Thursday, April 18

USAC Endorsement: Nicole Fossier for External Vice President


The Daily Bruin Editorial Board endorsed candidates for all 13 offices in this week’s undergraduate student government elections.

The editorial board represents the stance of the Daily Bruin, and is composed of four standing members – the editor-in-chief, managing editor, news editor and opinion editor – in addition to five staff representatives.

The endorsement process took place the week before voting began. Endorsements were primarily based on a 20-minute interview that three to four members of the editorial board conducted with each candidate. During these interviews, candidates were able to discuss their platforms, knowledge of the Undergraduate Students Association Council and prior experience.

The board selected endorsements for each office after discussing each candidate and taking a vote. All endorsed candidates received a majority vote from the board.

We encourage students to use our endorsements as a starting point for their own research – and to vote in the elections.

See who the board endorsed:

Both candidates for external vice president are well-qualified, but this board endorses Nicole Fossier because her platforms specifically detail how she will advocate for and with students.

Like her opponent, Maryssa Hall, Fossier has years of experience working in the office and with various other students groups. Both understand the state’s relationship to the University of California and why the UC has experienced declining state funding.

Though Fossier and Hall both want to help student groups advocate for themselves, Hall did not present any concrete strategies. In contrast, Fossier plans to give the appropriate student groups the tools to lobby for their interests, which she has already done successfully as a leader of the Bruin Lobby Corps’ “Teach Me How to Lobby” program.

Fossier has repeatedly stated that her office will not take up issues that alienate some groups on campus, such as affirmative action. This philosophy – that the external vice president’s office should be based on inclusivity – makes her stand out.

Further, Fossier’s plan to help alleviate the financial strain on students starts with reforming the process of appointing UC Regents – a goal that the University of California Student Association, which Fossier is a part of, has already been working toward. UCSA-drafted legislation proposed creating a committee of students, faculty, campus workers and legislators that the governor has to consult with before making appointments. This way, more people with a background in education can be appointed to the board.

Though amending the state constitution is a lofty goal, we appreciate that Fossier is working to accomplish a task where significant progress has already been made.

We believe that Fossier’s plans will truly serve a wide range of students, making her the better candidate to serve as external vice president.

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  • Proud Bruin

    Easily the best choice for EVP! Proud to vote for her and the new insight she’ll bring! :)

  • seriously

    Affirmative action is already illegal in CA, why would you bring it up? Is there a problem with policies that help students of color enter the University? Similarly, there are people who oppose the holistic admissions process for the same reasons they oppose affirmative action, should the EVP not take a stance? What about the DREAM Act or Prop 30?

    this whole neutrality thing in a EVP office is bullcrap, it’s a political office, it needs to take stances.

    • VoteBA

      Wow… I’m constantly shocked with the negativity that LA is bringing simply because their candidate wasn’t endorsed. Now I truly have reason to vote against their candidates in the other contested races.

    • EngagedVoter

      It is not neutrality. That word does not show up once in her rhetoric. As UCLA students we are a political entity and have policies that benefit us and hurt us. Prop 30 helps students as a constituency and so that is something that a stand can be taken on. The Dream Act helps a sector of the California population reach college and thus improves the student constituency so the office could take a stand on that as well. The Israel Palestine conflict is not a student issue and thus shouldn’t go through the office. I’m not involved in the campaign but this is how I interpreted Nicole’s message. What people should really be asking her is how she views students as a constituency, that more than anything will tell you what specific things she will vote for or against.

      • more than that

        I agree with you, but international happenings affect students as well. While I am not sure where I stand on the whole divestment issue, doesn’t mean we should ignore it. Students at UCLA are more than just students — we come from diverse communities and the things happening around the world affect us. I think engaging the campus in the discussion of these issues is a more appropriate thing to do than to just ignore it completely.

      • Fuzz

        Students are not a constituency. Students are a number of constituencies, all with different beliefs. There are portions of the student body which opposed Prop 30 and the California DREAM Act, which Fossier lobbied for. Just because students are at UCLA doesn’t mean they support immigration reform or higher taxes to fund schools.

        Also, as long-time EVP lobbyists know, every issue we take up is controversial. Is she going to duck conversations of gender-neutral bathrooms to mollify students with traditional values? Is she going to tiptoe around comprehensive immigration reform (which obviously affects undocumented students) because of Bruin Republicans? Will she not lobby Speaker Perez for money for scholarships because Bruin Republicans and L.O.G.I.C oppose taxes as government encroachment?

        Also, AFSCME 3299, a long-time supporter of UC student advocacy, just called a strike vote. If there’s a strike, which students will EVP Fossier advocate for – those who want to end the strike and have their dining hall service restored, or those with an ideological commitment to workers’ rights? Her promise to not pick up issues that alienate groups on campus is either delusional or dog-whistle politics.

        In either case, she’s being dishonest with herself and the voters. Assuming that Bruin undergraduates are a single monolithic constituency will force her to lobby for unobjectionable pablum or paralyze her office the minute someone cries foul.

