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Nilaya Kanuri appointed as new USAC facilities commissioner

Nilaya Kanuri, the Undergraduate Students Association Council’s facilities commissioner, is pictured. Kanuri was appointed Jan. 30 following the resignation of the former officer in the position. (Courtesy of Charlotte Chui)

By Lilly Wellons

March 3, 2024 10:41 p.m.

The Undergraduate Students Association Council appointed Nilaya Kanuri as the new facilities commissioner during its Jan. 30 meeting.

The Appointment Review Committee presented Kanuri to the council after deciding she was the best fit for the position of the three applicants, Internal Vice President Megan Law said. Following her nomination by the committee, she presented her personal statement and answered questions from the council, Law added.

In a 10-0-1 vote, with one officer abstaining due to having a personal connection to the candidate, the council appointed Kanuri to the position.

The position focuses on sustainability and disability justice, as well as moving UCLA toward a greener future, Kanuri said. Kanuri has also worked as a resident assistant, new student advisor and learning assistant, as well as having been involved with the commission for the past two years and serving as a staffer for the transportation equity access team last year.

“I was really motivated and interested in applying for this position because I felt it was really, really important to continue the amazing work with the office and continue the connection with the rest of council while we were going through a transition,” she said.

The third-year molecular, cell and developmental biology student succeeded Evan Curran, who stepped down due to personal reasons in January. This was the first of two positions to be vacated by an officer this academic year, with former Transfer Student Representative Thyra Cobbs stepping down in February.

Law, who is also the chair of the Appointment Review Committee, said the committee typically looks at a candidate’s experience and involvement on campus during the application review process.

“Out of the three applicants we interviewed, she definitely stood out a lot because of the experience that she had,” Law said. “She was very familiar with at least her side of the Facilities Commission.”

Kanuri said working in different positions and seeing the direct impact of her work on campus pushed her to apply for the position. She added that she understands the importance of the commission’s work and wants to play a larger role in the change she could make on campus.

Kanuri said her main goal for the remainder of the year is to maintain and continue the goals and work of past commissioners, rather than to make big or radical changes.

“Ultimately … I intend to represent as many perspectives as possible,” she said. “It’s really, really important for me to figure out how best I can serve our students, and within the USAC space, I’m still learning what that looks like.”

Kanuri added that other important interests for her are USAC’s involvement in sustainability beyond campus and in the upcoming Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

“I am really looking forward to using my experiences as a student here across all of my different identities to encourage students to be involved in … UCLA,” she said.

USAC President Naomi Hammonds said in an emailed statement that Kanuri’s knowledge and background in the commission, coupled with her diverse skill set working among many different student groups, will set her up for success in the role.

“Thus far, she has already been exceptional in stepping up to the plate,” Hammonds said in the statement. “I can only speak highly of her and the commission.”

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