Friday, April 3

New slate LET’S ACT! to run 10 candidates in USAC elections

Main objectives of LET’S ACT!

  • Healthy campus climate
  • Affordability
  • Diversity
  • Community engagement
  • Social justice
  • Inclusion
  • Equity
SOURCE: Mallory Valenzuela, a campaign representative for LET’S ACT! and a fourth-year Asian American studies and sociology student. Compiled by Jillian Beck, Bruin senior staff.

A third slate will run candidates in next month’s undergraduate student government elections, after a year with only one slate and few contested positions.

Slates are groups of students that pool their resources together and run under similar platforms.

LET’S ACT! is a new student slate planning to run 10 candidates in the spring Undergraduate Students Association Council elections next month.

“The ‘LET’S’ means ‘let us’ and represents inclusion and the ‘ACT’ is about taking action,” said Mallory Valenzuela, a campaign representative for LET’S ACT!, a fourth-year Asian American studies and sociology student and last year’s president of Samahang Pilipino.

The process of creating the new slate, which is made up of Samahang Pilipino, Afrikan Student Union and other progressive student organizations and individual students, started after last year’s USAC elections, said Lawrence Turner, a campaign representative for LET’S ACT! and a fifth-year Afro-American studies student.

But the bulk of the work took place during winter quarter, said Turner, who is also chair of the Afrikan Student Union.

Members also refer to the slate as LA! because of its additional focus on the Los Angeles community.

The main goals of the slate are to focus on social justice, equity and inclusion at UCLA and the wider L.A. area, Valenzuela said.

The new slate shares some of its core values – affordability, diversity and community engagement – with Students First!, a slate that was a major player in past USAC elections but opted not to run candidates in last year’s elections.

LET’S ACT! members, however, maintain a separate identity from Students First!.

“We have similar ideologies, but we are not Students First!,” Turner said.

The largely uncontested USAC elections last year had some influence in the start of the new slate, members said.

“I think there was an absence of a progressive slate last year,” Valenzuela said. “If we’re not happy with something, then it’s our responsibility to do something about it.”

One of the 10 LET’S ACT! candidates running in this year’s election is current USAC External Vice President Lana El-Farra, who ran as an independent in last year’s elections.

El-Farra said she appreciated running as an independent candidate last year because it took away some of the divisiveness that comes with sometimes polarized slate politics.

“For me, I really saw that it is really beneficial to run with a group of people that understand a common vision – it makes a more productive and efficient USAC,” she said. “Although it’s been a really great year on USAC, I think we can push that a little bit further.”

Taylor Bazley, co-chair of another slate called Bruin Alliance that started recently, said he thinks LET’S ACT! will bring more competition to elections. Bruin Alliance is only planning to run two candidates in the upcoming elections, said Bazley, who is one of the three presidential candidates.

“It is really good that (LET’S ACT!) is running a slate,” he said. “With (Bruin Alliance) only running two (candidates), there wouldn’t be much competition with only us.”

Ken Myers, Bruins United chair, said he is excited to have multiple slates and many candidates involved in this year’s elections because it gives students the opportunity to choose candidates that closely align with their visions.

“I think this is going to be an excellent election with very close races,” Myers said.

USAC Election Board chair Dana Pede declined to comment on LET’S ACT! because the Election Board does not recognize slates.

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  • You are SF

    Of course they are Student First, they just changed their name like they do every few years after they suffer major defeats

    • whatloss

      What defeat? They chose not to run last year.

      • Choices.

        Correct, they CHOSE not to run. This choice was the reason that there were so many uncontested races in last years election.

        Thank you for returning so that once again students can have options to choose from.

  • Let’sAct

    It’s exciting to see a slate that represents me and my ideals! We can’t remain apathetic to the social injustices all around us, it’s time USAC takes ACTION!

  • great stuff

    Well it looks like this person will clinch the vote for all of the people who have trouble understanding contractions and three letter words:

    “The ‘LET’S’ means ‘let us’ and represents inclusion and the ‘ACT’ is about taking action,”

    Groundbreaking stuff.

  • UC-LA!

    So happy to see a slate that will challenge Bruins United. As a first year student last year, not only was I turned off by Bruins United and the endorsement scandal, but I didn’t see anything productive from this year from USAC.

  • Let’s Be Real

    Am I the biggest fan of BU? No. But I’m sure as hell not going to vote for Let’s Act. After reading the qualifications (or lack thereof) of their candidates, I’m pretty sure I’ll be giving my votes to Bruins United. Tired of unqualified people trying to take control because they think they deserve it.

    • get a life

      The candidates biographies and platforms have not been released yet. So clearly you are posting just to ignite some kind of anti-Let’s Act! furry. If you seem so qualified to make this baseless judgement onto others, why didn’t you run? Unless you are, or are working for Bruins United and pretending like you don’t know anything – since they have a history of cheating (i.e endorsements last year).

  • tired of BU in USAC

    I hope LET’S ACT! is able to challenge BU’s dominance. BU has been nothing but an embarrassment to USAC and to the entire undergraduate student body. Every year Bruins United, as a slate or individual candidates, are caught in some kind of embarrassing scandal. Perhaps it’s time for these united Bruins to go on a collective and long hibernation.

    Here are some examples of BU’s slips:

    2009: During elections, BU hugely violated the election code at an event at Hillel. A Judicial Board case was opened.

    2010: BU AAC Candidate Youdeem was caught talking negatively of a historically important Latino organization, MEChA.

    2011: BU council member Rustom Z. Birdie resigned from office after lying about his involvement with an off-campus organization trying to profit from UCLA students. The Judicial Board found his involvement a conflict of interest, and he only resigned after a motion to expel him from Council was already on the table.

    2012: Bruins United slate leadership forged endorsements of various organizations. This caused Chris Flores, BU slate co-chair, to resign after many of the forged organizations were enraged.

    I hope that this new slate, LET’S ACT! brings a new and fresh perspective to USAC and the entire student campus.

  • ridiculous

    I do not affiliate myself with any slate as I like to vote independently. I am commenting on this article to express my current distaste at this slate. As a student whose financial situation is questionable, I don’t want to pay any extra fees – whether it be the diversity initiative or the bruin bash initiative. I DO NOT want to pay more. Period. So when I told people that I would be voting no to both initiatives, I was called a RACIST and a TRAITOR (I’m an Asian American).

    I have NO idea why they would even call me that. I simply don’t want to pay more. There’s no politics or racism involved. I DO NOT WANT TO PAY MORE THAN I NEED TO.

    I think it’s completely uncalled for to call me a racist and a traitor to my race. It’s incredibly ironic, too. If I do not vote the way my cultural group wants me to, I am a traitor. So instead of treating me as an individual, my cultural group sees me as a statistic. Because I’m Asian American, I HAVE to vote for the diversity initiative. I’m not basing any of my judgement on any of this purely based on race, but the same cannot be said about their attitude towards me.

    Don’t call me a racist or a traitor simply because I do not want to conform to what you want me to do. I can assure you that I will vote for the candidates that see me as an individual and not a racial statistic.

    • paying less?

      Initiative or not, you’re probably going to have to pay more anyway. Tuition is likely to increase lol

      • asdf

        Right. So why should I vote for these initiatives to pay even more.

        Tuition increase is out of my hands as it’s strictly an administrative thing. No matter what I say, if the state budget does not allow for further funding, tuition will increase. These initiatives, however, are in OUR hands. We can choose to approve, hence paying them, or we can choose to vote against it, which would prevent my student fees (not tuition) from rising.