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IN THE NEWS:

Tracking COVID-19 at UCLACampus Safety

USAC recap — Jan. 19

By Ben Brill and Jamie Jiang

Jan. 24, 2021 2:14 p.m.

The Undergraduate Students Association Council discussed the reopening of campus in the fall, options to respond to students who defy COVID-19 safety protocols and the proposal of a new scholarship.

Public Comment:

  • Lauren Valles, the internal chief of staff at the Office of the External Vice President, said she supports the proposal of the Bruin Trailblazers Scholarship, which would fund students who are involved in student advocacy.

  • Quinn O’Connor, a co-founder of the Disabled Student Union, urged USAC members to adopt the free live captioning feature in Zoom meetings to accommodate students with disabilities.

  • Laura Gong, the undergraduate student representative of the Research Continuity working group, updated the council on the status of COVID-19 in the UCLA research community. Undergraduate researchers must wait longer to return to on-campus labs because there have been 69 COVID-19 cases in the UCLA research community as of Jan. 8, she said.

Agenda:

  • The council discussed the viability of outdoor classrooms and how to respond to students who go to parties in violation of UCLA’s COVID-19 safety protocols. Possible sanctions range from warnings to a deferred suspension or a deferred dismissal, according to the Student Conduct Code.

  • USAC denounced the UCLA Communications Board’s letter in response to the council’s concerns about Student Media’s guidelines for photoshoots, which USAC has said are unsafe.

  • The council voted unanimously to approve the election code changes that would limit fundraising contributions made by people, groups and businesses. The code changes would also institute emergency powers in order to respond in a timely manner to disasters, such as floods, fires or information technology system failures

  • The council considered a Books for Bruins code change to require that members of the scholarship selection committee not apply for the program. The council discussed the necessity of the code change and whether it would be equitable to prevent certain students on the Academic Affairs Commission from applying to Books for Bruins. The council tabled the item for the next week.

  • The council approved a proposal that allows AAC to use money in the Academic Success Referendum Fund for Books for Bruins scholarships.

Allocations

  • The council allocated $386.67 to Consult Your Community at UCLA, a consulting club.

  • The council allocated $57.90 to American Cancer Society on Campus for a recruitment event.

  • The council allocated $300 to the Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship for its Lunar New Year Zoom party.

  • The council allocated $59 from Supplemental Fund for Service to a non-Community Service Commission entity.

  • The council voted to deny an allocation of $2,310 to the Bruin Republicans to fund its travel expenses to the Conservative Political Action Conference because of pandemic safety concerns.

Appointment:

  • The council appointed Allanah Smith, a second-year public affairs student, to the Student Code of Conduct Committee.

  • The council appointed Akunnia Akubuilo, a second-year student, to the Student Code of Conduct Committee.

  • The council appointed Cymfenee Dean-Phifer, a fourth-year computational and systems biology student, to the Student Group Code of Conduct Committee.

Special Presentations:

  • Jane Ni, a member of the Financial Supports Commission, asked the council to allocate $125,000 for individual awards of $200 to $250 to address students’ basic needs.

  • Academic Affairs Commissioner Breeze Velazquez requested $25,000 for Books for Bruins, a scholarship that awards textbook gift cards to applicants.

  • External Vice President Aidan Arasasingham presented the proposal to fund the Bruin Trailblazers Scholarship for students who occupy positions of leadership and advocacy. The proposal asks that the council allocate $35,000 of the surplus funds from winter quarter and $15,000 of surplus funds from spring quarter to invest in the scholarship.

Reports:

  • President Naomi Riley said her office met with Student Affairs and other UCLA staff to discuss the future of the Congressional Advisory Board. She added the University of California Council of Presidents has a meeting next week with UC President Michael Drake to discuss fall reopening plans and campus safety. She said progress had been made in a conversation about violations by the Campus Retention Committee and the Student Initiated Outreach Committee that took place eight months ago. She also said UCLA staff and USAC are working together to publicize the USAC budget to the student body. The first part of the USAC budget, which includes an accessible guide to relevant referenda and where USAC spends its allotted $9 million, will be published in week five.

  • Internal Vice President Emily Luong said her office is working on the Student Worker Resource Guide. She added that the office would be hosting a Campus Safety Alliance meeting Thursday.

  • External Vice President Aidan Arasasingham said his office will begin reviewing the applications for the Bruin Advocacy Grant and encouraged attendees to apply to the Students of Color Conference. He added his office was addressing the fallout from the California budget through an op-ed in the Daily Bruin and meetings with Drake, Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis and other members of the California state leadership.

  • General Representative 2 Justin Rodriguez said in a written report his office will audit and release a new version of the Student Worker Resource Guide. He added his office will release a survey to determine students’ preferences in purchasing apparel.

  • Academic Affairs Commissioner Breeze Velazquez said her office spoke with the Teaching and Learning working group about students who find it challenging to physically return to campus. She added that her office will host a Black, Indigenous and people of color networking event to highlight BIPOC representation in fields of interest to the attendees. AAC is also reviewing Books for Bruins applications, Velazquez said. She also said her office is drafting a letter to the Academic Senate and hoping to meet with individual departments to advocate for more academic accommodations.

  • Community Service Commissioner Jonathan Wisner promoted Nonprofit Networking Night on Saturday for students to find internships and jobs in the nonprofit sector. He added he has been sitting on the Commencement Task Force, the committee that will work with the administration to plan this year’s commencement, and invited input from the council.

  • Facilities Commissioner Sachi Cooper said in a written report that her office met with the UCLA Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion to discuss a proposal to redesign the Disability Cultural Center. She added that her office discussed stricter requirements for filming on campus.

  • Student Wellness Commissioner Christina Read said in a written report that her office would hold Health for Heritage Week in week eight and I Love My Body Week in week four.

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Ben Brill
Jamie Jiang | Podcasts producer
Jiang is the 2021-2022 Podcasts producer. Previously, she wrote for the campus politics beat, where she now serves as staffer, covering stories regarding transfer and nontraditional students. She is also a fourth-year linguistics student with a minor in comparative literature.
Jiang is the 2021-2022 Podcasts producer. Previously, she wrote for the campus politics beat, where she now serves as staffer, covering stories regarding transfer and nontraditional students. She is also a fourth-year linguistics student with a minor in comparative literature.
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