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GSA recap – Oct. 12

By Rupan Bharanidaran

Oct. 13, 2016 2:19 a.m.

Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly stated Kinross Recreation Center is being demolished and the Geffen Academy will serve middle- and low-income students. In fact, Kinross Recreation Center is being renovated and the Geffen Academy is open to students of all income groups.

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.


  • Dean of the Graduate Division Robin Garrell presented on the department’s career engagement initiatives, including its plan to develop toolkits to help graduate students with their career planning and improve relationships between graduate students and their mentors.
  • Assistant Dean April de Stefano said the Graduate Division is working to roll out their core competencies program, which aims to give graduate students skills outside their disciplinary field.
  • Debbie Simmons, the student government accounting manager, explained how GSA would be able to receive funds allocated to its councils.
  • The association approved GSA President Michael Skiles’ appointments to the various Academic Senate and policy committees, such as the Council on Research. The association also approved the forum schedule for the rest of the year.

Officer reports

  • Skiles announced that GSA joined the University of California Student Association in August. He added he was able to get GSA’s fees to UCSA waived for this year. GSA left UCSA seven years ago because they felt the fees to stay in the association was not worth the benefits, he said. Skiles also said he was elected as the co-chair of the UC Council of Presidents in July.
  • Because graduate students’ two-year tuition freeze ends this year, Skiles said he will be leading advocacy efforts to fight any potential tuition increases. He added that in March, the UC Regents may make changes to the Professional Degree Supplemental Tuition, an extra fee for students who attend professional schools like law or dentistry. Skiles he said he will work to ensure the changes are not detrimental to professional students.
  • The Kinross Recreation Center is being renovated to make way for the Geffen Academy at UCLA. The Geffen Academy is a tuition-based school that will serve the children of UCLA faculty and staff and students from the greater Los Angeles community.
  • Skiles said he is working with Campus Parking to ensure graduate student researchers have better access to parking. Skiles said that though graduate student researchers work late, they are not allowed to park at Parking Structure 2, even though that is the structure closest to where they work.
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Rupan Bharanidaran | Alumnus
Bharanidaran was the News editor from 2017-2018. He was previously a news reporter for the campus politics beat, covering student government and the UCLA administration.
Bharanidaran was the News editor from 2017-2018. He was previously a news reporter for the campus politics beat, covering student government and the UCLA administration.
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