Tuesday, January 22

Presidential candidates share views on USAC endowment

Presidential candidates for next year’s undergraduate student government have mixed views on how they plan to manage the council’s newly established $100,000 endowment.

The endowment, which was created earlier this year, will provide a 5 percent return that will go back into the council’s surplus each year, according to current USAC President David Bocarsly.

The Undergraduate Students Association Council recently updated its bylaws to institutionalize the endowment.

Under the endowment plan, $150,000 of the surplus – money left over from the previous year – will be split up each year among different funds.

Graphic: The future of the USAC endowment
Graphic: The future of the USAC endowment (click to expand)
This portion of the surplus will go to programming funds, or money that USAC offices and student groups apply for, as well as capital contingency funds, which provide money for supplies like computers to student groups with offices in Kerckhoff Hall.

A portion of the remaining funds will be spent on programs the council deems necessary at its own discretion, and the rest will be put into the endowment, according to USAC bylaws.

Bruins United candidate for USAC president Carly Yoshida said as long as there is a maximum of $150,000 to go toward the programming funds, she thinks the council should continue to invest the rest into the endowment.

She said she thinks the endowment was one of the council’s biggest accomplishments this year. If she is elected, one of her platforms is to continue to “protect and perpetuate” it next year.

“I want to not only make sure that it stays, but also find ways to add to it by increasing solicitation of alumni donations and aggressive fundraising,” Yoshida said.

Taylor Bazley, the Bruin Alliance candidate for president, said he also supports the endowment and would decide how much to allocate to the endowment in the same way it is currently written into USAC bylaws.

“It’s absolutely a great mechanism for long-term funding and a good example of real changes we need to look at to tackle some of the issues with the funding crisis,” Bazley said.

LET’S ACT! presidential candidate John Joanino, however, said if he was elected he would take a look at how the endowment is used next year to evaluate if it should change it.

Because the endowment has already been established, the return from it needs to be utilized, he said.

“When (the) time comes to decide on if we need to put more money into it or not we really have to consider all the opinions,” he said. “I don’t want the council table to be making those kinds of decisions on their own.”

Any future changes to the bylaws to alter how money is allocated to the endowment must be backed by a two-thirds vote in council, said Bocarsly.

Students can vote in the USAC election through MyUCLA until Thursday at 6 p.m.

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