, Zachary is part of the Campuswide Honors Collegium, ASUCI, the College Democrats at UC Irvine and the Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity.
As a longtime observer of school board and city council meetings in his hometown of Novato, Calif., Zachary is passionate about local government and ensuring it’s responsive to the people it’s supposed to serve. After being elected to the ASUCI Senate in the Spring 2021 student government elections, Zachary enacted policy reforms to strengthen open meeting requirements in the student government and led a successful effort to reform the ASUCI constitution. He currently serves the undergraduate student body as its elected ASUCI Academic Affairs Vice President, where he advocates for students as a representative to the Academic Senate and manages a team of students that create programming to enrich students’ academic experience at UCI.
Outside of student government, Zachary has been involved in redistricting processes across the country. He has drawn the adopted district plans for several school boards in Marin County, Calif., during his time at UCI and served as the youngest member of the Marin County Redistricting Committee last year. The Novato City Council recognized his local redistricting contributions by naming its city council district map after him and another resident. He also worked as a research assistant to UCI Professor Bernard Grofman and Dr. Jonathan Cervas last year when they were involved in the remedial phases of several high profile redistricting court cases, including Holloway v. City of Virginia Beach, Harper v. Hall, and Harkenrider v. Hochul.
Zachary is currently working on a senior thesis examining the California Voting Rights Act under the supervision of Dr. Marek Kaminski. After graduating this spring, he hopes to participate in the Capital Fellows Program next academic year and later pursue a J.D. so he can learn more about election law and policymaking and continue fighting for a fairer and more representative political system.
1) If we ask one of your friends to describe you, what would they say?
My friends would say I’m very detail-oriented and meticulous. They’d probably also say I’m passionate about what I do. I’m willing to help people figure out solutions to problems and to put in the work to make sure things get done properly.
2) What life events or personal mentorships, if any, directed you to the field of study you have chosen for your future endeavors?
In my junior year of high school, I wrote a paper about gerrymandering that really opened my eyes about the importance of the issue for ensuring fair representation. After an initial unsuccessful foray into local redistricting during my senior year of high school, I took a political science course with Dr. Grofman and met Dr. Cervas, Dr. Grofman’s graduate student research assistant at the time. They have both helped me learn more about redistricting and political science and helped me access many professional and academic opportunities.
3) Did you ever seek information and advice from the SOP advising team? If so, what type of advice were you seeking and what was your experience with them?
I’m currently being advised by the SOP team as I prepare an application for the Capital Fellows Program. SOP has helped open my eyes to some of the opportunities that are available to me and is giving me the advice and resources I need to pursue them.
To learn more about SOP and the resources available to high-achieving students visit our website.