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USAC recap – Jan. 16

By Shaanth Kodialam

Jan. 17, 2024 9:15 p.m.

This post was updated Jan. 17 at 11:10 p.m.

The Undergraduate Students Association Council held its second meeting of 2024 on Tuesday.

USAC is the official student government representing the undergraduate student body at UCLA. Council meetings are open to all students and take place at the Bruin Viewpoint Room and on Zoom every Tuesday at 7 p.m. Students can find the links for the meeting’s agenda posted on the USAC website or watch a livestream on the USAC Live! channel on YouTube.

Public comment:

  • Clara Castronovo, the statewide board chair for the California Public Interest Research Group, said the organization is beginning its recruitment drive, which will include tabling on Bruin Walk, as well as its plastic bag and fast fashion campaigns. CALPIRG will have a kickoff drive Wednesday. The group also visited Senator Laphonza Butler’s open house on youth activism over the past weekend.
  • Branden Bohrnsen, vice chair of the Student Fee Advisory Committee, said the group has a new Instagram account. He encouraged members of the campus community to join the group and apply for the paid positions it offers.

Funding:

  • The council allocated $7,297 from the Contingency Programming Fund to 40 non-USAC entities.
  • The council allocated $2,392 from the Supplemental Fund for Service to one USAC-affiliated and two non-USAC-affiliated entities.
  • The council allocated $1,436.63 from the Student Wellness Commission to three non-USAC entities.
  • The council allocated $6,650 from the Academic Affairs Commission to six non-USAC entities.

Special presentations:

  • Fernando Perez, a representative with Student Government Services, presented the council with a new process for allocating funds for student organizations and USAC initiatives. While council members will still need to fill out an authorization sheet before meetings and votes on allocation, Perez said they will also need to fill out an additional sheet following the vote to address transferring funds within the budget. Council members have received guidance regarding the changes from SGS.

Officer reports:

  • President Naomi Hammonds said she spent last week conducting interviews for the dean of students, which is currently held by Jasmine Rush as an interim position. She also said the elections board chair pulled their application and urged council members to help find a chair for future elections. The application for facilities commissioner is also live as of Tuesday, she added.
  • Internal Vice President Megan Law said finding people to fill both positions will be important, adding that the nomination will need to be on USAC’s agenda by Jan. 26. She added that there will be an Off-Campus Living Fair next Wednesday in the Ackerman Grand Ballroom from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. She added that her team is still working with Sikh student organizations on campus to complete action items listed in the recently passed USAC resolution declaring November Sikh Heritage Month.
  • External Vice President Eva Jussim said she would like to discuss the Sepulveda Transit Corridor Project in a future meeting with council members. She said she sent an email to council members requesting that they continue having meetings with the Muslim Student Association and Middle Eastern Student Association. Her office is also waiting for communication from Darnell Hunt, executive vice chancellor and provost, to discuss the recent $7 million funding from the UC Board of Regents and UC Office of the President to support antidiscrimination efforts. She also expressed support for council members who attended Tuesday’s teach-in on racial justice, co-hosted by her office and the Afrikan Student Union.
  • General Representative Katie Pool’s written reports could not be accessed.
  • General Representative Jonathan Valenzuela Mejia said his office will be sending a delegation to the Students of Color conference later this month. His team will also be presenting its findings on a recent survey asking students for their thoughts on a digital BruinCard program, he said. He added that he is building a coalition of students to ensure the implementation and success of a proposed UCLA Latinx Success Center, which USAC supported through a passed resolution.
  • Academic Affairs Commissioner Sujana Sridhar said she attended the Tuesday teach-in on racial justice. She said her office is partnering with the UCLA School of Law and the UCLA Career Center to put on events and programming to support pre-law students. Her office is also working with UC Berkeley to develop a program in support of disability justice, she added.
  • Community Service Commissioner Chia Ying Wong said there will be a documentary on reimagining safety, highlighting the impacts of policing, incarceration and the criminal justice system at 5 p.m. on Thursday at the Fowler Museum. She said she met with Transfer Student Representative Thyra Cobbs to support putting together a community service book drive during Black History Month.
  • Cultural Affairs Commissioner Alicia Verdugo said in her written report that there will be an art gallery during week four in collaboration with Students for Justice in Palestine at UCLA. She said she is working on meeting with ASUCLA to discuss the yearly fashion show to ensure invoice and reservation issues from previous years do not reoccur. She also wrote that she is meeting with the Graduate Student Association and its board of directors to discuss a resolution on the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement. There will also be an event on Native identity and expressions and a collaboration with ASU for a Black History Month art gallery in February.
  • Financial Services Commissioner Sara Broukhim said she is planning an event on financial literacy and streamlining funding for student organizations.
  • Student Wellness Commissioner Jennis Kang said the commission will be hosting an event featuring a conversation about reproductive health Jan. 25. The event will be at the Kerckhoff Hall Grand Salon at 4 p.m. and have speakers with expertise in sex education, health and law.
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Shaanth Kodialam | News senior staff
Kodialam is a News senior staff reporter for the Bruin. They were previously the 2022-2023 features and student life editor and a 2021-2022 News reporter for national news and higher education and features and student life. They are a third-year communication and geography student.
Kodialam is a News senior staff reporter for the Bruin. They were previously the 2022-2023 features and student life editor and a 2021-2022 News reporter for national news and higher education and features and student life. They are a third-year communication and geography student.
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