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IN THE NEWS:

Tracking COVID-19 at UCLA

USAC Officer Evaluation: Mihika Sridhar, Student Wellness Commissioner

By Editorial Board

May 2, 2020 10:09 p.m.

If you looked over Mihika Sridhar’s personal accomplishments as Student Wellness Commissioner, you’d see some impressive work.

Council members were evaluated in these areas on a scale from one to five, with one being poor performance and five being excellent performance.

But it’s everything behind the scenes that made her successful this year. 

Sridhar is a manager, which is just what SWC needs. With 12 separate committees, 25 committee directors and a staff for each to oversee, Sridhar had her work cut out for her.

She understood how to delegate like a professional – each committee under her office was more active than in years past, with large intern classes and consistent programming to show for it. Some of the events this year went above all expectations in size and turnout – for example, the Body Image Task Force collaborated with Campus Events Commission to host activist and actor Jameela Jamil, which drew hundreds of students. 

Sridhar also completed most of her platforms when she wasn’t busy overseeing committees, although there have been some setbacks. 

Her Health Insurance Awareness Day platform has pivoted since her election and is now set to take the form of a collaborative website between SWC and the Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center that will detail health insurance plans, including UC Student Health Insurance Plan, in an accessible way. Sridhar was working with the Title IX Office before the pandemic to create accessible infographics for students considering reporting, which was part of her Make Title IX Mine initiative. And she has an agreement with UCLA to implement semipermanent infrastructure on campus that will hold signs with messages that promote health and well-being. 

In some ways, she didn’t complete any of her platforms as planned. But this board recognizes her tremendous ability to be flexible and effective – and we trust that ability has served her commission during COVID-19.

While Sridhar excelled in delegation and completion, she has room for growth in what her office shares with the student body. It’s easy for the commissioner to assume that the event-based nature of the commission absolves it from providing more accessible budget reports, but that assumption conflates the successful engagement of SWC with its transparency efforts. 

In the years to come, SWC must make a concerted effort to make its programming fund budget accessible – as of now, funds that have not been requisitioned by the clubs they were allocated to are not open to the public. And while it’s not anything close to an egregious offense, it’s definitely something to consider. 

Regardless, Sridhar did exactly what she needed to do this year, and the SWC was lucky to have her.

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