Tuesday, October 15

USAC recap – fall 2017

Arielle Mokhtarzadeh, president:

Platforms: Mokhtarzadeh promised to work with alumni associations and the UCLA Career Center to secure internships for current Bruins. She promised to help reform University of California policies on sexual violence and sexual harassment. She also promised to create a student-written policy on identity-based hatred and establish biweekly “BruinTableTalks” to facilitate dialogue between different students.

Quarter recap:

  • Mokhtarzadeh’s office helped establish a systemwide Title IX Student Advisory Board to work with the UC Title IX office.
  • The Office of the President’s Bruins Fight Back team worked with the UCLA Title IX Office to establish a constituent advisory group to advise the chancellor on Title IX investigations. The team also worked to change a USAC bylaw to mandate that USAC council members complete Title IX training to receive their stipend.
  • Bruins Fight Back also advocated for a policy change that now allows students to use their preferred name on their BruinCards. They also drafted petitions and met with community members to promote the Westwood Forward initiative, which aims to create a new neighborhood council for Westwood.

Vivy Li, internal vice president:

Platforms: Li promised to build a new USAC IVP website that included instructions to help student groups reserve rooms and venues. She promised to establish an IVP Complaint Box to receive feedback from students. She also promised to create a new mobile application that centralizes information about UCLA services, and boost the campus’ internet connection.

Quarter recap:

  • The IVP office renovated its website, which includes clarified guidelines for student groups to reserve spaces on campus.
  • Li said her office has implemented an email reminder system to provide student groups with deadlines and instructions to book spaces on campus.
  • Li said her office moved videos on the USAC Live! YouTube channel, which contained the weekly council meeting livestream, to a new channel called DEPT usaclive, which can only be accessed with a ucla.edu email address.

Chloe Pan, external vice president:

Platform: Pan promised to create a Bruin Day of Action event to get more students involved in civic engagement, and to organize town halls with students and community leaders. Pan also promised to advocate against university budget cuts.

Quarter recap:

  • Pan said her office organized the Bruin Day of Action event Nov. 8 and held workshops teaching students how to engage in political advocacy.
  • The EVP office held eight phone banking sessions throughout the quarter, in which students made around 1,000 calls to legislators to advocate on issues such as Title IX funding and immigration policies.
  • Pan also held town halls throughout the quarter to evaluate the campus’ ability to provide students with basic needs such as health care and propose ways to improve them.
  • Her office also helped the Westwood Forward coalition hold two town halls to bring together community members to discuss the creation of a new neighborhood council for Westwood.
  • Pan also said the office now provides funding for students to attend UC Regents meetings through Bruin Defenders, a grant program that funds student advocacy and lobbying trips.

Nicole Corona Diaz, general representative 1:

Platforms: Corona Diaz promised to fight to establish UCLA as a sanctuary campus. She also promised to increase minority enrollment and expand resources for low-income students.

Quarter recap:

  • The General Representative 1 Office created the UndocuBruins crowdfunding campaign in November, which raised more than $15,000 to fund scholarships for undocumented students.
  • Corona Diaz’s office proposed and wrote a council resolution in November calling for better working conditions and full-time employment for contracted valet workers at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
  • Corona Diaz added her office successfully advocated for UCLA Residential Life to have the De Neve Computer Lab be open on Saturdays.

Kayla He, general representative 2:

Platform: She promised to help integrate international students into campus life and better connect domestic and international students through events. She also promised to promote body positivity and celebrate students’ nonacademic achievements through different campaigns.

Quarter recap:

  • He said her office created three summer orientation workshops for incoming international students to learn from returning international students and Dashew Center representatives about how to transition into campus life.
  • She added her office launched the Second Impressions project, which publishes weekly stories about individual international students on social media.
  • Her office also created a Resilience, Individuality, Strength and Evolvement program application, which recognized students for nonacademic achievements and extracurricular activities at a panel event.

Justin Jackson, general representative 3:

Platform: Jackson promised to create a campaign to educate students on their protesting and tenant rights. He also promised to improve communication between USAC and the On-Campus Housing Council, as well as increase campus awareness of homelessness and student housing insecurity.

Quarter recap:

  • The office held a panel discussion Nov. 29 to educate students on how to legally protest and interact with the police.
  • Jackson said his office has worked to develop an online application that allows students to write reviews about police officers that will be introduced to UCPD.
  • Jackson added his office is working with UCLA Residential Life and Dining Services to allow students to use meal swipes at on-campus restaurants.

Zahra Hajee, Facilities commissioner:

Platform: Hajee promised to hold bystander intervention events to teach students how to respond to hate crimes and to work with administrators to repurpose unused outdoor spaces on campus. Hajee also promised to engage with students to identify problems with campus infrastructure and organize educational initiatives to promote water conservation on campus.

Quarter recap:

  • Hajee said the office helped hold a town hall event Nov. 7 where students in UCLA dance groups talked to administrators about the lack of studio spaces on campus. Hajee added administrators have committed to expanding dance space by the end of the academic year.
  • Hajee said her office worked with the Ashe Center to create a pamphlet on birth control resources on campus.
  • Hajee added her office worked with the Community Service Officers’ van service to implement a UCLA Safe Ride app that allows students to request rides from the van service to any designated stop on campus.

