Undergraduate Students Association Council President Homaira Hosseini delivered the first State of the University address Tuesday, as part of the “Day of Action” coinciding with the national Election Day.
The event, co-sponsored by USAC and the Community Programs Office, intended to raise awareness of USAC’s role in the greater UCLA community, while at the same time highlighting opportunities for student involvement, said fourth-year international development studies student Mark Jimenez, chair of the Student Initiated Access Center, a Community Programs Office organization.
“We want to establish accountability between USAC and UCLA students. We also want to promote engagement for students to want to get involved,” Hosseini said.
Hosseini outlined USAC efforts to promote affordability with the Financial Supports Commission’s textbook scholarship that, starting winter quarter, will provide $250 per accepted student to pay for books. She also pointed out that her office had successfully managed to pass a deferred payment plan that, starting next year, will allow students to pay student fees in installments rather than in quarterly payments.
Hosseini also spoke of overcrowded classrooms on campus and a lack of a sufficient number of faculty members.
She said her presidential appointments, such as Norah Sarsour of the Chancellor’s Enrollment Advisory Committee, are working to reduce the over-enrollment.
Hosseini asked students to fulfill their civic duty of voting while at the same time taking advantage of opportunities to get involved on campus, which was why the organizers said they decided to complement an election-viewing party with Hosseini’s address.
“We are drawing a parallel between being constituents of the nation as well as being constituents of UCLA.
“Just as we have a responsibility to vote, we also have a responsibility to utilize our resources to become engaged and involved on campus,” Hosseini said.
More than 600 students attended the viewing party event held at the Los Angeles Tennis Center, which completed months of political campaigning with an election results viewing party,
“We wanted to build a critical dialogue about the elections and the particular propositions so that students are politically engaged,” Jimenez said.
Students took part in the results viewing party with cheers and moans that voiced their political opinions and concerns.
Jasmine Beard, a third-year political science student, said she was excited and impressed by the turnout.
“It is a wonderful collection of people.
“I wanted to come to watch the results, so we can all be excited together,” she said.
Prior to Hosseini’s address, some students said they were interested in hearing what USAC has done so far in its current term.
“I hope she addresses USAC’s accomplishments so far because a good chunk of their term is done, and also what USAC hopes to accomplish in the coming year,” said Rose Castro, a fourth-year economics/international area studies student.
The “Day of Action” provided students with the chance to hear about ways to get involved at UCLA and the opportunity to see the results of fulfilling their civic duty as U.S. citizens.
“For many of us, it’s our first time voting,” Jimenez said. “We wanted students to see the impact their vote makes. … It all makes a difference. A very big difference.”
At the end of her address, Hosseini said, “This country and this campus are opening a new chapter. I want to thank all of you for making history tonight.”
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