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Tracking COVID-19 at UCLAStudent at Capitol riots

USAC recap – March 9

By Ben Brill and Constanza Montemayor

March 12, 2021 1:28 p.m.

Public Comment:

  • Prabhdeep Rai, the UCLA California Public Interest Research Group chapter chair and a fourth-year history student, said CALPIRG progressed in its campaigns for clean energy, voter registration, ending oil drilling and affordable textbooks. CALPIRG’s national team joined a national coalition campaigning for Congress to double the Pell Grant and created a letter for student leaders to sign on, she added.

  • Arsh Gupta, the internship director at the Office of the Internal Vice President and a third-year applied mathematics and economics student, said he supports the resolution to condemn anti-Asian sentiment in California that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis.

Special Presentations:

  • Laura Laubach, Celine Truong and Matt Soldano of the Transfer Student Representative Office discussed the preliminary results of a survey on transfer student experiences at UCLA. Half of respondents found professors unaccommodating toward issues specific to transfer students, the survey found. More than two-thirds of respondents said their transfer student status affected their social experience at UCLA. Laubach said the survey could help the University of California Board of Regents create a better environment for transfer students.

  • Amir Gold, the chapter president of the cinematic arts fraternity Delta Kappa Alpha and a fourth-year cognitive science student, and Joycelyn Liu, a DKA human resources chair and third-year cognitive science student, said they identified discrimination issues in their chapter’s recruitment processes. Gold said they began a Conversations for the Good of the Chapter Program which aims to provide a space for members to discuss and educate themselves on sensitive topics. Liu said that the chapter also started an HR initiative to implement equitable recruitment practices and bylaws. DKA partnered with UCLA Chinese American Culture Night to assist CACN’s transition to the virtual space, Liu added. Liu called on USAC to promote diversity and inclusion in campus organizations and assist in facilitating collaboration between organizations.

  • Alfred Tun, the USA Elections Board chair, said the USAC candidate debates were moved to April 28-29 and the deadline for campus organizations’ materials for candidate endorsements to be submitted to the elections board for approval was moved to April 30.

Allocation:

  • The council allocated $765.91 to Cadenza A Cappella, a women’s a cappella club, for its Canva subscription and video editing.

  • The council allocated $333.33 to the Student Transfer Outreach and Mentor Program, a volunteer student organization for transfer student support, for its 2021 annual conference.

  • The council allocated $592.49 to California Health Professional Student Alliance, a club for health care advocacy, for its annual retreat.

  • The council allocated $553.01 to Regents Scholar Society, an organization promoting the excellence and support of regents scholars at UCLA, for its two overnight stay programs, which will be held virtually.

  • The council allocated $282.85 to Vietnamese Community Health Project at UCLA, an organization promoting preventative health for the Vietnamese and other socioeconomically disadvantaged communities in Southern California, for its spring staff retreat and winter care packages.

  • The council allocated $600 to American Indian Student Association, a club that supports students’ education and interest in American Indian culture, for its 2021 AISA Youth Conference.

  • The council allocated $628.33 to META MAG, a UCLA fashion editorial publication, for its winter 2021 editorial and digital editorial.

Resolutions:

  • The council approved a resolution in support of the development of community-led safety efforts by Asian-led organizations to protect Asian American communities without increased policing. The resolution called on UCLA to address physical and verbal attacks against Asian Americans and recognized the exacerbations of attacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic and racist remarks by former President Donald Trump.

  • The council approved a resolution supporting a proposal at the California State Legislature to allocate $15 million in funding to purchase and renovate a UCLA Lawson Worker Justice Center, which would be established as the UCLA Labor Center’s permanent home.

Agenda:

  • The council voted to amend USAC bylaws to remove procedures of nomination and distribution of the defunct USAC Faculty, Staff and Administrator Recognition Award, and the committee in charge of the award.

  • The council voted to amend USAC bylaws to remove the IVP’s independent responsibility to appoint a campus safety director to serve as the vice chair of the Campus Safety Alliance and instead clarified that the IVP will appoint the vice chair by council approval.

  • The council voted to amend bylaws to strike the guidelines and responsibilities for the Student Group Outreach Committee, which is no longer in use.

  • The council amended USAC bylaws to clarify that officers can add items to the USAC meeting agenda at the beginning of a meeting based on the IVP’s judgment.

  • The council amended bylaws to clarify that all discussion items on the agenda must be made available online to the public by 7 p.m. at least two days before the meeting.

Reports:

  • USAC President Naomi Riley said that she and Transfer Student Representative Zuleika Bravo began meeting with the Housing Prioritization Task Force and have begun planning prioritization groups for student housing in the next school year. The group is considering factors such as school year, foster youth history, disability, financial needs and lack of safe housing to determine which students should be prioritized. Riley added that, as a member of the Campus Safety Symposium Planning Committee, she is making sure that the symposium will represent perspectives in line with student abolitionists’ demands to defund and abolish campus police. She added she is preparing for a judicial board case to clarify USAC’s adherence to university, UC Office of the President, local and state policies.

  • Academic Affairs Commissioner Breeze Velazquez said all UCLA gift cards from the Books for Bruins scholarship will be sent by Friday. She added the Academic Senate Undergraduate Council extended the COVID-19 adjusted pass/no pass policies from winter quarter 2021 for spring quarter 2021. The Undergraduate Council also discussed the possibility of working with the Academic Senate to support universal Bruincasting for the next school year, she added. The Undergraduate Council also approved a social data science minor, she said.

  • Transfer Student Representative Zuleika Bravo said in a written report that her office finalized three candidates for director of the Transfer Student Center and is calling upon transfer students to participate in interviewing the finalist. She also signed onto the Student Health Advisory Committee Petition Letter to shorten the statute of limitations for academic dishonesty reports. The office also discussed transfer representation with the College Faculty Executive Committee and presented transfer deferment research findings to USAC and plans to present to the Academic Senate.

The Undergraduate Students Association Council is the official student government representing the undergraduate student body at UCLA. Council meetings take place every other Tuesday at 7 p.m. during winter quarter and are open to all students. Winter 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.

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