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GSA Recap – March 3

By Guillaume Chantereau

March 30, 2021 12:00 p.m.

The Graduate Student Association is the voice of graduate students on campus. The association meets every three weeks and takes positions on current issues affecting graduate students. The meetings are at 5:30 p.m. through Zoom.

Agenda:

  • The association voted to table a referendum to increase GSA student fees until GSA President JP Santos provides a written explanation on the referendum to the GSA council. The referendum, proposed by Santos, would increase GSA membership fees from $12.75 to $17.76 per quarter by fall 2022. GSA membership fees are paid for by all graduate students. The referendum is meant to adjust the fee for inflation to the level it was at in 2000. The new increase would then be tied to inflation annually.

  • The association approved putting a constitutional amendment on the spring 2021 GSA election ballot. The amendment would clarify that the GSA vice president of external affairs is the association’s representative to the University of California Graduate and Professional Council. Graduate student associations at University of California campuses withdrew from the UC Student Association in 2017 and became members of the UC Graduate and Professional Council.

  • The association voted to approve a resolution in support of California Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager’s proposed Peace Act, a proposed piece of California legislation that would prohibit health facilities from limiting access to medical services based on nonclinical criteria, such as religious doctrine and profit maximization.

  • The association voted to approve the GSA resolution on presidential service, presented by Santos, which recognized students, staff, faculty and administrators for their work on behalf of the graduate and professional student body.

Officer Reports:

  • Musibau Francis Jimoh, the GSA vice president of internal affairs, said that rent prices will not increase for graduate students living in university housing during the 2021-2022 academic year. He also said he spoke to UCLA’s transportation department about expanding alternative transportation options for graduate students and their families who live south of the university. Additionally, he started working on a project to move the Bruin Bikes to graduate housing south of campus. Jimoh said he is working with the Graduate Student Resource Center to institutionalize the GSRC oversight committee. Jimoh added he is working with Santos to roll out the Wescom and GSA COVID-19 relief program.
  • Vice President of Academic Affairs Letty Treviño said her office presented a proposal to the Academic Senate’s Graduate Council to eliminate the GRE as a requirement for graduate school admissions. She said the proposal received mixed reactions from faculty and that she has been asked to provide more information about the proposal. Treviño also said she will present another proposal at the beginning of April to eliminate incomplete notations from students’ transcripts once they complete the required coursework for the class. Students receive incompletes on their transcripts if they do not finish the assigned coursework within the term of a class for a justifiable reason beyond the student’s control. She said incomplete notations discriminate against people with disabilities, who are more likely to take incompletes in classes. Treviño said the Graduate Division will employ a graduate student to help graduate programs fill out applications to CalFresh, a program that provides monthly food benefits to low-income individuals and families, to make it easier for graduate students to apply to the program.
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Guillaume Chantereau
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