Monday, June 18

USAC recap – winter quarter 2018


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 in the 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 2017.

Arielle Yael Mokhtarzadeh, president
Quarter recap:

  • Mokhtarzadeh said her office worked with the Transfer Student Center and Financial Supports Commission to host “STEM Research Fair,” which connected and helped students find research opportunities with six different labs, Feb.12. More than 280 students attended.
  • Mokhtarzadeh said her office and the Internal Vice President’s office worked with Good Clothes Good People, a nonprofit organization, to place six clothes donation bins on campus.
  • Mokhtarzadeh said her office has been working with Improving Dreams, Equality, Access and Success and the Undocumented Student program to discuss ways to most effectively use the funding they received from the USAC surplus. The funds come from a university accounting error that led to USAC failing to receive certain student fees for the past three years.

Vivy Li, internal vice president
Quarter recap:

  • Li said her office is working with UCLA’s senior manager for night ward service to improve Wi-Fi connections at Janss Steps, Kerckhoff patio and study rooms at the Mathematical Sciences building.
  • Li said her office hosted “Off-Campus Living Fair”, which gathered more than 50 Westwood landlords to provide students with housing options for the next school year, Jan. 22. About 1,500 students attended the event.
  • Li said her office hosted “Food Trucks for Finals”, during which students were able to grab late-night snacks during finals week.

Chloe Pan, external vice president
Quarter recap:

  • Pan said her office sent 136 students to the University of California Students of Color Conference, UC Women of Color Initiative and the UC Student Lobbying Conference over winter quarter to learn about social activism, advocacy and lobbying.
  • Pan said her office held more than 25 Sacramento and in-district lobbying meetings to advocate for increased federal financial aid and state funding for UC schools.
  • Pan said her office organized two state-wide weeks of action for “Fund the UC” and collaborated with other organizations to collect more than 500 postcards and more than 4000 signatures to encourage the state to increase funding for UC schools.
  • Pan added her office also held eight phone banking events throughout the quarter on issues relating to UC funding, immigration and affordable housing.

Nicole Corona Diaz, general representative 1
Quarter recap:

  • Corona Diaz said her office hosted “Horchata Talks,” during which students discussed topics such as the scope of the U.S. presidency and sexual assault on campus.
  • Corona Diaz said a survey her office released to collect data on food insecurity and the need to use swipes on campus received more than 2,000 responses.
  • She added her office created an advocacy video calling on individuals to not use the term “illegal alien” when referring to undocumented individuals because the term dehumanizes the undocumented community.
  • Corona Diaz said her office wrote a resolution to support and stand in solidarity with UC students Orr Yakobi and Luis Mora, who were detained by federal immigration authorities.

Kayla He, general representative 2
Quarter recap:

  • He said her office is collaborating with International Graduate Students Association and Graduate Students Association to call on the university to reduce or remove the iSTART fee, a $59 fee new International students are required to pay during orientation.
  • He said her office hosted weekly campaigns on body positivity on Bruin Walk during the quarter, taking photos and distributing goodie bags.
  • He said her office created a video in which seven international students from different countries shared their experiences at UCLA.

Justin Jackson, general representative 3:
Quarter recap:

  • Did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Zahra Hajee, Facilities commissioner
Quarter recap:

  • Hajee said her office co-hosted “Know Thy Safety Week of Action” March 5 to 8 to educate students on bystander intervention and how to take action during instances of harassment or discrimination.
  • Hajee said her office helped open the John Wooden Center as a study space from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. during finals week.
  • Hajee added her office worked on updating the campus accessibility map, which includes the location of accessible travel paths on campus and elevators.

Christina Lee, Student Wellness commissioner
Quarter recap:

  • Lee said her office’s BruiNecessities committee hosted “Winter Oral Health Fair,” which provided free dental supplies for students, March 8.
  • Lee said Active Minds collaborated with other student organizations to host “Culture in Mind,” a week-long initiative from Feb. 5 to 9 exploring mental health issues in different cultures.
  • Lee said the commission’s EARTH committee, which addresses environmental health issues, is growing a gardening plot in Sunset Canyon Recreation Center. She added the produce from the garden will be donated to the Community Programs Office’s food closet.
  • Lee said the commission’s Student Education And Research of Contemporary Health committee and the Body Image Task Force conducted a survey about body image and will use the data to create programs that students are interested in.

Divya Sharma, Academic Affairs commissioner
Quarter recap:

  • Sharma said his office began the study space initiative, which opened Bruin Plate and Feast as late-night study spaces.
  • He said his office worked with the university to add three permanent Bruincast-able classrooms equipped with audio recording equipment.
  • Sharma said his office worked with the university to mandate that diversity requirement courses specify why they were approved to fulfill the diversity requirement.
  • Sharma said his office helped propose and establish a course for graduate students to take if they are a teaching assistant for a diversity requirement course. The new course, which will be offered in fall 2018, will discuss cultural competency and intersectionality in academia.
  • Sharma’s office held a town hall with UCPD and administrators on Jan. 17 to discuss safety, emergency preparedness and police interactions with students of color.

Aaron Boudaie, Financial Supports commissioner
Quarter recap:

  • Boudaie said his office hosted LAUSD School Board member and Vice President Nick Melvoin for a discussion about accessibility to higher education for local public school students.
  • Boudaie said he secured a $5,200 expansion of the iClicker Loaner Library.
    Boudaie said his office worked with the EVP office and other campus groups to protest the regents’ planned tuition increase during their March meeting at UCLA.
  • Boudaie said his office released a number of informational videos on Facebook explaining federal financial aid, taxes and how to save money.
  • Boudaie said his office hosted a social media workshop to teach students how to cultivate a professional online presence.

Sayron Stokes, transfer student representative
Quarter recap:

  • Stokes said her office worked with the Bruin Resource Center and Transfer Student Center to create scholarships for transfer students. The recipients of the two $2,000 and six $1,000 scholarships will be announced in April.
  • Stokes said her office worked with various campus organizations to co-host “De-Stress Study Fest” between March 12 and 16, during which students received free massages, pizza and goodie bags.
  • Stokes said her office met with Monroe Gorden, interim vice chancellor of student affairs, on Feb. 14 to talk about transfer student needs.
  • Stokes said her office worked with the USAC Office of the President and the Financial Supports Commission to host “STEM Research Fair” on Feb. 12. She added the fair helped transfer students learn about research opportunities on campus.

Nedda Nikki Saidian, Campus Events commissioner
Quarter recap:

  • Saidian said her office created a new Co-Public Relations Director of Sponsorship and Outreach position to find and secure sponsorship for events by outside organizations.
  • Saidian said her office held three major giveaways, including music festival tickets and holiday gifts.
  • She added her office held five sneak peak movie screenings including “Isle of Dogs”, “Loveless,” “Game Night” and “A Fantastic Woman,” which also included a question and answer session with actress Zoey Deutch.

Adriana Hardwicke, Community Service commissioner
Quarter recap:

 

  • Hardwicke said her office hosted a panel Jan. 16 called “Meeting in the Middle: The Intersection of Mental Health and Service.”
  • Hardwicke said her office hosted the alternative breaks program, during which students visited cities such as Seattle and Washington, D.C. during spring break to work on short-term projects for community organizations.
  • Hardwicke said her office co-hosted the “Nonprofit Networking Night” on Feb 1 to connect students with leaders and alumni working in nonprofit and public sectors.
  • Hardwicke added her office took a delegation to the IMPACT conference, an annual program focused on civic engagement and advocacy, from March 1 to 4.

Malik Flournoy-Hooker, Cultural Affairs commissioner
Quarter recap:

Declined to comment.

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