Wednesday, June 26

USAC recap – winter quarter 2017

Undergraduate Students Association Council members give weekly updates about their offices during Tuesday meetings. Each member reported his or her total accomplishments during winter quarter to the Daily Bruin. (Esmeralda Lopez/Daily Bruin)

Undergraduate Students Association Council members give weekly updates about their offices during Tuesday meetings. Each member reported his or her total accomplishments during winter quarter to the Daily Bruin. (Esmeralda Lopez/Daily Bruin)

The Undergraduate Students Association Council is the official student government representing the undergraduate student body at UCLA.

Council members are elected by the student body and hold a stipend of more than $10,000. Council members shared platforms and candidate statements when they ran for office last spring. Below, The Bruin summarized what each council member reported as his or her accomplishments for winter quarter. View last quarter’s recap for a list of reports from fall 2016.

Danny Siegel, president:

Platforms: Siegel promised to introduce Bruin discounts and events in Westwood, and advocate for affordable housing, alumni interaction and paid internships.

In fall, he participated in the Campus Safety Task Force, filled the USAC presidential appointments and created a Committee of International Relations.

  • This winter, Siegel said he met with Chancellor Gene Block and University of California President Janet Napolitano to discuss issues such as housing affordability, internships and revisions to Title IX policy.

Sabrina Zeigler, internal vice president:

Platforms: Zeigler promised to create programs called IVPhundraise and SOLE Mates. She also promised to train council members on bylaws and increase budget transparency and council accountability.

In fall, Zeigler’s office organized Food Trucks for Finals, trained council members and created guides to council procedures.

  • This winter, Zeigler’s office held an off-campus living fair on Feb. 1 with the largest-ever turnout for that event.
  • She added her office co-programmed with other offices on the USAC Finals Study Hall and with ASUCLA on a T-shirt design contest.
  • Her office also helped coordinate the Mini Day of SOLE in February which showcased campus resources for student organizations.

Rafi Sands, external vice president:

Platforms: Sands promised to work on BruinsVote! and create a program called Student Stance and the Bruin Lobby Team, a third-party forum to strengthen student advocacy efforts. He also promised to create M.I.A. is MIA!, a campaign for middle income affordability, and Activate the Activism, to train students to participate in statewide politics.

In fall, he helped organize the BruinsVote! campaign and sent out an initial survey to gather information for his M.I.A. is MIA! Campaign.

Zoe Borden, general representative 1:

Platforms: Borden promised to create a scholarship portal, offer discounted test preparation courses, establish a rental system for lawn equipment and advocate for increased diversity in Counseling and Psychological Services’ staff.

In the fall, Borden established a connection with the Financial Aid and Scholarship office.

  • Borden’s office launched a weekly social media campaign called “Scholarship Spotlight” on its Facebook page. The office also worked on creating scholarship lists for different groups on campus.
  • The office secured Ackerman Union as one of multiple campus locations where students can rent out lawn blankets and hammocks next quarter.
  • Borden said the Career Center appointed several members of her office to the Career Week planning board to provide student input.
  • She added her office met with staff from the On-Campus Housing Council and CAPS to discuss expanding mental health services on the Hill.

Ruchit Majmudar, general representative 2:

Platforms: Majmudar promised to expand collaboration spaces on campus, develop a bike share program and bring speakers to campus through a nonpartisan forum.

In the fall, Majmudar’s office helped coordinate an election watch party and hosted a forum on religious life.

  • Majmudar’s office hosted an entrepreneurship town hall about making UCLA more conducive to start-ups.
  • His office also raised about $1,300 to fund a 3-D printing station on campus and secured a space in the Anderson Venture Accelerator facility for the printer’s location.
  • The office began an $8,000 fund for religious organizations on campus and hosted a dinner to promote interfaith dialogue March 10.

Inan Chowdhury, general representative 3:

Platforms: Chowdhury promised to create programs such as UCLA Olympics, Sigma C.H.A.I., a schoolwide chalk day and free yoga and meditation lessons.

In the fall, his office helped sponsor a teach-in about non-violent protest.

  • Chowdhury’s office established Sigma C.H.A.I., which held meetings every other week this quarter.
  • He added his office hosted the “Rorschach Test,” an interactive art exhibit about mental health and reflection.
  • It also hosted a “Totes Sustainable” event where students designed tote bags to promote sustainability in response to Proposition 67.
  • His office created free health resource packets to hand out to students at events.

Divya Sharma, transfer student representative:

Platforms: Sharma promised to link the Bruin Resource Center and the UCLA Student Call Center to create a transfer alumni board, create an app called Bruin Fitness Challenge and advocate for transfer commuter student parking permits.

