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Tracking COVID-19 at UCLA2020 Racial Justice Movement

USAC recap – June 2

By Samantha Fredberg and Queenie Xiang

June 8, 2020 2:21 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. and are open to all students. Spring quarter meetings will take place virtually on Zoom; links for the meetings can be found on the internal vice president’s Facebook page. Watch a livestream of the meetings on the USAC Live! channel on YouTube.

Public Comment

  • Lily Shaw, the 2019-2020 USAC Facilities commissioner, said the Los Angeles Police Department used the UCLA-leased Jackie Robinson Stadium as an arrest processing site. Shaw said the LAPD’s actions were unjust, and UCLA should have stopped them. Christian Israelian, a second-year political science student, said his sister was arrested and taken to the stadium. He played an audio recording she took of a pregnant woman having a panic attack while detained. Alberto Mancia, a third-year mathematics student, suggested that USAC write a statement to the administration. Karlinna Sanchez, a second-year mathematics student, said UCLA should be more transparent about its communication with university police and LAPD over the incident. Mick Deluca, assistant vice chancellor of Campus Life, said UCLA was not aware that LAPD used the stadium to detain protesters until Tuesday and will not let it happen again.
  • Grayson Peters, a member of the North Westwood Neighborhood Council Transportation and Safety Committee, said June 1’s protest in Westwood was mostly peaceful until police fired rubber bullets at the crowd. He added that police made about 10 arrests.
  • Amanda Gracian, Academic Affairs Commission chief of staff and Academic Senate member, said she was disappointed that the faculty failed to provide accommodations for final exams.
  • Isis Curiel, a fourth-year English student, said UCLA Housing and UCLA Dining Services should have had better communication with students about the Westwood protest. Students tried to put up posters in dining halls to say that protest was canceled and dining hall managers took them away, she added.

Special Presentations:

  • Liz Kemper, the director of Student Legal Services at UCLA, offered legal aid to students on cases related to apartment leases, arrests, employment and more. Students can meet confidentially with the SLS on Zoom and all fees will be waived during the pandemic, she added.
  • Genesis Qu, the 2020-2021 Daily Bruin campus politics editor, said the council could contact him for coverage on the administration and student government. He added that he wants to create a direct line of communication between the Daily Bruin and USAC.
  • UCPD spokesperson Scott Scheffler addressed questions regarding a Twitter video that has since been deleted. The video showed UCPD officers approaching a Black man on Kelton Avenue and ended with the sound of a stun gun being activated. He said the man had assaulted two UCLA-affiliated individuals and had repeatedly resisted arrests. He added that UCPD did not physically use the stun gun on him, but used the sound as a warning.
  • Promise Ogunleye, 2020-2021 Cultural Affairs commissioner, said it was understandable that the man resisted arrest given the current fear surrounding police brutality against Black people. The suspect said he didn’t do anything, but he matched the description given by the two victims assaulted, and he had the weapon the victims were assaulted with, Scheffler said. He added that the officers followed standard protocol and that they had to take precautions to ensure safety. He added that the UCPD body cam project, which was initiated by the University of California Office of the President earlier this year, was delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The project is predicted to resume within a couple of months, Scheffler said. The public can access the UCPD implicit bias training through a California Public Records Act request, he added.
  • Josh O’Connor, a spokesperson for UCLA Residential Life, said LA County curfews would change dining hours. He added that dining hall workers would have to get home before the curfew starts, so students would have to to pick up food at earlier times.

Agenda

  • The council allocated $750 from the Student Wellness Commission to MEChA de UCLA, a student-run advocate group.
  • The Green Initiative Fund received a request for $35,000 and allocated $10,000 to Counterforce Lab.
  • The council approved a resolution calling for solidarity with the Black community and condemning police brutality. The resolution demanded the demilitarization of Westwood, for UCLA to prevent future misuse of facilities like the Jackie Robinson Stadium, transparency in UCPD arrest data and for UCLA to cut ties with the LAPD.
  • 2020-2021 Internal Vice President Emily Luong nominated third-year physics student Matthew Richard as the Campus Safety Alliance vice chair. 2020-2021 External Vice President Aidan Arasasingham said he opposed the nomination because of allegations of doxing and harassment made against Richard in the fall. Debra Geller, a USAC administrative representative, said that Richard passed the eligibility check for appointments and would otherwise be qualified from a policy perspective.
  • The council appointed David Minasyan, a third-year economics and psychobiology student, as the Finance Committee chair for the 2020-2021 school year. Minasyan also held the same position as the 2019-2020 chair.
  • The council appointed Kayla Rafanan, a first-year microbiology, immunology, and molecular genetics student, as the budget review director for the Finance Committee.
  • The council appointed Zeyna Faucette, a second-year African American studies student, as a member on the Associated Students UCLA Board of Directors.
  • The council appointed Arsh Gupta, a second-year applied mathematics and economics student, as an ASUCLA Board of Directors member.

Reports

  • 2020-2021 President Naomi Riley said her office met with the Academic Senate to address the Afrikan Student Union’s petition to adjust finals. She added that the Academic Senate could not cancel finals, but encouraged professors to offer accommodations for students. The Academic Senate sent an email to students and faculty Wednesday suggesting accommodations such as opt-out finals, extended due dates and alternate assessments.
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