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USAC 2023-2024 Candidate Debates: Universal Access Transit Pass Referendum

A bus is pictured. A representative from the official campaign group in support of the Universal Access Transit Pass Referendum attended the final USAC 2023-2024 Candidate Debates Thursday to present the referendum. (Justin Jung/Daily Bruin senior staff)

By Dylan Winward

May 6, 2023 11:32 a.m.

This post was updated May 7 at 10:22 p.m.

A representative from the official campaign group in support of the Universal Access Transit Pass Referendum attended the final USAC 2023-2024 Candidate Debates on Thursday to present the referendum.

The Elections Board and the Daily Bruin co-hosted a series of debates between candidates prior to the upcoming USAC election. The Universal Access Transit Pass – the only referendum discussed at the debate – is a proposal to implement a new student fee of $3.30 per quarter to fund unlimited access for undergraduate students on all public transportation providers that serve UCLA during the academic year.

The Equitable Inclusive Access referendum, which would have the university change the Inclusive Access system for class materials such as online textbooks to an opt-in system, was not discussed at the debate.

Jeff Van, a third-year environmental science student and a spokesperson for the campaign, spoke in support of the referendum.

Van said the referendum would allow commuter students, low-income students and communities of color to more easily access opportunities across Los Angeles.

“We have worked closely with UCLA Transportation to bring down the cost of this fee to be much, much lower than what is currently paid for by our friends at UC Berkeley and [by] UCLA grad students,” Van said.

Van added that he feels the fee will not significantly impact the affordability of UCLA. He said estimates show 55% of undergraduate students will have the fee covered by financial aid.

“Public transportation means so much to a lot of us at UCLA and to me personally,” he said. “It is what connects all of us to our education, to our families and the communities in between.”

Students can vote in the election on MyUCLA starting May 5 at 12 p.m. and ending May 12 at 2 p.m.

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Dylan Winward | News editor
Winward is the 2023-2024 features and student life editor. He was previously a News reporter for campus politics and features and student life. He is also a second-year English literature and statistics student.
Winward is the 2023-2024 features and student life editor. He was previously a News reporter for campus politics and features and student life. He is also a second-year English literature and statistics student.
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