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USAC Elections 2024SJP and UC Divest Coalition Demonstrations at UCLA

USAC Recap – Jan. 30

By Grant Li

Feb. 6, 2024 6:45 p.m.

The Undergraduate Students Association Council held its last meeting of the month on Jan. 30.

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

Public comments:

  • Clara Castronovo, the statewide board chair for the California Public Interest Research Group, announced that the organization is holding a pledge drive.
  • Sophie Wells, president of Shenanigans Comedy Club at UCLA, said the club has had problems with its requests for funding from the Arts Restoring Community Fund, and the money never arrived after approval. Cultural Affairs Commissioner Alicia Verdugo said she will talk to her funding director about the allocation.

Funding:

  • The council allocated $9,142.22 from the Contingency Programming Fund to one USAC entity and 27 non-USAC entities.
  • The council allocated $6,240 from the Supplemental Fund for Service to three USAC entities and four non-USAC entities.
  • The council allocated $2,600 from the Student Wellness Programming Fund to two USAC entities and four non-USAC entities.
  • The council allocated $1,478.56 from the Grassroots Organizers for Working Students Grant to one non-USAC entity.
  • The council allocated $475 from the Academic Success Referendum Fund to two non-USAC entities.

Appointments:

  • The council appointed Chaitanya Kishore, a first-year political science student, to the Group Conduct Board.
  • The council appointed Nilaya Kanuri, a third-year molecular biology student, as its Facilities Commissioner.
  • The council appointed Oscar Shen, a first-year economics student, to the Student Fee Advisory Committee.
  • The council appointed My-Lan Le, a fourth-year molecular, cell and developmental biology and political science student, as its Elections Board Chair.

Officer reports:

  • President Naomi Hammonds said she traveled to Ohio State University for the Association of Big Ten Students winter conference. She also said she attended a Generation Up meeting with External Vice President Eva Jussim and Internal Vice President Megan Law to discuss strengthening an on-campus community oversight board. Hammonds added that she met with Vice Chancellor Monroe Gorden and Jussim to discuss UC President Michael Drake’s $7 million allocation to address and combat antisemitism, Islamophobia and other forms of discrimination on UC campuses. She added that her office has finished conducting interviews for the dean of students position and has onboarded several interns for winter quarter. Hammonds also posted the appointment recruitments for remaining positions in student government, she said.
  • Law said the Appointments Review Committee has completed five interviews since the past week. She highlighted positions from the Associated Students UCLA Communications Board, Student Fee Advisory Committee and Distinguished Teaching Awards Committee as seats that need to be filled. Law also said her office is hosting an administrative meet-and-greet event on Feb. 21 as well as a funding workshop in week six. She added that her Pre-Professional Committee is working with Transfer Student Representative Thyra Cobbs and the Black Business Student Association to plan a LinkedIn event. The Institutionalized Events Committee is also finalizing details for the True Bruins R.A.I.S.E. awards ceremony, she said.
  • Jussim said she was recently at the UC Board of Regents meeting at UC San Francisco, the ABTS winter conference at Ohio State University and the Student of Color Conference at UC Merced. She said she is reviewing UCLA’s time, place and manner policies regarding on-campus protests with Administrative Vice Chancellor Michael Beck. Jussim added that her office is taking sign-ups for the Bruin Lobby Corps.
  • General Representative Katie Pool said in her written report that her office is finalizing the Black History Month essay contest for UCLA undergraduates, which is set to be released in early February and close at the end of the month. She added that they have finalized plans for the Financial Literacy Night and are looking for a room to host the event in week eight.
  • General Representative Gabby Lasry said in her written report that her office hired a marketing intern and finalized details for an internship position in her office.
  • General Representative Jonathan Valenzuela Mejia said he attended the SOCC conference at UC Merced. He added that he thought it was shameful that the UC Board of Regents voted to suspend the implementation of the Opportunity for All campaign for undocumented students, which would have allowed them to work on UC campuses. Valenzuela Mejia also said that there has been an uptick in the number of students using the KN95 masks that his office provides.
  • Academic Affairs Commissioner Sujana Sridhar said she met with the Disabled Student Union to plan a COVID-19 informational campaign on campus. She added that she is working on providing students information on the new Bruin One Access plan – a program to increase undergraduate student access to course materials – by hosting a town hall meeting where students can ask members of the bookstore questions about the plan. Sridhar also said her office received meal tickets to create a Q&A TikTok asking students on Bruin Walk about their knowledge on USAC elections. She added that at the previous undergraduate council meeting of the Academic Senate, she advocated for a student representative to sit on a new General Education Taskforce to review the structure of general education courses. Sridhar’s office will discuss how to respond to the UC Board of Regents’ decision on Opportunity for All, she said.
  • Campus Events Commissioner Mason Miller said his office will host the Afrofest Concert on Feb. 3 in Wilson Plaza in collaboration with the Nigerian Student Association. He added that there will be a screening of “Lisa Frankenstein” on Wednesday at the Landmark Westwood Theater.
  • Community Service Commissioner Chia Ying Wong said her office is hosting the Houselessness Days of Service, a three-day event during week four, to educate the UCLA community about the unhoused population and provide opportunities for students to get involved in community service.
  • Verdugo said her office is hosting an art gallery and a spoken word performance at the Kerckhoff Art Gallery in collaboration with Students for Justice in Palestine at UCLA. She added that the kick-off for Hip Hop Congress at UCLA will happen Feb. 1 in Bruin Plaza. Verdugo said her office is also planning a house music event in collaboration with House of Bruin, a ballroom club at UCLA, adding that she also condemns the UC Regents’ decision on the Opportunity for All campaign.
  • Financial Supports Commissioner Sara Broukhim was not present at the meeting, and her written reports were not updated.
  • Student Wellness Commissioner Jennis Kang said her office’s Peer Support Lounge initiative opened this week.
  • Cobbs said her office has finalized plans for UC Transfer Mental Health Week, including a transfer town hall and submitting a resolution to get more transfer staff and resources on campus.

Resolutions and agenda discussion:

  • The council approved the new guidelines for the Books For Bruins Fund, which include a list of course materials eligible for funding, an application deadline, and methods of payment for applicants who receive a grant.
  • Jussim said the UC Student Regents want to schedule an hour-long meeting with all offices of USAC. Verdugo requested that Opportunity for All be added as a discussion item in their meetings with the UC Student Regents. Lasry requested that addressing Islamophobia and antisemitism on campus also be added as a discussion item. Mejia requested that the UC-wide Hispanic-Serving Institutions Initiative be added as a discussion item. Sridhar requested that budget cuts resulting from the teaching assistant and graduate student strikes last year be added as a discussion item.
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