Thursday, January 24

USAC recap – fall 2018


Undergraduate Students Association Council officers reflected on their efforts throughout the quarter. The council meets publicly Tuesdays at 7 p.m. in Kerckhoff 417. (Liz Ketcham/Assistant Photo editor)

Undergraduate Students Association Council officers reflected on their efforts throughout the quarter. The council meets publicly Tuesdays at 7 p.m. in Kerckhoff 417. (Liz Ketcham/Assistant Photo editor)


Claire Fieldman, president:

Platforms:

  • Fieldman promised to reform sexual violence prevention training for incoming, new and returning students. She promised to increase transparency of the administration’s emergency decision-making and enhance emergency preparedness trainings. She also promised to build a women’s leadership network of students, faculty and alumni.

Quarter recap:

  • Fieldman’s office will submit its proposal for changes to Greek life Title IX training by the end of quarter, advocating for smaller and more peer-driven sessions.

  • Her office filled all presidential appointments before the end of fall quarter for the first time since 2015.

Robert Blake Watson, internal vice president:

Platforms:

  • Watson promised to establish a Good Clothes Good People Redistribution Center to provide students with free clothes and hygiene products. He promised to connect student organizations with Undergraduate Students Associate Council funding opportunities. He also promised to host monthly teach-ins between students and administrators on various forms of hate speech that occur at UCLA.

Quarter recap:

  • Watson’s office established the first redistribution center in the University of California in mid-October. He said the space has facilitated other efforts, including care package collection.

  • His office revived the Campus Safety Alliance, a coalition meant to address student safety, after years of inactivity.
  • His office released applications for a Respect, Accountability, Integrity, Service and Excellence scholarship, which is meant to reward scholarship funds to students who have helped other students in need.
  • His office will host food trucks for finals week.
  • His office successfully lobbied for art supply storage space on the Hill.

Jamie Kennerk, external vice president:

Platforms:

  • Kennerk promised to protect undocumented students, fight the federal immigration agenda, advocate for LGBTQ legislation, and prevent rollbacks of current sexual assault protections. She also promised to promote voter engagement with quarterly events and voter registration drives. She also promised to protect and lobby for financial aid and state funding for the UC.

Quarter recap:

  • Her office, along with the BruinsVOTE! Campaign, increased voter registration at UCLA by five times 2014 totals. Her office also held get-out-the-vote events on election day. Kennerk also chaired the UC Student Association’s UCweVote campaign, which secured $19,000 in funding to promote student voting through methods such as establishing a systemwide text reminder to vote.

  • Her office hosted a UCLA budget panel and town hall Wednesday.
  • Kennerk’s office had five meetings with federal legislators and eight meetings with state legislators this quarter.
  • Her office convinced UC President Janet Napolitano to revisit heteronormative language in new systemwide Title IX updates. Her office also successfully lobbied Rep. Adam Schiff to sign a letter opposing new Title IX policy revisions.
  • Her office led undergraduate involvement in advocacy when UCPath, the new systemwide payroll system, left some students without pay for weeks.
  • Her office distributed pamphlets explaining current gun laws and LGBTQ protections.
  • Her office fundraised $1,000 in two days for Jaime Lopez. Lopez, the father of a UCLA student, was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in early November.
  • Her office successfully advocated for a state bill to create an oversight system for the repatriation of native remains.

Nidirah Stephens, Academic Affairs commissioner:

Platforms:

  • Stephens promised to raise $30,000 in scholarships for students. She promised to increase the number of BruinCasted courses and free iClickers available to students. She also promised to create a space for students to meet with counselors before each enrollment period to help students plan their courses. She also promised to monitor the use of petition-to-enroll numbers given by professors. She also promised to utilize the operational funds within the commission to give textbook scholarships to 100 students each quarter.

Quarter recap:

  • Stephens’ office purchased new iClickers and access codes for students to use.

  • Her office held a counseling event before course enrollment for roughly 50 students.

Jay Manzano, Financial Supports commissioner:

Platforms:

  • Manzano promised to create a scholarship to subsidize professional clothing for students in need. He promised to secure funds to alleviate the cost of textbooks. He also promised to develop a series of workshops that address vocational skills and to push the BruinCard Office to adopt an incremental fee for lost BruinCards. He also promised to put pressure on the University to return nonrefundable deposits and fees to students when there is no guarantee a service will be provided, such as the study abroad deposit. He also promised to advocate for the affordability and funding of higher education in the state.

Quarter recap:

  • Manzano’s office set up a crowdfunding campaign for Attire for Hire, which plans to provide free professional clothing to students from Feb. 13 to March 14.

  • His office secured $6,500 to expand its loaner libraries for iClickers, calculators and lab coats. He added his office has also held donation drives to collect lab coats.
  • Manzano successfully advocated for the council to amend FSC bylaws to prioritize financial insecurity.
  • His office also co-hosted a financial literacy workshop Nov. 11, which addressed topics including social capital, financial capital and educational capital.

Julia Ho-Gonzalez, Facilities commissioner:

Platforms:

  • Ho-Gonzalez promised to host weekly office hours on Bruin Walk and to facilitate town halls. She promised to institutionalize student-centered advocacy to repurpose, reconstruct and reallocate space to better fit the needs of diverse student experiences. She also promised to promote sustainable food storage practices around campus. She also promised to restructure student services to foster a reuse culture on campus.

