Saturday, May 25

USAC appoints new representative


Council chooses Art Ambrosio though he lacked committee recommendation

An open spot for general representative unexpectedly went to a
candidate not approved by the undergraduate government’s
appointing committee on Tuesday night, resulting in a split vote
between councilmembers.

In a 4-1-3 vote, Art Ambrosio, a fourth-year neuroscience
student, was appointed to fill the seat of the third general
representative for the Undergraduate Students Association Council
over Kristin Mayeda, who was recommended by the Appointments Review
Committee. Typically, candidates recommended by the ARC are
approved by council.

Ambrosio, who is the assistant commissioner for the Community
Service Commission, was among the candidates because of his
experiences working with council.

The seat for general representative was left vacant by former
representative Nelson Saldaña, who resigned late January due
to personal reasons. Saldaña left his post with several
unfinished goals after eight months in office.

Two candidates were forwarded by President Anica McKesey to the
ARC where each candidate was interviewed earlier in the day
Tuesday. The committee chose to recommend Mayeda, co-founder of the
UCLA woman’s group Queer x Girl, for the position.

“She brings a different perspective to council as far as
advocating for queer and women’s issues,” said Allende
Palma/Saracho, internal vice president and ARC chairman.

Mayeda, who has worked with Queer Alliance and the National Gay
and Lesbian Task Force, said she applied for the position because
she saw it as a good opportunity to become more involved with
student organizations and to make changes on campus.

But ultimately it was Ambrosio’s experience working with
USAC that won his approval from council.

Ambrosio said that by sitting at the council table, he will be
speaking not only on behalf of community service groups he is
directly affiliated with but for the entire UCLA community.

Several councilmembers raised concerns about Ambrosio’s
commitment to his duties as general representative because Ambrosio
said he would not resign as assistant commissioner for the CSC and
would work with both positions simultaneously.

“I made a commitment to finish,” Ambrosio said,
referring to his position on CSC.

McKesey said she forwarded Ambrosio as a candidate to ARC
because of his experience working with CSC and his familiarity with
council, but had reservations about the constraints with running
two offices.

Ambrosio said he understands the concerns raised regarding the
time constraints imposed by carrying out two positions, but said he
would be able to handle both positions with no detrimental effect
on either office.

Ambrosio said that as an assistant commissioner, he learned
organizational skills and how to deal with large amounts of
money.

“I know how to deal with a huge staff and how to delegate
duties,” Ambrosio said. “I know when to take credit for
something as well as taking the blame when something goes
wrong.”

Ambrosio said he has knowledge of USAC’s four main goals,
which include implementing a diversity requirement and repealing
the minimum progress requirement. He said he will work to to help
council fulfill these goals as the new representative.

Along with working with the commission, Ambrosio said he has
also attended various council functions, such as retreats, and he
has attended several weekly general meetings.

“I know how (council) works and how the general
representative office works,” Ambrosio said.

With only a couple of months left until the end of this
year’s term, Ambrosio said he realizes the little time he has
to fulfill his goals.

One of Ambrosio’s plans is to implement a credit system
where students working on community service projects can receive
school credit if they are taking a course whose curriculum overlaps
with the community service project.

“This is a way of getting students who usually do not do
community service projects some incentive,” Ambrosio
said.

Three councilmembers ““ Campus Events Commissioner Jason
Gaulton, External Vice President Matt Kaczmarek and Cultural
Affairs Commissioner Kelly Wynn ““ were not present for the
vote.

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