Saturday, August 24

USAC reviews highlights of fall quarter, prepares future agendas


New transportation service provides students opportunity to rent cars

The undergraduate student government’s final meeting of
the fall quarter ended on a high note as a presentation was made by
Transportation Services and councilmembers reflected on the
quarter’s successes and geared up for the coming quarter.

Joe Vardner, the undergraduate representative to the
Transportation Services Advisory Board, updated members of the
Undergraduate Students Association Council about the state of the
BruinGo! program, availability of parking permits and the new
rental car program available to students.

BruinGo! is a program where students can ride the Big Blue Bus
at reduced fares. In the past, the program allowed students to ride
the bus at no charge, but it was changed from a free to a 25 cent
transportation service due to recent budget cuts.

Last year, the idea of a co-payment system faced opposition by
students. Vardner said the advisory board plans to continue the
co-payment system next year and will not consider the 25 cent fee
to be an issue.

However, Vardner disagreed with the implementation of the
co-payment.

“Personally, I don’t think it works. “¦ It
hinders students, and there are other solutions that need to be
explored,” Vardner said.

The newest addition to transportation services is the FlexCar
program, which gives students on campus access to rental cars at a
reduced rate. At $7.50 an hour, students can rent one of three cars
owned by the university.

“It’s useful if you’re riding carpool or
vanpool and have an appointment off campus in the middle of the
day. You can check out the FlexCar, go to the appointment, and
bring it back,” Vardner said.

Vardner said the program does have some flaws. The cars are
currently funded by a carrier that will only insure students who
are 21 and over. Because the majority of the population at UCLA
consists of students under the age of 21, the advisory board is
currently searching for a different carrier.

Berky Nelson, director of the Center for Student Programming,
and USAC administrative representative, suggested allowing students
under 21 with good driving records to take part in the program. The
change would serve as evidence to the insurance companies that
young drivers are safe drivers.

After the presentation, President Anica McKesey presented a
statement made by the Affirmative Action Coalition addressing an
altercation that occurred at the Nov. 19 University of California
Board of Regents meeting at UCLA. During the meeting, UCPD officers
blocked student protesters from entering a restricted area. Minor
injuries were incurred by both students and officers. The coalition
took responsibility for the incident but said the regents should
still address their concerns.

Following the presentation, McKesey stated what she believed
were highlights of the fall quarter.

On the list were events such as Academic Empowerment Week, the
Rock the Vote rally, and the No on Proposition 54 campaign held
earlier in the quarter.

“We have a lot more work to do, so hopefully we can
address at the first meeting how we are going to follow up on our
agendas,” McKesey said.

Academic Affairs Commissioner Sophia Kozak said she liked the
way the meeting concluded.

“I think we all should be happy about work we’ve
done, but never satisfied, and we need to continue the work we are
doing over the next two quarters,” she said.

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