Quarter recap:

  • Ho-Gonzalez’s office has held weekly office hours on BruinWalk.
  • Her office hosted a town hall for students with disabilities to voice questions and concerns to administrators and legal professionals.

Ayesha Haleem, general representative 1:

Platforms:

  • Haleem promised to host dialogue series, facilitated by members of the community. She promised to facilitate weekly conversations at Kerckhoff Hall to foster student connections with administrators. She also promised to advocate for the creation of an international student resource center, a Dashew Center advisory board and an international student scholarship database. She also promised to create institutional support for students who aren’t traditionally involved in USAC.

Quarter recap:

  • Haleem’s office has held two Konversations at Kerck events, in which students can ask administrators questions.

  • Her office held a conversation cafe for International Education Week through which international students discussed their experiences. Her office also held a South Asian Picnic event.
  • Her office has also launched an application for student-initiated project submissions.
  • Her office worked with UCLA Housing to ensure students staying on campus over winter break would have access to housing.
  • Her office set up quarterly meetings with the Dashew Center to assess international student health and wellness.

Bella Martin, general representative 2:

Platforms:

  • Martin promised to advocate for professors to disclose and justify course costs during enrollment. She also promised to advocate for a bike lane in Westwood. She also promised to create short videos explaining how USAC works in multiple languages.

Quarter recap:

  • Martin’s office released a survey on textbook costs.

  • Her office also met with the North Westwood Neighborhood Council about implementing bike lanes in Westwood.

Eduardo Solis, general representative 3:

Platforms:

  • Solis promised to include the National Suicide Prevention Hotline phone number on BruinCards. He promised to showcase the various stories of UCLA students who have used Counseling and Psychological Services to demonstrate the necessity of allocating more funds to CAPS. He also promised to put pressure on the UC Office of the President to renew the funds given to the Undocumented Student Program. He also promised to bring nonprofit organizations to campus to offer legal advice to the immigrant community. He also promised to expand the food closet and offer a larger variety of food to students in need.

Quarter recap:

  • Solis’ office met with the BruinCard Office, wrote a community letter and petitioned to get the suicide prevention hotline number printed on the back of BruinCards.

  • His office fundraised and collected donations for Cosecha, a nonprofit organization which provides resources to migrants waiting to enter the United States at the U.S.-Mexico border.
  • His office also held a photoshoot campaign on BruinWalk to show solidarity for undocumented Americans.
  • His office also organized a phone banking event to address the family separation crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.

George Louis Faour, Student Wellness commissioner:

Platforms:

  • Faour promised to hold events during the National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week and work to remove the stigma associated with conversations on alcohol and drug abuse. He promised to create a space dedicated to provide easy access to mobility aid, such as crutches and standard wheelchairs. He also promised to perform a needs assessment of UCLA buildings for accessibility by surveying students. He also promised to expand co-programming efforts.

Quarter recap:

  • Faour’s office now provides free menstrual hygiene products to students on the Hill.

  • His office booked space and is currently planning events for National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week.
  • His office met with the Ashe Center to organize a system to provide free crutches and wheelchairs.
  • His office released a survey to assess student needs.
  • His office also partnered with the UCLA School of Dentistry to provide free dental screenings and hygiene products at oral health fairs.

Alley Madison, Campus Events commissioner:

Platforms:

  • Madison promised to make events more accessible by varying the timing of events. She promised to direct the commission to feature events driven by women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ community and other underrepresented groups. She also promised to create an online polling tool so students can voice which events they would like to see brought to campus.

Quarter recap:

  • Madison’s office hosted Bruin Bash. Madison noted her office worked to address accessibility concerns and to ensure the event would feature a female headliner.
  • Her office released a survey aimed at students with disabilities to find out what measures would help them participate in CEC events.

  • Her office hosted actress Kate Hudson and fashion designer Michael Kors at a panel about the United Nations World Food Program.
  • Her office has held several film screenings, including sneak previews.

Sarena Khasawneh, Cultural Affairs commissioner:

Platforms:

  • Khasawneh promised to create an initiative that would allow any student to gain the funds, knowledge and platform to host an event on campus. She promised to hold a fair of ethical companies to address social justice issues. She also promised to create a database that would combat gentrification in Los Angeles by highlighting coupons from businesses owned by people of color.

Quarter recap:

  • Khasawneh’s office increased student involvement in the Diverse City Tours program.

  • Her office met with businesses run by people of color in Downtown Los Angeles to determine how the office should support these businesses.
  • Her office also hosted several concerts for students.

Jessica Kim, transfer student representative:

Platforms:

  • Kim promised to advocate for reducing appointed leadership positions from two-year to one-year terms so transfer students can apply. She promised to create more informational sessions and community-building events for transfers. She also promised to advocate to allocate university apartment space for transfers.

Quarter recap:

  • Kim’s office hosted a hygiene products drive for homeless veterans.

  • Kim said her office built up its social media presence and organized staff to build up the office, which was established four years ago.

Bethanie Sonola, Community Service commissioner:

Platforms:

  • Sonola promised to increase resources available to all UCLA service organizations. She also promised to support UCLA service organizations in improving risk management and/or safety practices.

Quarter recap:

  • Sonola’s office piloted the Wednesday of Odd Weeks program, in which CSC hosts office hours on the Wednesday of every odd-numbered week.

  • Her office allocated roughly $8,000 to CSC and non-CSC student groups from the supplemental fund for service.
  • Her office also restructured the CSC fellowship program to include an educational component, through which fellows learn about CSC generally and the importance of service.

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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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