Friday, December 14

GSA recap – Nov. 30

The Graduate Students Association is the voice of graduate students on campus. The association meets for forum every three weeks and takes positions on current issues affecting graduate students. Forum meetings are at 5:30 p.m. in the Ackerman Viewpoint Lounge.


  • GSA cabinet members voted to hold winter forum meetings on Jan. 25, Feb. 15 and Mar. 15.
  • GSA officers asked Bruin Commuter Services Manager Jeffrey Olschwang whether his department is trying to increase the amount of parking available to students. Olschwang responded that UCLA Transportation’s main goal is to get more people out of single-occupancy vehicles and into alternative transportation, because there is no space for more parking.
  • GSA President Michael Skiles said cabinet members must attend at least one meeting each quarter, according to GSA code. In order to still receive a stipend, violators must receive two-thirds of the cabinet’s vote. Andres Schneider, vice president of external affairs, and Stacey Meeker, director of publications, both missed this week’s forum. Skiles explained that Schneider was in Argentina and Meeker was in Kansas assisting her hospitalized father. The cabinet voted unanimously to give both members stipends.

Officer reports

  • Ioan Istrate, vice president of internal affairs, spoke for Schneider at the forum. Istrate said Schneider spoke to a UC Washington Center advisor about the outlook of the UC system after President-elect Donald Trump assumes office. Schneider also added his office initiated the International Graduate Students Association.
  • Skiles read a report from Parshan Khosravi, director of discretionary Funding, who also could not attend. Skiles said that for the first time, GSA sent a full delegation of students to the University of California Student Association conference Nov. 18. These students received full scholarships to attend.
  • Khosravi said he is currently working with the By Any Means Necessary group to advocate for President Obama to pardon students studying under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
  • Skiles said he met with Gene Block and Undergraduate Students Association Council President Danny Siegel to discuss focusing money acquired in private donations towards student needs. Skiles also said he wants to advocate against higher fees for the professional degree supplemental tuition that the UC Regents will vote on in March.
  • Tess Armstrong, vice president of academic affairs, said she help formed a TA shift committee to combat TA shortages.
  • Alexander Fung, president of the new International Graduate Students Association, said he plans to release a statement informing students that their visa status will not change under the new presidency.


  • Skiles said GSA appointed two events directors instead of one this year. Due to the work of both directors, which led to seven successful events, Skiles suggested increasing the directors stipends by $300 for this year only. Skiles also said GSA spent more than $20,000 this quarter on events. Because food and drinks tended to run out quickly, he plans to allot more money for events next quarter.
  • Skiles said GSA had a $100,000 surplus because last year’s surplus carried over to this year.
  • Skiles said GSA will allocate more money to creating additional printing stations for students in the Biomedical Library and University Apartments. The funds will cover up to 250 pages per student a year, he said.
  • The forum unanimously approved their budget.
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