        …or, of course, she’s lying, in which case we shouldn’t let her anywhere near the EVP office. At least LA and BU are honest about carrying water for the MOs, the Greeks, and our campus’s minuscule political establishment.

  • Let’s Act! & Nicole for EVP

    Congrats Nicole!
    I am voting for Nicole for EVP, and the LA! candidates for the other positions.
    Let’s do this!

  • nicole is my girl

    I am voting for the person running against Lets Act/Students First.

    When Nicole wins, I know she will be a voice for all bruins. We asked her to run with Bruins United but she said she was already committed to BA. That is why we didn’t run anyone in our slate so we could support her.

    • over USAC

      politics as usual.

    • ProudBruin

      extra as usual

  • Fuzzook

    “Fossier has repeatedly stated that her office will not take up issues that alienate some groups on campus…”

    Edit: Fossier has repeated pandered and dodged her record of advocacy in the EVP office.

    Fossier lobbied for the California DREAM Act – how would that go over with students who articulate a pro-enforcement approach to immigration like members of the Bruin Republicans?

    Fossier was on McClure Stage with Jerry Brown and CFT President Josh Pechthalt waving a Prop 30 sign as protestors in the crowd sniped at Brown and Pechthalt from the right (libertarian and conservative students opposed to a tax increase) and the left (graduate students who supported the millionaires’ tax which was scrapped in favor of a compromise which included a regressive sales tax that hits the poor the hardest.)

    The university never speaks with one voice – administration, graduates, undergraduates, faculty, and campus employees have differing interests in legislation – and even those disparate groups aren’t monolithic within themselves.

    For example, Fossier is a fan of AFSCME 3299, the union representing campus workers – what happens if the strike vote held last week (4/30-5/2) leads to a walkout by dining hall workers? There’re going to be a lot of alienated students on the Hill. What will she do then?

    • i agree with you

      I agree with you. By no means am I trying to “attack” Nicole; in fact, I think Nicole will do an excellent job if she is elected to office. But if she’s going to distinguish herself from her opponent by saying she won’t lobby or use her office’s resources to alienate individuals because of their political beliefs, then this should be a point of scrutiny.

      I’m voting for Taylor, the other LA candidates, but I am still debating my vote for EVP.

    • Nicole Fossier

      I have gotten concerns like this a lot, and although I was able to clarify my position through an in-depth conversation with the Daily Bruin reporters, I can understand how my statements might be unclear. My main focus coming into the EVP office next year will be reviving Regent appointment reform. This was shown to be a non-controversial issue within the student constituency when students from ALL the UC’s overwhelmingly voted for it over every other campaign at the UCSA congress.

      Why Regent reform? With the consistent decreases in funding for education, students are saddled with more and more financial burden as they attempt to cover the costs for their “public” higher education. This is the first issue that must be tackled; with students needing to take on multiple jobs and predatory loans, little time and energy is left for anything else. The social justice movement is suffering as its main advocates are being stifled by exponentially increasing financial demands.

      Why Regent reform NOW? Unifying the student voice may be a daunting task, but I want to remind you all that it is not unprecedented. The UC Office of the President, the board of Regents, and the legislators all believe that students were the force behind Prop 30, and now they are waiting intently to see what we will throw our weight behind next. Honestly, there is no other feasible strategy as students; Regent reform is the next step. Before we can take on any other campaign, we must force the administration to be accountable to our needs. Only in this way can we ensure a climate where investment in students free them to participate as global citizens.

      Apart from Regent reform, what issues do I think are appropriate for the office to advocate for? This is an important question; after all, the office operates solely on student fees. Because no matter how many bills we write ourselves, the legislative cycle is still to some degree out of our control, I will use examples of past EVP issues to illustrate what I consider non-divisive issues among the student constituency.

      CA DREAM Act: As EVP, I would support and devote office resources towards the passage of these bills. They do not restrict the ability of any California citizen to gain access to financial aid, but they did open up opportunities for an underrepresented Californian community

      Ethical divestment: As EVP, I would not presume to speak for all 28,000 students on an issue that is not directly related to higher education. No matter what stance I would take, it could only serve to disrupt the unified student voice.

      Holistic admissions: As EVP, I would support and devote office resources towards the institutionalization of this policy. Holistic admissions does not target or disadvantage any specific group of students. Instead, it increases diversity across all sectors (gender, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, sexuality, physical ability…)

      HR 1330 (Student Loan Fairness Act): As EVP, I would not devote office resources towards the passage of this bill, even though I support the ideas behind it. An almost identical version has been introduced by a different CA congressmember recently, and didn’t even get out of the first committee it was assigned to. Student loan bills fair much better when they tackle one issue at a time (for example: extending the 3.4% interest rate on federal loans).

      I am glad that so many students have asked me for more specifics about where I want to take the EVP office next year. I hope this was able to answer some of the more common questions I have been getting. If you are still unclear about ANY of my views or motivations feel free to contact me directly through facebook, phone (818-288-8043) or email ([email protected]).

  • Go Nicole!

    I do not personally know Nicole Fossier, but seeing how she held herself at debates proves that she is the best candidate to represent UCLA externally.