The Graduate Students Association is the voice of the 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.
- Parking services director Lisa Koerbling said UCLA Transportation is working on expanding charging walls for electric cars in parking structures. UCLA Transportation also plans to launch bike share and earn-a-bike programs this summer. Graduate students with at least two years left at UCLA will be able to forgo their parking permits for two years and receive a $400 bicycle through the earn-a-bike program. Koerbling added fees for yellow and blue parking permits will increase by $2 and $3 per month in the next academic year, respectively.
- Marilyn Gray, director of the Graduate Writing Center, said the center is conducting a systematic survey of graduate students’ writing needs. Gray said she emailed a survey that closes March 30 to all graduate students to solicit input on how the center can address their needs.
- David Ditullio, representative from the Student Health Advisory Committee, said he will vote Tuesday on whether or not to include breast augmentation surgery for male-to-female transgender students in the UC Student Health Insurance Plan. Currently, top surgeries for female-to-male transgender students are covered. Ditullio said if approved, UCSHIP will be the only healthcare plan in California to cover this type of top surgery for male-to-female transgender students.
- The forum unanimously voted to release applications for spring GSA elections on Feb. 17 and close them Mar. 7 at 3 p.m. Candidates for the new cabinet will have a mandatory orientation meeting Mar. 7. Voting will open Apr. 11 at 12 p.m. and close Apr. 18 at 12 p.m. on MyUCLA. The elections board will meet Apr. 19 to address grievances and approve the final election results.
- The forum also approved a change in the elections code to allow up to two representatives from the Student Interest Board, which consists of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association, International Graduate Students Association, Armenian Graduate Student Association and the Black Graduate Students Association, to serve on the Election Board.
- Michael Skiles, GSA president, said he will discuss workers’ compensation and international student issues with UC President Janet Napolitano at their meeting Friday. He said UCLA is not paying extramurally funded graduate students, so they cannot access privileges such as the Bruin Commuter Club like other UCLA employees can. He added employers at the UCLA Anderson School of Management have been stepping back in interviewing and hiring international students due to fears about changes to international visa laws. Skiles said he will work with Napolitano to see how they can encourage UCLA to invest more in these students.
- Tess Armstrong, vice president of academic affairs, said she has put together a proposal for a new subcommittee to deal with the teaching assistant shortage. She said she has sent out emails to graduate students to participate in a task force that will create policies that would allow graduate students to teach in different departments.
- Alexander Fung, director of communications, revealed to the forum the new GSA website. He said he hopes to transfer the previous domain to this new website and has added a new student government elections page along with a “getting involved” page that includes all the cabinet applications. Fung said he is also building statewide coalition with the GSA at UC Riverside to address job concerns of international graduate students.