USAC 2023-2024 Candidate Debates: Internal vice president
Pictured clockwise from top left are Kian Kohanteb, Josh Garland, Megan Law and Jeffry Umaña Muñoz are pictured. Kohanteb, Garland Law and Muñoz are running for Undergraduate Students Association Council internal vice president. (Clockwise from top left: Courtesy of Kian Kohanteb, Courtesy of Josh Garland, Courtesy of Megan Law and Courtesy of Jeffry Umaña Muñoz)
May 4, 2023 6:40 p.m.
Four candidates for Undergraduate Students Association Council internal vice president attended the first of the USAC 2023-2024 Candidate Debates on Wednesday.
The USA Elections Board and the Daily Bruin co-hosted a series of debates beginning at 7 p.m between candidates in the upcoming USAC election. Four candidates are running for the position of internal vice president.
Josh Garland, a second-year political science student, said he believes his experience exploring his identity as queer and mixed-race would help him make the campus more safe and accessible for all students. He added that he hopes his experience running events at the internal vice president’s office, sometimes in response to traumatic events, will help prepare him for the role of internal vice president.
“I will improve community wellbeing (by) increasing physical and mental health resources for students,” he said.
Kian Kohanteb, a second-year political science student, said he hopes to continue the work he had done as a general representative this year to provide safety, sustainability and community. He added that he wants to improve engagement with the UCLA community so students can better access USAC funding in a transparent manner.
“USAC has a lot of different ways that we can fund groups, but (it) often leads to only a certain amount of clubs applying every time, so I will try to expand that,” he said. “I want to reach out to more clubs. … All students should be able to have an equal share at their student fees.”
Megan Law, a second-year political science student, said her experience as one of the transparency and accessibility directors in the internal vice president’s office would help her improve USAC relations with student support organizations on the campus.
Law said she hopes to create more awareness about what USAC does for UCLA students. She added that she hopes to work with student feedback from social media to hold UCLA’s administration accountable for their actions.
“I know that USAC is not the most accessible or transparent organization on campus, and I will fight to increase that and improve USAC relations to student organizations and student leaders on campus,” she said.
Jeffry Umaña Muñoz, a third-year Chicana and Chicano studies and labor studies student, said he appreciates the beneficial programming USAC supports but believes it does not connect to all parts of the UCLA community. He added that USAC conversations could be more inclusive of STEM and South Campus students.
He said he would advocate for off-campus housing resources to be more affordable. Muñoz added that many of the services offered by the internal vice president’s office are also inaccessible to students without permanent legal status.
“We don’t need an IVP that’s just more of the same,” Muñoz said. “We need to create one that’s going to push the limits and push USAC to create a new diversity for all of us.”
Students can vote in the USAC election on MyUCLA starting Friday at noon and ending May 12 at 2 p.m.