USAC recap – Nov. 9
Nov. 13, 2021 7:53 p.m.
The Undergraduate Students Association Council voted Tuesday to use surplus funding to fund stipends for USAC directors and projects by the Student Wellness Commission, Office Space Allocation Committee, Financial Supports Commission and Facilities Commission.
- Hodari Harris, the external vice president of the Muslim Student Association, said he is working on projects including outdoor prayer space for Muslim students and Halal food availability on campus. Muslim students pray five times a day and often end up having to use campus spaces that are crowded and full of distractions, Harris said. He added that UCLA Dining should expand Halal food options on the Hill, as many were cut because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- University Council – American Federation of Teachers co-chair of the statewide Communications Committee Caroline Luce and Unit 18 co-chairperson John Branstetter said lecturers are in less advantaged positions than professors, receive lower pay and benefits and face a lack of job security. Branstetter said lecturers’ employment issues can inhibit their ability to focus on their jobs and help students. However, Luce said the resolution passed by USAC on Tuesday is helpful for visibility of their situation.
- Jane Ni, USAC Facilities commissioner and the committee chair of The Green Initiative Fund, and Cheryl Ma, the vice chair of TGIF said they are seeking to fund justice-oriented projects and organizations with an emphasis on sustainability this year. TGIF has $250,000 to allocate each year before the roughly $200,000 surplus typically during winter quarter. Ni said TGIF will fund events, infrastructure improvement, guest speakers and research projects for improving sustainability.
- Samantha Schwartz, executive presidential assistant to the USAC Office of the President, gave a presentation about the stipend proposal amount for OP directors. The amount requested is less than previous years, but paying directors sufficiently for their efforts in student government is essential, she said. She added that 85% of OP directors are women and 85% are people of color, in addition to many of them being low income. Since several directors work multiple jobs to afford basic necessities, the stipend would be incredibly helpful to accommodate the time demands of USAC work, she said.
- The council allocated $3,146 from the Capital Contingency fund to three USAC entities.
- The council allocated $11,686.96 of contingency programming funds to 21 non-USAC entities and one USAC entity.
- The council allocated $2,018.17 from the Supplemental Fund for Service to two Community Service Commission organizations and three other organizations.
- The council allocated $1,490 from the Student Wellness Commission to non-USAC entities.
- The council allocated $2,000 from the Academic Success Referendum fund to one non-USAC entity.
- The council allocated $700 from the Academic Affairs Commission Travel Mini-Grant to one USAC entity and $5,427.50 to seven non-USAC entities.
- The council allocated $12,120.82 from the Arts Restoring Community to seven non-USAC entities.
- The council allocated $2,733.06 from TGIF to non-USAC entities.
- The council allocated $391.06 to SLAM! at UCLA, an organization where UCLA students teach music in local middle and high schools, for their quarterly retreat and new member training.
- The council allocated $625.19 to the Vietnamese Student Union for their HOPE College Tour.
- The council allocated $750 to Bruin Value Investing, a student finance organization and investment fund, for their retreat.
- The council allocated $480.82 to Bruin Animal Rescue Coalition, an animal shelter volunteering club, for their volunteer T-shirts.
- The council allocated $883.33 to Body Image Task Force, a wellness organization encouraging body positivity, for their program “Bodies, Beaches, and Bonfires.”
- The council allocated $83 to the Out of State Student Association for their game day social.
- The council allocated $650 to AweChords A Cappella for their fall retreat.
- The council allocated $500 to MEChA de UCLA, a Chicano student movement for education and liberation, for their board retreat.
- The council allocated $41.99 to the Life Sciences Students Association for their Cookies and Cram event.
- The council allocated $913.07 to the Association of Indonesian Americans for their high school summit.
- The council allocated $1,800.17 to Grupo Folklórico de UCLA, a performing arts group celebrating Mexican culture, for Día de los Muertos.
- The council allocated $412 to Bruin Film Society for AV system booking.
- The council allocated $800 to the UCLA Backpacking Club for their Death Valley National Park Camping Trip.
- The council allocated $93.67 to the Vietnamese Student Union for their Ca Phe Am: A Sip of Warmth event.
- The council allocated $115 to Consult Your Community, a student-run pro bono consulting group, for their general meeting.
- The council allocated $109.33 to Biochemase, an undergraduate organization for biochemistry students, for their student meeting.
- The council allocated $500 to Students Organize for Syria for their refugee tutor appreciation social.
- The council allocated $650 to Students for Community Outreach, Promotion and Education for their fitness and nutrition winter retreat.
- The council allocated $258.67 to Expressive Movement Initiative, Promotion and Education, a group that teaches art and dance to children with disabilities, for their Fall 2021 Recital.
