Friday, July 19

USAC President’s Office tackles issues with success

SUBMITTED BY: Cinthia Flores

This year, the Undergraduate Students Association Council President’s Office served its purpose ““ it engaged students and provided real solutions to issues affecting the entire UCLA population. The priorities of the office were affordability, student engagement, campus sustainability and university transparency.

The office has been committed to ensuring that current and future Bruins are guaranteed an affordable college experience. We achieved this goal by working with the administration to provide students in need with different payment options, successfully lobbying the Commission on the Future to recommend a wider distribution of financial aid as well as host a career fair that featured more than 65 organizations offering students internships and employment opportunities. Furthermore, the office has led efforts to ensure that students are invested in the management of their student government.

The office also expanded its Bruin Initiative Internship this year: a program that facilitates incoming and transfer students’ transition to UCLA by introducing them to leadership opportunities in USAC. The office also spearheaded the first annual “Meet and Greet on the Hill,” giving students the chance to interact with councilmembers and pursue opportunities for involvement in student government.

Additionally, the USAC President’s Office has emerged as the champion of sustainability, leading efforts that contributed to an increase in the number of applications for The Green Initiative Fund. With much of the groundwork being placed now, the President’s Office has formulated a marketing and publicity campaign for further outreach of students in getting involved with TGIF.

The office leadership has placed sustainability at the forefront of UCLA by acquiring funding to retrofit Kerckhoff Hall and Ackerman Student Union light fixtures while installing a new form of technology known as bi-level lighting.

Lastly, the office fulfilled its goal to ensure university transparency by endorsing the chancellor town hall series (held during the fall and winter quarters) so that students could voice their opinions about the current budget crisis. These advocacy efforts yielded tangible results, as they secured a seat on the newly formed Restructuring Committee that UCLA administration has assembled to maintain the quality of education.

The office leadership prides itself in not only completing each of our campaign promises, but also going above and beyond the call of duty to serve the needs of students during these difficult times.

In light of the recent budget cuts, the office worked alongside fellow Bruins to put on the “Rethinking California’s Priorities” event that hosted Assembly Speaker Karen Bass as well as Assemblyman Ira Ruskin and Assemblywoman Julia Brownley. This forum provided students with the opportunity to hold state representatives accountable for the decisions being made at the state capitol.

The USAC President’s Office, along with the Academic Affairs Commission and the General Representative 1 Office, successfully negotiated with UCLA administration to secure funding for one of the most critical services available to students on campus ““ Night Powell. This service is important to students, as it not only supports the academic success of students, but also provides students with a safe space to study and spend the night.

The USAC President’s Office has demonstrated immense leadership and has made a significant impact on the formation of our university experience.

It has been a pioneer in the construction of a university that truly represents student interest and is effective at tackling real issues and providing real solutions.

Flores is the president of USAC and a fourth-year political science student.

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