UCSA recap – Oct. 14-15
The University of California Student Association held its monthly meeting at UCLA on Oct. 14 and 15. (Daily Bruin file photo)
By Dina Stumpf
October 15, 2017 10:53 pm
The University of California Student Association is composed of representatives from most undergraduate student governments in the University of California. The organization’s Board of Directors held its monthly meeting at UCLA on Oct. 14 and 15.
- George Kieffer, chair of the Board of Regents, said he plans to improve regent relationships with the legislature and the governor. He added he thinks the cost of tuition and housing has gone up partly because of cuts in government funding, and said regents are aware that housing and food insecurity is a bigger issue for students today.
- Kieffer added he has a list of regents who have signed up to visit campuses this year. However, he added it is difficult for some regents to continue visiting universities every year, because they are uncompensated and have other jobs.
- Kieran Flaherty, associate vice president and director of UC Office of the President state government relations, summarized this year’s state and UC budgets. He said the state wants the UC to enroll 1,500 more in-state undergraduate students but plans to redirect state general funds away from the UCOP budget. Flaherty said UC could counter this decrease in state funding by increasing tuition or decreasing expenditures. He added the state provided an additional $5 million in funding to enroll 500 more graduate students.
- UC Student Advisor Rafi Sands said he is working on a voter registration portal that allows students to register to vote when they enroll in their classes. Student regent-designate Devon Graves said student regents are working to create a Title IX student advisory board. He added he has spoken with Kathleen Salvaty, the UC systemwide Title IX coordinator, to discuss the board’s composition and the application process to be a part of the board.
- The Undergraduate Committee proposed a motion to not go through re-electing students for positions after graduate student associations chose to leave UCSA. The committee also proposed a motion to allow UCSA staff to work for graduate student committees outside their dedicated 40 hours to UCSA.
- The board adopted a resolution calling for the removal of Regent Norman Pattiz after considering lewd comments he made in 2016 and a lawsuit filed last month alleging he brandished a gun at a former employee. The resolution also called for Pattiz to be removed from all UC regent committees and banned from UC campuses.
- Salvaty said the UC has a consistent set of procedures across all campuses to address sexual harassment cases. She added the UC released new policies in June regarding sexual harassment cases involving faculty and staff.
- Talar Alexanian, the UCSA government relations director, said the California Student Aid Commission is planning on conducting a Student Expenses and Resources Survey in spring 2018 to understand how much it costs students to attend college. She added the commission has an advisory committee that is helping finalize a draft of the survey.
- Becky Grady, the interim president of the UC Graduate-Professional Coalition, which consists of graduate student representatives from each UC campus, said the organization has created its charter. She said the charter will go to each campus’ graduate students association to be ratified. Grady added associations can still be a part of both UCGPC and UCSA, and said she thinks UCGPC can have a coalition partnership with UCSA.
- Alexanian and Patricia Arroyos, the UCSA statewide organizing director, said the Fund the UC campaign supports initiatives such as increasing student financial aid by expanding Cal Grant and middle-class scholarships. Arroyos added the UCSA endorsed a proposition to provide free undergraduate public education in California in 2016. Arroyos added the proposition is also backed by faculty associations and labor unions.
- The board passed a motion to amend the Fund the UC campaign’s bylaws to state its purpose is to ensure affordability, quality and access to the UC by eliminating all tuition fees and restoring student funding to adequate levels. The campaign previously focused on reforming Proposition 13 to increase funding for the UC.
Contributing reports by Rupan Bharanidaran, Hedy Wang and Sharon Zhen.