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USAC recap – March 10

By Marilyn Chavez-Martinez

March 12, 2020 4:34 p.m.

The Undergraduate Students Association Council is the official student government representing the undergraduate student body at UCLA. Council meetings take place every Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Bruin Viewpoint Room and are open to all students. Watch a livestream of the meetings on the USAC Live! channel on YouTube.

Public comment

  • Representatives from the California Public Interest Research Group said they are working on their campaign to ban single-use plastics. Although this effort has been successful at UCLA, they are meeting with officials from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and other offices to deliver a petition signed by more than 1,000 students. They are also working on an anti-fracking campaign and a textbook affordability campaign.

Special presentations

  • Andy Cofino, the LGBT Campus Resource Center director, said the USAC Student Wellness Commission $10,000 grant has positively impacted the center. The grant went mostly toward a leadership retreat for students as well as education and training measures. The retreat had student leadership sessions, allyship training and other activities for 28 student participants and five facilitators over three days.
  • Dean of Students Maria Blandizzi answered questions from the council regarding UCLA’s decision to move classes and finals to online forums. She said Chancellor Gene Block’s statement was not policy and was not mandatory, however, students could reach out to her office if, after reaching out to faculty, they are unable to meet requirements.

Agenda

  • The council discussed the implications of UCLA’s decision to move classes online. President Robert Watson said he thinks students should be consulted more when making academic decisions, such as moving classes online. Academic Affairs Commissioner Naomi Riley said faculty was set to further discuss the decision at an Academic Senate meeting. The UCLA Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center will be open during spring break.
  • The Student Health Advisory Committee presented UC Student Health Insurance Plan systemwide changes it is set to vote on. The committee will vote “no” on an increase to the number of charges covered by UC SHIP for psychoeducation testing from 3,000 to 4,500. They will vote “yes” to a 0.02% increase to cover gender-conforming facial surgery. They will vote “yes” to expanding eligibility for domestic partner registration. People over 18 would be able to be added on as dependents as well. They will also vote “yes” for fertility preservation to be covered.
  • It also presented info on UCLA-specific changes for council’s input, such as a proposed $5 copay for students, up from $0, for a X-rays at student health center. There is also a proposed drop of a $5 copay for live health telemedicine.
  • The council allocated a total of $21,190.33 from the Contingency Programming Fund to non-USAC groups.
  • The council allocated a total of $1,564 from Student Wellness Programming Fund to five non-USAC groups.
  • The council allocated a total of $2,050 from the Academic Affairs – Travel Grant Mini Fund.
  • The council allocated a total of $1,200 from the Academic Success Referendum fund.
  • The council allocated $51,839 from the Arts Restoring Community fund to non-USAC groups.
  • The council allocated a total of around $2,427.46 from the USA/Board of Directors Associated Students UCLA Programming Fund to 81 programs.
  • The council approved two referenda for the 2020 USAC spring election ballot. One referendum seeks to increase student fees by $9 a year, which would go toward existing USAC funds in order to be directed to student groups. Another will designate funds toward creating a black student resource center, and cultural organizations via the Associated Students UCLA Board of Directors. Funds of the latter would also pay off debt of the Transfer Student Center.
  • The council approved a bylaw change to move the Good Clothes Good People redistribution to under the Community Service Commission.
  • Council will host meetings virtually while classes are online as well.
  • The council approved an election code bylaw change allowing the election board chair to make decisions – including those that deviate from the election code – to ensure the continuity of the election, with the permission of the council. The change will be in effect until April 10.
  • External Vice President Johana Guerra Martinez said UC Student Association student leaders canceled a student lobby conference, which would cost her office $65,000. She asked the council to consider withdrawing funding from UCSA. A majority of the council voted in favor of dropping from UCSA.
  • The council motioned to release checks to the Campus Retention Committee and the Student Initiated Outreach Committee only after the committees released three years of budgetary information.

Reports

  • Internal Vice President Kimberly Bonifacio said applications for the office’s partnership fund are open.
  • Guerra Martinez said the UC Regents meeting is from March 12-14. She also said the student lobby conference cancellation will cost $65,000.
  • Facilities Commissioner Lily Shaw said people can apply to The Green Initiative Fund.
  • Community Service Commissioner Jonathan Wisner said the office’s leadership and service award, the Robert S. Michaels Leadership in Service Award, is open for applications.
  • Riley said her office met with the library to discuss study spaces and how they can partner with Night Powell.
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Marilyn Chavez-Martinez | Outreach director
Chavez-Martinez is the Outreach Director. She was previously an assistant news editor managing the campus politics beat and still writes for the Daily Bruin news section occasionally. She is also a third-year English and Economics student at UCLA.
Chavez-Martinez is the Outreach Director. She was previously an assistant news editor managing the campus politics beat and still writes for the Daily Bruin news section occasionally. She is also a third-year English and Economics student at UCLA.
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