Wednesday, September 18

GSA recap – Oct. 22


The Graduate Students Association is the voice of graduate students on campus. The association meets for forum every three weeks and takes positions on current issues affecting graduate students. Forum meetings are at 5:30 p.m. in the Ackerman Viewpoint Lounge.

Agenda

  • Student representatives from various graduate and professional schools talked with members of a search committee about the qualifications for the new vice chancellor of equity, diversity and inclusion.
  • GSA approved a two-week-long election calendar to fill the vice president of internal affairs position. The election will last Nov. 4-12.
  • Forum approved an interim discretionary budget based on last year’s budget. GSA President Michael Hirshman said officers will not know their surplus from last year until early November. The budget will be revisited and discussed during their next meeting on Nov. 12.

Officer reports

  • Michael Hirshman, GSA president, said he plans to work with UCLA Transportation to change some Big Blue Bus routes so they run closer to graduate student housing. He said he also wants to increase workers’ compensation for graduate students working on campus, and wants to coordinate efforts with the Career Center to extend its services to Ph.D students who cannot gain access while they file their Ph.Ds.
  • Andrés Schneider, GSA vice president of external affairs, said he will be working with international students to get them more engaged with GSA programming this year.
  • Ivy Onyeador, GSA vice president of academic affairs, said she plans to reach out to graduate students for their input about the vice chancellor of equity, diversity and inclusion.

Appointments

  • Forum unanimously approved four stipended appointment nominations, the Campus Policy and Chancellor’s Advisory Committees appointments and 14 Academic Senate positions.

Complied by Kendal Mitchell, Bruin staff.

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  • Matthew Phillip FitzGerald

    Dear Daily Bruin,

    The visit by some of the members of the search committee was very informative and it seemed like a productive encounter. I hope GSA’s thoughts on the matter are taken into account!

    For bus routes…good luck! Fingers crossed that they’ll pay attention.

    As regards international students getting involved in GSA Programming, I firmly recommend collaborating with the Dashew Center and/or whoever is in charge of International Student Orientation, if GSA isn’t involved with them already. These orientations are mandatory and a great way to get some face time with incoming students so they know that 1) GSA exists and 2) they can get involved! It also helps to mention how good GSA involvement might look on a resume (the answer is, quite good) and how it is an easy way to interact with people who have different perspectives and cultural values. Oh, also that they’re paying for GSA activities out of their fees so it behooves them to pay attention as part of a financial incentive to ensure their money is being put to good use!

    For reaching out to students on the vice chancellor of equity, diversity and inclusion, I strongly urge consideration of an individual who has extensive experience in Free Speech rights/Constitutional rights of students on a public university campus. One of the biggest issues on UCLA’s campus I see is a serious concern of potentially unwarranted stonewalling by public agencies (as the Daily Bruin has discussed at length) and the chilled speech that exists when there is a significant lack of transparency in interactions between students and administrators. It is critical that the University regain an understanding of its roots as a land-grant public charter University with a mission and values aimed towards developing the next generation of critical thinkers. There are four primary stakeholders in a university – Students, Faculty, Administration, and Alumni. Students need to have their voices respected and heard as one of the primary sources of funding (and future funding, through alumni donations if the students have a good experience) for the operations of the school, and without transparency, this will not be an easy thing to achieve. Treating students right is an investment in the present and the future, as students are seeds that will grow into excellent lifetimes, and having a good experience here will help people remember to give back.

    Best,
    Matthew P. FitzGerald
    J.D. Candidate UCLA Law Class of 2017
    B.A. International Studies, Conc: Global Health
    & Italian Studies, University of Washington-Seattle June 2012