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Officer Evaluation: Justin Rodriguez, General Representative 2

(Courtesy of Justin Rodriguez)

By Editorial Board

May 29, 2021 4:33 p.m.

Platforms/goals: Excellent

General representatives have the monumental task of representing the student body’s interests at council meetings. Justin Rodriguez met that challenge head-on and planned to advocate for culturally accessible mental health resources, work with student-labor advocates and student-workers to create a student-labor task force and organize a research coalition to investigate issues such as cost of living in Westwood.

These issues are all perennially important matters that affect students, and it is clear that Rodriguez had his focus in the right places.

Platform execution: Moderate

Staff limitations and logistical barriers contributed to a moderately successful year for Rodriguez. His office furthered relations with mental health resource directors, released a student-worker resource guide in collaboration with other offices, and worked with the Facilities Commission to advocate for ASUCLA to source apparel from companies that prioritize sustainability and workers’ rights, among other strong points.

However, the office did not connect with as many student-led mental health organizations as planned and is still working toward directing funding to Counseling and Psychological Services. Furthermore, it did not create a codified student-labor task force that meets with administrators regularly.

Engagement: Moderate

The pandemic challenged offices this year to be creative in their approaches to engagement. Rodriguez’s office was moderately successful in this regard as well. The general representative’s office had close contact with student campaigns throughout the year and amplified USAC petitions and resources on its social media. Despite these successes, the board believes Rodriguez and his team could have done more original social media work to connect with the student body.

Transparency: Moderate

Although it is commendable that Rodriguez regularly attended council meetings and provided updates for his office every single attendance, this year required an extra effort from all officers to let Bruins know how their student fees were being used. The office’s lack of public-facing reports fell short of the high standard set by other offices that undertook those efforts.

Rodriguez’s office did notable work this year, and students deserved to learn more about it along the way.

What the officer wishes they could have done

Rodriguez’s office has some unfinished work, especially regarding funding for CAPS and the Resilience in Your Student Experience Center. Thankfully, incoming general representative 1, Hailey Valles, has plans to strengthen mental health resources on campus as a central part of her platforms. Rodriguez plans to pass on the information and contacts to her office to continue the work.

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