USAC Recap – July 14
By Genesis Qu
July 25, 2020 5:48 p.m.
The Undergraduate Students Association Council is the official student government representing the undergraduate student body at UCLA. Council meetings take place biweekly on Tuesdays at 5 p.m. during the summer and are open to all students. Summer 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.
- Grayson Peters, a fourth-year Political Science and French student, said he supports the USAC resolution calling on the renaming of Le Conte Avenue. Peters added that how the university names its public infrastructures shows the university and the town’s values.
- The council appointed Rosalinda Moreno, a third-year human biology and society student, to the Student Health Advisory Committee. Moreno said she is passionate about advocating for affordable and accessible care for students. Moreno added that she wants to help students be more aware of health care services on campus.
- The council appointed Aaron Ahdoot, an incoming third-year biochemistry student, to the SHAC. Ahdoot said he wants the SHAC to support culture-specific health avenues for students and improve telehealth coverage through UC Student Health Insurance Plan.
- The council appointed Hannah Oltman, a third-year public affairs and psychology student to the SHAC. Oltman said she is interested in ensuring that health care is gender- and racial-inclusive and in providing equitable health care coverage to students.
- USAC President Naomi Riley said the Future Planning Taskforce is planning how the university will help students return to campus in the fall through its ramp-down committee. Riley added that her office is collaborating with the Internal Vice President and the External Vice President’s office to form the core group of the USAC congressional advisory board, where non-USAC-affiliated student leaders could advise USAC on its decisions, and to create its bylaws and its charter.
- Internal Vice President Emily Hong Van Luong said her office met with Letty Trevino, the Graduate Students Association vice president of academics affairs, to discuss strategies to campaign against the defunding of the First To Go program, which supports first-generation students. Luong added that she had her first meeting with the public health ambassador strategy group, chaired by Assistant Vice Chancellor of Campus Life Mick Deluca, that discussed the role of these ambassadors as well as communication strategies to help students adhere to public health guidelines. She also said her office released a survey to analyze student behaviors and understand how students would react to different public health messaging.
- External Vice President Aidan Arasasingham said his office has worked with international students to advocate against the July 6 ICE modifications. Arasasingham added that he met with the incoming UC President Michael Drake to clarify the expectations students have of his administration.
- Financial Supports Commissioner Noe Garcia said his office processed and delivered relief funds to 460 student recipients. He added his office has selected an additional 698 recipients from over 1,600 applicants for the second round of relief funds, which will now go through Student Government Accounting. Garcia also said his office is working on resending checks that were not able to deliver to some students’ accounts.
- Transfer Student Representative Zuleika Bravo said her office is working with incoming and current transfer students to ask the administration to loosen restrictions on transfer deferment. Bravo added that her office is planning a transfer housing workshop that will answer questions from the transfer community in collaboration with UCLA Residential Life and UCLA Housing. Bravo also said her office appointed ambassadors to the UCLA Tenants’ Union and a Westwood tenants union.
- Student Wellness Commissioner Christina Read said her office gave out a total of $208,500 in relief loans to 417 students. She added that her office gave out $64,000 in basic needs subsidies to 800 students. Read said her office is planning a health equity summit at the end of summer.
- International Student Representative Bakur Madini said his office is working with the UCLA Dashew Center for International Students to help incoming international students get visas and travel to the U.S. He added his office will create a podcast with Dashew Center international ambassadors that will host international students and discuss their experiences.
- Jessica Alexander, the student government services division manager and The Green Initiative Fund grant coordinator for Associated Students UCLA, said Summer from the Union will host a series of virtual student organizations sessions for new student orientation.
- Debra Geller, the associate dean of students and administrative representative, said the UC Office of the President approved the Good Clothes Good People USAC referendum from May.
- The council approved the Undergraduate Students Association budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year which will start Aug. 1.
- Bravo said the first-generation board meeting announced that the First To Go program will hire a temporary coordinator with experience in the Transfer Student Center, while the full-time coordinator Symone Morales will leave the program and her position will not be filled. The hiring freeze was due to budget cuts amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Bravo added. She said the lack of planning and leadership for the program is disheartening given the large number of first-generation students within the undergraduate population.
- Arasasingham said USAC will be able to use Zoom Webinar for its public meetings.
- Bravo introduced a resolution in support of parenting students and affirming these students’ demands. Bravo added that the resolution called on the university to support parenting students’ efforts for equitable basic needs through financial support, affordable housing and child care. Bravo also said the Basic Needs Committee at UCLA has not done enough to protect student housing security. The resolution asked the university to establish a fund to provide one quarter’s worth of rent support for parenting students. The council approved the resolution 13-0-0.
- Sachi Cooper, the facilities Commissioner introduced a resolution that supported the renaming of Le Conte Avenue because of the history of the street’s namesake, Joseph LeConte. The resolution said LeConte was a plantation owner who was employed by the Confederate States Army during the civil war and was associated with the Confederate Secret Service. Cooper said renaming the street would not address more pressing issues, but would help ensure a welcoming campus environment. The council approved the resolution 11-0-0.