USAC recap – Feb. 22
By Justin Jung
March 31, 2022 11:41 a.m.
The Undergraduate Students Association Council announced that it had come to an agreement with the university to end February’s 16-day sit-in protest at Murphy Hall. The agreement included new university funding and guaranteed future meetings with administrators.
USAC is the official student government representing the undergraduate student body at UCLA. Council meetings take place remotely every Tuesday at 7 p.m. and are open to all students. Students can find the links for meetings on the internal vice president’s Facebook page or watch a livestream on the USAC Live! channel on YouTube.
Radha Patel, the chair of the California Public Interest Research Group at UCLA, said the organization has been working on its lobbying event, in which around 80 students meet with state legislators to discuss phasing out plastics in e-commerce and placing restrictions on pesticides harmful to bees.
Jeril Joseph and Natalie Santillano, representatives of Rheumatic Awareness, Disability Advocacy and Reform at UCLA, delivered a presentation about their group’s advocacy work. Joseph said RADAR at UCLA represents the needs of students with disabilities and that retention issues disproportionately affect disabled students. Santillano said that the group collaborates with the Arthritis Foundation on advocacy, disease management support and research. In addition, he said the group also works with the Mother Organizations coalition, Disabled Student Union, USAC, and other student leaders advocating for accessibility.
The council allocated $9,151.03 from Contingency Programming to two USAC entities and 13 non-USAC entities.
The council allocated $3,659.32 from the Supplemental Fund for Service to three USAC entities and three non-USAC entities.
The council approved the minutes from its Feb. 15 meeting.
Mohammed Mortada, a representative from President Breeze Velazquez’s office, said the president’s office worked with other student leaders on a student strike that ended Feb. 16 following the university’s agreement to many of their demands. Mortada added that the agreement included guaranteed meetings with administrators for Mother Organizations coalition groups, funding for resource centers and commitments to address allegations of insensitivity by staff members of the Community Programs Office. Mortada also said the student leaders have said this agreement isn’t the end of their advocacy as some of their demands have yet to be met, but that the agreement marked significant progress on their goals.
Internal Vice President Cassandra Gatica said her office is working with the Mental Health Coalition on a social media campaign for awareness. She added that her office is working on a multilingual housing resource guide.
External Vice President Sarah Wang said her office is planning for the upcoming University of California Student Association board meeting. She added that her office is organizing a candidate’s debate and town hall for the Los Angeles City Council District 5 and mayoral races.
Academic Affairs Commissioner Angelina Quint said her office is working with the Academic Senate to advocate for various options of remote learning, including recorded lectures and livestreaming.