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IN THE NEWS:

Bruins in Paris

USAC calls on UCLA to support Iranian students, raise awareness of protests

(Isabella Lee/Illustrations Director) Photo credit: Isabella Lee

By Alexandra Kaiser

Oct. 24, 2022 2:58 p.m.

The Undergraduate Students Association Council unanimously passed a resolution Oct. 4 in support of the Iranian community at UCLA.

The resolution calls on the university to recognize and support the community in the wake of worldwide protests for women’s rights in Iran. The protests began after the Sept. 16 death of Mahsa Amini, who was detained by Iranian morality police for allegedly wearing her hijab incorrectly, according to Time magazine.

[Related: UCLA community members demonstrate against women’s rights violations in Iran]

The USAC Office of the President worked on the resolution in collaboration with the Iranian Student Group, who spearheaded the move to write the resolution, USAC President Carl King Jr. said.

The president’s office worked to connect the ISG with the UCLA community and administration, said Michael Carrier, the director of resolutions and transparency in the USAC president’s office.

“We at the Office of the President really wanted to serve as a conduit and kind of as a way for Iranian students to connect to the UCLA administration and to get recognition of the cause amongst the student body,” Carrier said.

The resolution is meant to push UCLA to take a stronger stance on the current situation in Iran, said Paria, the co-president of the ISG, who wished to remain partially anonymous for their safety. Passing the resolution would align with UCLA’s values of inclusivity, diversity and gender equality, she added.

ISG also wants the university to begin by sending a mass email to the community acknowledging the situation and educating people about the issue, said Paria, who is also a fourth-year cognitive science student. The resolution also calls on UCLA to light up Royce Hall in support of the Iranian community, she added

[Related: UCLA seeks approval of new guidelines on commemorative lighting requests]

Given the emotional distress that the situation is causing for Iranian students, the resolution also calls on UCLA to provide counseling resources for students who need them, Paria said.

The resolution is a way for USAC to show support for Iranian students and ask the university to do the same, King said.

“They haven’t asked us to get on a plane and fly over there. They haven’t asked us to do anything tangibly outstanding. They’ve just mostly asked for support,” he added.

The resolution is a good step forward, but it is not the last step in the push for support from the university, Paria said, adding that ISG will also ask the University of California to extend the application deadline for students in Iran currently struggling with Internet outages. ISG also hopes faculty will offer accommodations to students dealing with their mental health and other effects of the protests, especially those who have family in Iran, she added.

“This is an ongoing struggle and battle we are going to continuously face, and so I’d like to reiterate, this is simply a stepping stone,” Paria said. “It’s getting us closer, closer to where we’d like to be.”

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Alexandra Kaiser | Campus politics editor
Kaiser is the 2022-2023 campus politics editor. She was previously a News reporter and Opinion columnist. She is also a third-year communication and political science student.
Kaiser is the 2022-2023 campus politics editor. She was previously a News reporter and Opinion columnist. She is also a third-year communication and political science student.
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