USAC recap – Sept. 7
- Quinn O’Connor, a fourth-year theater student and co-founder of Disabled Student Union, said she is concerned by the lack of safety protocols for the return to in-person learning in the fall. She added that she thinks there needs to be a more robust plan and infrastructure to support hybrid learning when necessary, such as when a student tests positive for COVID-19 and needs to quarantine. She also asked for support from the council in calling on the administration to address these issues.
- Tessa Fier, fourth-year geography and French and Francophone studies student and a member of the Disabled Student Union, said there was a high risk of community transmission and a lack of plans for hybrid learning for students who get COVID-19. She also said she is worried about UCLA removing online learning options since the university’s unclear policies promote going to in-person classes when students may be sick or have been exposed to COVID-19.
- Ariel Adelman, a fourth-year musicology student, said in a written comment that UCLA needs to offer more equitable remote learning options. She added that she is a disabled student with conditions that put her at an eight-times higher risk of hospitalization. She also said she may not be able to graduate this year if UCLA mandates in-person instruction.
- The council allocated $500 to Medleys A Cappella, a community service a cappella group, for their Medleys Summer Retreat.
- The council allocated $320 to Pilipinos in Engineering and Science, an academic and social group for Pilipino STEM students, for the PIES Board Fall Retreat.
- The council allocated $75 to the Regents Scholar Society, an organization for recipients of the Regents Scholarship, for a Welcome Week surprise.
- The council allocated $500 to the Taiwanese American Student Association, a cultural group for students of Taiwanese American descent, for TASA T-Shirts and $353 for the Fall Picnic social.
- The council allocated $168 to GlobeMed at UCLA, an organization that promotes global health equity, for their website.
- The council allocated $344 to the Pre-Pharmacy Society at UCLA, a professional development club for students pursuing careers in the pharmaceutical field, for their fall board retreat and $15 for Enormous Activities Fair tabling.
- The council allocated $236 to Students for Community Outreach, Promotion and Education, a community service organization supporting underserved populations in the Los Angeles area, for website funding.
- The council allocated $650 to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers at UCLA, a professional organization for mechanical engineering, for their 2021 officer retreat.
- The council allocated $56 to the Asian Pacific Coalition, an advocacy group for Asian, Pacific Islander and Desi American student groups, for the EAF and $491 for the APC board fall retreat.
- The council allocated $750 to Bruin Shelter, a volunteer organization that operates a shelter for students experiencing houselessness in the LA community, for Bruin Shelter fall staff training.
- The council allocated $372 to Vietnamese Language and Culture, a student organization that promotes Vietnamese culture and traditions, for the VNLC annual fall staff retreat.
- The council allocated $935 to Bruins Down Under, a group for students from Australia and New Zealand, for materials for promoting Bruins Down Under.
- Jenny Wang, the USAC Finance Committee chair and a fourth-year economics student, presented the Contingency Programming Guidelines 2021-2022 to council members. The council approved the programming guidelines by a vote of 11-0-0.
- General Representative 1 Hailey Valles presented the Statement Acknowledging the Delayed Financial Aid Disbursal of Undocumented Students to the council. She said that securing funding for impacted students is of utmost importance. She also said the letter calls on the student body and the university to more actively support undocumented students with financial aid and with any future issues they may face.
- The council appointed O’Connor to the UCLA Committee on Disability. O’Connor said that she just finished a two-year appointment on UCOD and hopes to continue advocating for the disabled community in her final year, especially during the transition to in-person learning. She added she wants to make UCOD a more permanent fixture on campus that students are aware of.
- The council appointed Kate Mclnerny, a fourth-year public affairs student, to the Academic Freedom Committee. Mclnerny said she wants to use this opportunity to highlight the difference between academic freedom and freedom of speech. She added that academic freedom should not protect views that are racist and harmful.
- The council appointed Anusha Entezari, a second-year dance student, to the Committee on General Education Governance. Entezari said she wants to prioritize making the pathway through GE courses more equitable.
- The council appointed Samantha Schwartz, a fourth-year public affairs and labor studies student, to the Faculty Executive Committee. Schwartz highlighted the importance of outreach to student leaders and giving them a platform in senate meetings so that faculty can hear directly from affected students. She also said it is important to conduct research and collect data to support student perspectives.
- The council appointed Jeffry Umana, a second-year political science student, to the Undergraduate Council. Umana said he will use this position to push for policies that serve students first, especially by being a voice for students who have been locked out of those decisions, like undocumented students.
- The council appointed Himaja Vendidani, a third-year neuroscience student, to the Faculty Executive Committee. Vendidani said she wants to bridge the disconnect between the administration, faculty and students.
- The council appointed Mariam Aref, a fourth-year economics and public affairs student, to the Legislative Assembly. Aref said she hopes to advocate for more equitable legislation at UCLA to address student issues. She also highlighted wanting to push for policies and resolutions that address human rights issues, like divestment from war.
- President Breeze Velazquez said her office is in the process of training student advocates.
- Internal vice president Cassandra Gatica said her office met with the UCLA Campus Safety Alliance to plan a Zoom webinar to discuss more information about on-campus move-in. She added her office also met with the Economic Crisis Response Team and is planning a UCLA Spark campaign to fund the IVP Rent Relief Award. She also said her office made the Bruin Housing Impact Survey to gather data about students’ housing financial issues. She also said her office released a Student Leader Guide for student leaders to have readily available information on topics like important dates, reserving spaces and applying for funding.
- External vice president Sarah Wang said her office voted on four goals at the UC Student Organizing Summit: working to defund UCPD, campaigning for menstrual equity, doubling the Pell Grant, and establishing a noninstructional election day across the UC. She also said the UC Student Association is working on a UC-wide resolution in opposition to unsafe return to campus plans.
- Passa Pungchai, General Representative 2, said in a written statement her office will meet with the director of Residential Life to discuss move-in weekend plans.
- Academic Affairs Commissioner Angelina Quint said her office is filling senate appointments. She added that her office is discussing implementing an app for libraries to track the number of students that enter and exit for safety with the return to campus.
- Facilities Commissioner Jane Ni said in a written statement her office also met with the Campus Events Commission and Cultural Affairs Commission to discuss Bruin Bash accessibility. She also said her office is working with DSU and the Academic Affairs Commision on pushing against the current fall COVID-19 protocols.
- Financial Supports Commissioner Emily Yu said in a written statement that her office asked the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships about some undocumented students not being able to access financial aid due to paperwork issues, as discussed in the Statement Acknowledging the Delayed Financial Aid Disbursal of Undocumented Students.
- Student Wellness Commissioner Tayloneei Jackson said in a written statement her office is hosting SWC Wellness Wednesdays on Instagram and Twitter @swcucla. She added that the Health Equity Summit is Sunday at 10 a.m. and people interested in attending should direct message @swcucla on Instagram or email [email protected] She also said the SWC Bruin Consent Coalition is hiring and to visit @bruinconsentcoalitionucla for more information. She added that her office also will be holding CPR and First Aid classes for $10 in the fall and will be holding a UCLA-wide Scavenger Hunt in week two for social health.
The Undergraduate Students Association Council is the official student government representing the undergraduate student body at UCLA. Council meetings will take place every other Tuesday at 7 p.m. during fall quarter and are open to all students. Fall 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.