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USAC recap – March 1

By Natalie Agnew

April 14, 2022 10:25 p.m.

The Undergraduate Students Association Council approved two resolutions, calling on UCLA to support students impacted by the recent invasion of Ukraine and supporting the plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the city’s community college district over accessibility.

The Undergraduate Students Association Council 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.

Public Comment:

  • Radha Patel, the chair of the California Public Interest Research Group at UCLA, said the organization held its annual lobby day where members attended 60 lobby meetings with the state legislators. She added that CALPIRG presented 10,000 petition signatures in its campaigns to ban single-use plastics in California, save bee populations and make textbooks affordable. Patel also said her organization is working to pass a Los Angeles County ordinance to phase out single-use plastics.
  • Kayla Lam, a fourth-year political science student, said the council should pass a resolution in support of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed by two blind students against the Los Angeles Community College District. Lam added that the lawsuit alleged that the plaintiffs were falling behind in school because the school didn’t offer audio versions of their textbooks as a disability accommodation. Lam also said the lawsuit represented an intersectional transfer student issue and a disability justice issue and that both of these communities already face undue systemic and institutional barriers to education.

Agenda:

  • The council approved a resolution calling on UCLA to support students impacted by the recent invasion of Ukraine.
  • The council approved a resolution supporting the plaintiffs in Payan v. Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD).
  • The council allocated $8,750.89 from the Contingency Programming Fund to 10 non-USAC entities.
  • The council approved $5,645 from the Travel Grant Mini Fund to seven non-USAC entities.
  • The council approved $8,238.51 from the Academic Success Referendum Fund to 10 non-USAC entities and one USAC entity.

Officer reports:

  • President Breeze Velazquez said the UCLA COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force is discussing its plans for spring quarter mask guidelines. Velazquez added that the Disabled Student Union sent a letter to the university supporting the continuation of mask mandates for the safety of students with disabilities.
  • External Vice President Sarah Wang said her office hosted a University of California Student Association board meeting Feb. 26 and 27. Wang added that the UC state budget has become more reliant on non-resident tuition and that the University hopes to cut non-resident enrollment, which would not be sufficiently supplemented by state funding. Wang also said that the UCSA passed resolutions in support of caste protections in nondiscrimination policies and reparations. Wang added that her office also hosted a public forum debate for candidates in the Los Angeles City Council District 5 race.
  • Academic Affairs Commissioner Angelina Quint said the Academic Senate responded to the DSU, rejecting their demands for remote learning options but committing to meet regularly with the Union. Quint added she received a separate letter from Shane White and Jessica Cattelino, members of the Academic Senate, detailing academic freedom policy as a nationwide policy and calling for universal access. Quint also said her office is working on a social justice mentorship program and will be funding five social justice projects in collaboration with the University of Southern California student academic affairs office.
  • General Representative Carl King said in a written report that his office scheduled a meeting with CALPIRG representatives to discuss a potential single-use plastics resolution. King added that he co-sponsored the resolution in support of the plaintiffs in the community college accessibility lawsuit.
  • Transfer student Representative Herman Luis Chavez said in a written report that his office is conducting a survey on the New Student Orientation experience for transfer students. Chavez added that the UCSA Transfer Student Advisory Council worked on a resolution in support of the plaintiffs’ lawsuit, opposing the community college district’s plan to file a Supreme Court appeal and potentially impact the Americans with Disabilities Act, which regulates accommodations for individuals with disabilities.
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Natalie Agnew
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