Thursday, April 25

2017 Graduate Students Association platforms


(Jintak Han/Assistant Photo editor)

(Jintak Han/Assistant Photo editor)


This year’s Graduate Students Association elections will have four uncontested candidates running with the Moving Forward slate. Elections will take place from April 11-18. Graduate students can vote on MyUCLA, and results will be announced at the April 19 GSA forum meeting. Below is a list of each candidate’s platforms and experience.


(Jintak Han/Assistant Photo editor)
(Jintak Han/Assistant Photo editor)

Michael Skiles
Running for: president

Platforms:

  • Push for more accessible and affordable housing
  • Establish more free printing across campus
  • Continue advocating for preserving the Kinross Recreation Center
  • Continue hosting biweekly socials for community engagement
  • Obtain more funds, such as travel grants, for student organizations and graduate students

Experience:

  • Current GSA president
  • Current graduate chair on the University of California Council of Presidents
  • President of the Weyburn and Hilgard Residents’ Association last year
  • As president of GSA, Skiles has worked to preserve KREC, increased the number of times there are GradBars from once per quarter to biweekly. He also expanded parking access for graduate students by helping to obtain 30 additional parking spots and expanded employment opportunities by helping launch the TA Marketplace.

“Students have seen that we’ve been accomplishing a lot and have a lot of great initiatives grad students are excited about,” Skiles said. “I think that’s a big part of why we’ve achieved such broad support and don’t have anyone wanting to run against us.”


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(Jintak Han/Assistant Photo editor)

Alexander Fung
Running for: vice president of Internal Affairs

Platforms:

  • Create additional travel grant opportunities for graduate students pursuing master’s degrees
  • Enhance career services for international students by working with career centers to create more job opportunities
  • Expand food security resources and affordable housing in light of increasing tuition and rent
  • Establish the Graduate Organization Presidents’ Roundtable to help graduate students organize across departments
  • Continue working with Transportation Services to improve parking conditions and provide graduate students the option to carpool or vanpool
  • Improve cultural needs representation for the UCLA minority population

Experience:

  • Current GSA director of communications
  • Current president of the International Graduate Student Association
  • As president of IGSA, he worked on pushing for more focus on the international community in programs like Grad Cafe and GradFam

“I want to use my position … to expand the role of international students, to increase housing and food security, to extend the graduate travel grant and establish the (Presidents’) Roundtable Organization” Fung said.


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(Jintak Han/Assistant Photo editor)

Parshan Khosravi
Running for: vice president of External Affairs

Platforms:

  • Restructure the GSA office to reinstate an organizing core and lobby core, so it can more effectively participate in federal government and state relations advocacy
  • Continue undergraduate-graduate partnerships and obtain student testimonies to better represent student workers who are not unionized
  • Respond to current events, such as launching campaigns on issues relating to the political climate

Experience

  • Current GSA legislative liaison for the Office of External Affairs
  • Current treasurer of the UC Student Association
  • Current director of discretionary funds for GSA
  • Lobbied for student labor rights at a statewide and national level

“I’ve always considered myself a huge advocate for student labor advocacy,” Khosravi said. “This year (we’re) proud to have created a bond with the undergraduate student government, worked with part of (Undergraduate Students Association Council), so that’s something I’d like to build on.”


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(Jintak Han/Assistant Photo editor)

Rebecca Katz
Running for: vice president of Academic Affairs

Platforms:

  • Make certain classes more accessible for graduate students by encouraging interdisciplinary learning
  • Increase female representation for graduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics as well as management fields
  • Address the teaching assistant shortage, including posting more jobs to the TA Marketplace and easing restrictions on the number of quarters a student can TA
  • Increase travel grants, student funding and department diversity
  • Increase fairness, transparency and accountability for the Title IX system

Experience

  • Currently a Forte Fellow and member of the Anderson School’s Women’s Business Connection
  • Katz does not have experience in GSA thus far

“My focus academically is marketing (and) I’m trying to apply that to help out this school in different ways,” Katz said.

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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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