- The council allocated $283 to On That Note A Cappella for their fall concert.
- The council allocated $270 to the UCLA Black Business Student Association for their board professional headshots.
- The council allocated $650 to Singapore Students Association for their Thanksgiving ski trip.
- The council allocated $426.67 to the Regents Scholar Society for their Friendsgiving event.
- The council approved a Resolution in Solidarity with UC-AFT to support the struggles of lecturers in UC that include lack of contracts, low pay, little employment benefits and general neglect by UC administration, according to the resolution. The resolution also stated demands for bargaining with UC-AFT to create contracts with more reasonable conditions for lecturers.
- The council approved several allocations of surplus money for USAC officer stipends and projects by FSC for more lab coats, FAC for more accessible transit, OSAC for off-campus storage and SWC for menstrual equity. Council members approved the full amounts for all proposals except OSAC’s storage proposal.
- The council allocated $5,000 to the FSC lab coat project.
- The council allocated $3,000 to the FAC transit project, which will provide metro passes for students in need of more accessible transit options.
- The council allocated $18,084 to OSAC’s project for off-campus storage, although the original number proposed was $20,000. The final number was an average of suggestions by council members given anonymously in a Google Form.
- The council allocated $8,000 to SWC for a menstrual equity project. SWC will use the funds for a pilot program where menstrual products will be placed in the bathrooms of buildings most central to student life, and the UCLA administration will be expected to fund the placement of menstrual products in the rest of the bathrooms later on, said Student Wellness commissioner Tayloneei Jackson.
- The council allocated $12,265 to the Office of the President, $7,439 to the Office of the Internal Vice President, $4,612 to the Office of General Representative 1, $1,985 to the Office of General Representative 2, $2,974 to the Office of General Representative 3, $5,692 to the Office of the Facilities Commissioner, $6,953 to Office of the Transfer Student Representative, $3,854 to Office of the International Student Representative and $3,562 to Office Financial Supports Commissioner for director stipends.
- The council voted to meet in person with a hybrid option during week eight to test out the setup for winter quarter.
- The council appointed Samone Anderson, a fourth-year African American studies and political science student, to the Financial Supports Commission Campus Retention Committee. Anderson said she aims to empower students and advocate for student autonomy and retention. She added that the power of student-run committees and organizations should not be taken for granted and must be used to keep up impactful work.
- President Breeze Velazquez said her office is reaching out to students who have not yet been vaccinated. She added that unvaccinated students must be held accountable for not following vaccine requirements, but she said she hopes to reach out to them over the phone to inform them of missing records and potential consequences such as deferred suspensions. She also said she recently met with the New York Times to work on providing students with free subscriptions.
- Internal Vice President Cassandra Gatica said her office is working on a Mobilize the Masses Director’s social media series about social justice. She added that she met with Campus Assault Resources and Education about the logistics of creating student toolkits against sexual violence and sexual harassment. She also said her office is creating a social media series to promote student events across campus on Instagram.
- External Vice President Sarah Wang said her office will start creating Instagram reel updates with campus news and important information for students. She added that the EVP office has been preparing for the UC Regents meeting Wednesday. She also said there will be a voter registration event during winter quarter on the Hill. Wang added that she has been working with the UC Student Association on menstrual equity and a resolution for a non-instructional election day. She also said there was a $550 increase in the Pell Grant and her team was successful in maintaining eligibility for DACA recipients.
- General Representative 2 Passa Pungchai said in a written statement that her office has been working on expanding textbook availability and improving open source learning at UCLA. She added her office is making progress on the Boelter Hall Braille Project, has reviewed a prototype and will be discussing the navigation problems blind students face with the Disabled Student Union.
- General Representative 3 Carl King said in a written statement that his office has been working on improving dining halls with general representative 2 and the transfer student representative and improving pay for workers. He added that he held a financial literacy workshop on debit and credit cards with Bruin Women in Business.
- Academic Affairs Commissioner Angelina Quint said her office has been working on supplying blue books and scantrons to students in need. She added she has been working on an initiative to encourage professors to release syllabi in advance of course enrollment for students to review. She also said she worked with the Disability Justice and Education Committee and the Disabled Student Union to write a letter asking the UCLA administration for hybrid class options during winter quarter.
- Financial Supports Commissioner Emily Yu said in a written statement that her office has been working on the lab coat proposal to expand lab coat availability for students. She added that she opened the Arduino Kit Donation Drive for engineering students to promote more availability of academic materials.
- Transfer student representative Herman Luis Chavez said in a written statement that his office has given transfer awareness trainings to SWC, FAC and IVP. They added they met with SWC, FSC and Mick Deluca – assistant vice chancellor of student life – about further improvement to the Basic Needs Committee.