Saturday, November 16

Week of events aims to empower students


A week of events aimed at educating and galvanizing student
activism on academic issues culminates today with a concert and
carnival scheduled to take place in Bruin Plaza.

Sponsored by the Undergraduate Students Association
Council’s Academic Affairs Commission, Academic Empowerment
Week addresses pressing academic issues affecting current and
future students such as admissions, minimum progress and the
diversity requirement.

“Academic Empowerment Week was about educating the general
student body about pertinent issues … in higher education at the
(University of California) and at UCLA,” said Academic
Affairs Commissioner Sophia Kozak.

Several workshops were held this week. On Monday and Tuesday,
workshops focused on the minimum progress and diversity requirement
issues.

The minimum progress requirement mandates that students entering
the College of Letters & Science after fall 2001 take a minimum
course load of 13 units per quarter.

During the workshops, students addressed concerns of the impact
minimum progress would have on their involvement with student
organizations and employment.

Fifth-year biology student Johnny Jauregui said he attended the
minimum progress workshop to obtain information and see what he can
do to put an end to the requirement.

“My brother is coming here, and I know it will affect him,
and, like myself, he will have to work,” Jauregui said.

Also on the agenda was a discussion on the implementation of a
diversity requirement. If put in place, students would be required
to take a course examining issues pertaining to gender, race,
ethnicity or sexuality. Currently, UCLA is the only school in the
UC without a diversity requirement.

Randy Bautista, the retention coordinator for Samahang Pilipino,
facilitated Tuesday’s workshop on minimum progress and the
diversity requirement and was pleased with the outcome.

“I thought the workshops went well, and it was nice to
hear people speak out,” Bautista said. He also was one of the
organizers for Academic Empowerment Week.

On Nov. 19, a rally and speak-out is scheduled to take place
during the UC Board of Regents meeting. Kozak said she hopes
students will use the information they received and take control of
their education at the university and advocate change.

“In week two, the goal is for students to take what they
learned in week one and act upon it … and show the regents that
students should have a say in decisions that are affecting
them,” Kozak said.

Though this was the first Academic Empowerment Week, Kozak said
the effort to combine academic issues and activism has been a
movement that long has been present at UCLA.

“This is one more step in a long history of campus
education and activism hereˆ at UCLA,” Kozak said.

The Academic concert and carnival runs from 12 p.m. to 2
p.m. in Bruin Plaza.

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