Thursday, March 21

USAC members talk about staying silent


Despite heated debate over the undergraduate student
government’s constitutional bylaws, which took center stage
at Tuesday night’s general meeting, several council members
have continued to be quieter than others.

Although the general meetings serve as a place where council
members can discuss issues, Nelson Saldaña, a general
representative for the Undergraduate Students Association Council,
along with some other council members, have remained less vocal in
many meetings this quarter.

In addition to not participating in debates, some council
members even refrain from making announcements about their
offices.

“I feel like (the more vocal members) say a lot and what I
feel is already being said,” Saldaña said.

Saldaña also added that he refrains from speaking to help
President Anica McKesey keep the meetings more concise and believes
there is nothing wrong with sitting back and listening.

“It’s good for all of us at the table to be able to
hear,” Saldaña said. “You can have an opinion and
not be vocal.”

Saldaña explains he has not made announcements regarding
his office during the general meetings because he has not been able
to produce much work with the time constraints associated with
juggling 19 course units.

“A lot of stuff hasn’t been able to come to develop
just because I’ve been busy with school. … I’m a
science major, and there’s a lot of time commitment for me
just trying to retain myself in that aspect,” he said.

When Saldaña was elected in last spring’s election,
he said one of his priorities was to increase diversity within
student organizations and to close the gap that he believed existed
between organizations.

Saldaña said he has worked to attain his goal of diversity
in student organizations. This past spring quarter, Saldaña
along with General Representative Linda Lam brainstormed to bring a
conference addressing diversity issues to campus.

Along with other council members, Saldaña and Lam developed
a proposal for USAC to bring the Students of Color Conference to
UCLA. However, they lost their bid to the University of California,
San Diego.

“(Saldaña) and I have been working to bring a similar
diversity conference to campus,” Lam said.

Saldaña said he has worked toward his goal of decreasing
the gap between student organizations by supporting and attending
the student advocacy collective, which met for the first time early
this month. The collective is a way for USAC council members to
bring together different student organizations under the umbrella
of USAC sponsored groups to discuss goals and ideas.

Though Saldaña remains silent for most meetings, on Tuesday
night Saldaña did raise the issue of the lack of communication
he thought existed between Student Welfare Commissioner Janet
Chiang and the UCLA Dance Marathon by informing Chiang of their
intention to break away from the commission.

The UCLA Dance Marathon, once under the umbrella of SWC, decided
to leave the commission to seek USAC sponsorship. However, at
Tuesday night’s meeting, Chiang stated she supported the
Dance Marathon’s petition for USAC sponsorship.

Other council members remain less vocal during the meetings but
said they are working hard to serve the UCLA community.

Jason Gaulton, the campus events commissioner, said his office
was able to produce events such as the Welcome Week Concert and are
currently working with the Student Alumni Association’s pep
rally for “Beat USC” week.

“The more vocal officers deal more with issues (at the
meetings), whereas we have our own thing with entertainment,”
Gaulton said. “I don’t speak to hear my own
voice.”

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Share on Reddit

Comments are supposed to create a forum for thoughtful, respectful community discussion. Please be nice. View our full comments policy here.