Saturday, April 20

2018 GSA candidate nonendorsement: Katherine Jia for vice president of internal affairs

(Amy Dixon/Assistant Photo editor)

(Amy Dixon/Assistant Photo editor)

Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly stated that Katherine Jia was unaware which union represents teaching assistants and lecturers.

The graduate student government’s election for its executive cabinet will continue until Tuesday. The Daily Bruin Editorial Board interviewed each of the five candidates and evaluated their platforms for the coming year.

This article was updated Apr. 15 at 6:42 p.m.

Katherine Jia’s enthusiasm reflects what the graduate student government needs most. Her lack of knowledge about how the system works, however, makes her unsuitable to lead the Graduate Students Association vice president of internal affairs office.

This isn’t to say Jia is unfamiliar with the issues that affect graduate students. She rightly wants to advocate for graduate workers’ benefits and increase the number of career development and social programs for graduate students. Most importantly, she recognizes the lack of student engagement with GSA and wants to better promote the association, something the next vice president of internal affairs must work on.

But Jia’s lack of familiarity with GSA and other campus organizations is telling. While the past year has been her first at UCLA, she was not prominently involved in any level of student government. She also is not familiar with the existing UCLA Career Center programs for graduate students, nor the vice president of internal affairs’ responsibilities. It is worrying Jia has focused on expanding career opportunities for graduate students without doing her homework on how to do so.

While Jia is too inexperienced to serve the association as a vice president, that certainly shouldn’t preclude her from working with it next year. As the only candidate not associated with the Moving Forward slate, her participation could mean a lot for ensuring diverse viewpoints are represented.

Visit this page to read the board’s evaluations of all of this year’s GSA candidates.

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