Christina Lee, student wellness commissioner:

Platform: Lee promised to create programs tailored to student needs, create a committee that addresses basic needs on campus, and expand access to menstrual hygiene products. Lee also promised to host workshops for faculty to inform them on how to address student mental health issues.

Quarter recap:

  • Lee said her office has held 50 events this quarter, including a collection of mental health workshops for first-generation students, international students and other diverse student populations.
  • Lee added her office received a grant from the Healthy Campus Initiative to work with food professionals on campus to create healthy food menus.
  • The office also created a Bruin Necessities committee to address student needs such as food security and vaccine accessibility, and the committee held an oral hygiene fair this quarter.
  • Lee added the Center for Accessible Education trained her office leadership to identify and address student mental health needs.

Divya Sharma, Academic Affairs commissioner:

Platform: Sharma promised to advocate for student retention as well as remove sexual assaulters and protect undocumented workers. He also promised to expand study space options, increase the use of BruinCast among professors, and create transparency about campus resources on course syllabi.

Quarter recap:

  • Sharma said his office organized events for undocumented students, including a Sanctuary Yard Sale on Oct. 27 to fund scholarships for undocumented students and a Sanctuary Art Show on Nov. 17 to display student artwork on the meaning of sanctuary.
  • His office’s Sanctuary Campus Committee co-hosted an emergency town hall Oct. 23 to protest the treatment of contracted valet workers at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
  • The Academic Affairs Commission opened a new study space at Kerckhoff 310 that students can access on the weekends and held a town hall Nov. 30 to gather student input and design ideas for more study spaces on campus.
  • Sharma’s office has been working with professors to experiment with Eco360, a program that captions BruinCasts to make lectures more accessible.
  • Sharma added his office is working with Active Minds, the Bruin Consent Coalition and the Academic Senate to recommend that professors include information about Title IX and mental health sources on syllabi.

Aaron Boudaie, Financial Supports commissioner:

Platform: Boudaie promised to advocate for student affordability issues, increase online resources about financial literacy and improve transportation options and affordability for commuter students.

Quarter recap:

  • Boudaie said his office filmed a video petition about student dependence on Pell Grants, which was posted to Facebook and shared with the office of Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
  • Boudaie added that his office launched a campaign on Kerckhoff Patio to inform students about financial resources such as Pell and Cal Grants.
  • The FSC created the USAC Parking Advocacy Task Force in the summer to advocate for commuter issues and hold quarterly meetings with administrators.

Sayron Stokes, transfer student representative:

Platforms: Stokes promised to create a mentorship program for transfer students. She promised to better inform transfer students about research opportunities. She also promised to secure more parking passes for transfer students and to better inform transfers about their housing options. She also promised to work with officials to solidify a UC transfer application due date.

Quarter recap:

  • Stokes said her office compiled a list of all research applications and opportunities and provided this information in the Transfer Student Center.
  • Stokes’ office partnered with UCLA Residential Life to hold a Thanksgiving on the Hill event, which fed approximately 200 students over Thanksgiving break.
  • She added that she hosts office hours via Facebook Live and in the transfer center to publicize her office’s programs.

Nedda Nikki Saidian, Campus Events commissioner:

Platform: Saidian promised to increase awareness of events by expanding CEC marketing campaigns on social media and collaborating with Residential Life. She also promised to plan a spring concert as well as improve the coordination and accessibility of events.

Quarter recap:

  • Saidian said her office increased the number of followers and viewership on the CEC’s social media platforms.
  • Saidian added the CEC coordinated with Residential Life to hold a free film screening of “Wonder Woman” on the Hill.
  • Saidian also said her office partnered with the Graduate Students Association to improve the availability of programming venues.
  • Saidian added the CEC worked to improve the diversity of its events by varying entertainment genres and bringing in speakers with different occupations.

Adriana Hardwicke, Community Service commissioner:

Platform: Hardwicke promised to develop community service opportunities for freshman and transfer students and partner with other student organizations to provide more service opportunities. She also promised to implement a scholarship program for students involved in service and connect service opportunities to civic engagement efforts.

Quarter recap:

  • Hardwicke said her office expanded the Alternative Breaks program, from eight to 10 community service trips, adding two winter break service opportunities, to expand student participation.
  • Hardwicke said her office developed a committee to help advocate for legislation to benefit the local communities student groups volunteer with. She added the office has planned five advocacy projects for next quarter.
  • Hardwicke said CSC will be providing six more vans to student volunteer groups. Hardwicke added her office implemented an iPad van checkout system in Ackerman A level so the office can more efficiently track vans.

Malik Flournoy-Hooker, cultural affairs commissioner:

Platform: Flournoy-Hooker promised to hold a twice-a-year art fair featuring student art and hold office hours to provide mentorship, co-programing opportunities and help campus organizations with funding applications. He also promised to create quarterly applications to fund individual student projects and larger events.

Quarter recap:

Flournoy-Hooker declined to comment.


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Morris is the 2018-2019 assistant News editor for the campus politics beat. She was previously a writer for the campus politics beat. She is also a second-year global studies student at UCLA.

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