In the fall, Sharma’s office acquired 36 parking permits that will be allocated yearly for transfer commuter students, held a transfer town hall meeting and created a Transfer Wellness Committee.

  • Sharma said his office completed funding for six transfer scholarships, which will open next quarter.
  • He added that his office’s transfer mentorship program, “Show Me the Ropes,” held events throughout the quarter.
  • The office created a committee on intersectionality and identity and opened a meeting space for student groups in the transfer office.
  • Sharma led an ad hoc committee for student representation, which held its first meetings in the winter.

Ashly Mohankumar, Academic Affairs commissioner:

Platforms: Mohankumar promised to create the Women Empowerment Campaign, “Brewin” Networking Night and advocate for improved use of resources to help students graduate on time.

In the fall, her office helped create the Women Empowerment Campaign, organized the networking night and created a Travel Mini Fund.

  • Mohankumar said her office offered college counseling and enrollment workshops.
  • She said her office worked with the Financial Services commission to host a Bruin Networking Night career-themed event Feb. 23.
  • She added her office hosted a stress-free day and a workshop on allyship for social justice issues.

Jordan Vincent Dang, Campus Events commissioner:

Platforms: Dang promised to increase accessibility to events for commuters and hold events from his office.

In the fall, Dang’s office hosted a forum with a Disney Pixar writer and director, and coordinated a D.R.A.M. concert.

  • Dang said his office hosted 11 film showings and pre-screenings.
  • He added it also held a panel in January with web comedians Jake and Amir.

Zack Dameron, Community Service commissioner:

Platforms: Dameron promised to create more service opportunities for first-years, such as establishing a service-themed residential hall community. He also promised to launch a service-based advocacy program and add more Alternative Break Immersion programs.

In the fall, Dameron’s office expanded yearly service projects with money from the #UCLAWellness Referendum, organized service days and campaigned to highlight food insecurity.

  • Dameron’s office hosted a Winter Serve Fest, where student service organizations on campus recruited for their respective projects.
  • He helped establish a Living and Learning Community floor on the Hill centered on public and civic engagement. Applications to live on the floor opened this quarter.
  • He added his office sent its largest-ever delegation to the IMPACT conference in St. Louis, where students learned how to improve the effectiveness of their volunteer work.

Amy Shao, Cultural Affairs commissioner:

Platforms: Shao promised to provide freestyle dance sessions and a panel for students to communicate with CAC. She also promised to hold an event series called Talks x Student Documentaries so students can showcase self-made documentaries

In the fall, Shao’s office set up installations in the Kerckhoff Art Gallery and held Word on Wednesdays sessions in Kerckhoff Hall.

Shao said her office held events for Hip-Hop Appreciation Month.

  • The office also held an information session Feb. 2 and released applications for CAC Tank, a program for students to present event ideas to a panel of organizations.
  • CAC hosted dance classes called Bruin Side Sessions in the John Wooden Center.

Sandra Rhee, Facilities commissioner:

Platforms: Rhee promised to create initiatives called “Turn Down the Watts!” and SafetE^3, and an application for free equipment rental reservations.

In the fall, her office worked on installing solar umbrellas on Kerckhoff patio, established the Food Waste Recovery Program, worked to extend van service hours and provided solar chargers for students to rent.

  • Rhee’s office finalized the solar umbrella installation in winter.
  • The office created a video about vegan students’ experiences and installed recycling bins in the Kappa Delta sorority as part of the Greek Life Recycling Program.
  • The office initiated its UCLA Facilities Management Accountability Project, a social media campaign in which students can bring attention to campus facility issues.

Ariel Rafalian, Financial Supports commissioner:

Platforms: Rafalian promised to provide rentable phone chargers in libraries, create Success Studio workshops to teach skills to students and advocate for a personal finance course.

In the fall, his office created “Interview Question of the Week” on social media and raised funds for six rentable phone chargers.

  • Rafalian’s office purchased 50 phone chargers that students will be able to rent at Powell Library and Young Research Library next quarter.
  • The office submitted a proposal for a fiat lux course on personal finance.
  • It also raised funds to increase the number of lab coats available for students to rent.

Christina Lee, Student Wellness commissioner:

Platforms: Lee promised to increase inclusive advocacy and mental health efforts, establish a body image campaign and expand the Student Health Network on campus.

In the fall, Lee’s office implemented a project to provide free menstrual products, screened and gave out oral care products, and held more than 20 programs.

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Zhen is an assistant news editor for the national and higher education beat. She was previously a contributor for the campus politics beat and an online contributor.

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