Sunday, May 24

Heather Rosen fuels USAC presidential candidacy with social advocacy

(Angie Wang/Daily Bruin senior staff)

Seeing a need for a social justice club at her high school, Heather Rosen decided to create her own club as a freshman – despite not knowing anyone at her new school.

By the end of her senior year, Rosen’s club, Lions for Africa, was one of the largest groups at her high school and raised thousands of dollars selling handmade bags to fund projects in Africa.

“She is so fearless,” said her mother Cheryl Rosen. “She doesn’t get rattled by normal teenage girl things.”

Rosen, the current Undergraduate Students Association Council Financial Supports commissioner and third-year political science student, said she thinks her past experience within student government and her open-mindedness is why she wants to run as Bruins United’s candidate for USAC president.

“Heather loves UCLA and wants to work to make sure all other students love it too,” Cheryl Rosen said.

Rosen’s mother credits her daughter’s desire to meet people from different backgrounds with wanting to branch out from her small Orange County hometown.

As a way to meet new people as a first year, Rosen decided to intern for then-USAC President David Bocarsly. The following year, she served as the executive director of initiatives for Lauren Rogers, former Financial Supports commissioner.

“As a staff member, she always came up with new ideas and was pushing the office to new heights,” Rogers said.

Rogers added that she knew Rosen aspired to take on more responsibilities and leadership roles in USAC after taking her to a financial literacy workshop meeting, where Rosen presented her ideas to campus administrators.

“She had a voice at the table, brought up points and said what was on her mind with people she had never met before,” Rogers said.

Outside of student government, Rosen is a member of the Panhellenic sorority Gamma Phi Beta, where she previously held the position of standards chairwoman and currently serves as the sorority’s parliamentarian.

Rosen said she thinks her role as parliamentarian would help her facilitate council as president because she has practice keeping order during chapter meetings.

“It makes arguing with her hard because she’s so empathetic,” Cheryl Rosen said with a laugh. “She always keeps an open mind.”

Rosen said her platforms, which include advocating for dead days before finals, promoting food sustainability and food security as well as institutionalizing a middle income scholarship, would help bring different offices together to work toward a collective goal.

“My platforms are things that other offices can play into,” Rosen said. “Co-programming is very crucial.”

Rosen said she also wanted to learn more about her cultural identity while in college. Since her first year on campus, Rosen said she wanted to explore the Jewish faith and tradition because her father is Jewish.

“Coming to UCLA, I was able to learn about and grow in my appreciation of the Jewish culture,” Rosen said.

While sitting on council this year, Rosen said she tries to keep in mind what the UCLA student body cares about when she makes decisions.

“With any councilmember position, you can’t go to council thinking you know everything,” Rosen said. “There are so many opinions at UCLA and it’s important for (councilmembers) constantly educate (themselves).”

After watching and talking to Rosen over the last 12 months, Rogers said she thinks Rosen kept a calm head in uncomfortable situations and tried to stay in tune with student interests.

“She never let the position on USAC get to her,” Rogers said. “She always works for the betterment of students.”

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