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BREAKING:

SJP and UC Divest Coalition Demonstrations at UCLA

USAC recap – April 2

By Sam Mulick and Catherine Hamilton

April 8, 2024 10:59 p.m.

Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly referred to the Undergraduate Students Association Elections Board as the Undergraduate Students Association Council Elections Board.

This post was updated April 11 at 6:50 p.m.

The Undergraduate Students Association Council held its first meeting of spring quarter Tuesday.

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.

Funding:

  • The council made two rounds of allocations to cover for winter quarter finals week and spring break.
  • The council allocated $14,141.67 from the Contingency Programming Fund for one USAC-related and 35 non-USAC events. It also allocated $15,286 from the Contingency Programming Fund for one USAC-related event and 36 non-USAC events.
  • The council allocated $5,066.69 from the Supplemental Fund for Service to one USAC entity and four non-USAC entities.
  • The council allocated $1,541.44 from the Grassroots Organizers for Working Students Grant to one USAC entity and one non-USAC entity.
  • The council allocated $143,930.07 from the Undergraduate Students Association/Board of Directors Programming Fund to four USAC entities and 71 non-USAC entities.

Special presentations:

  • My-Lan Le, chair of the USA Elections Board, updated the council on the election board’s recent activities. She said the candidate orientation Thursday was the last requirement for candidates to fulfill. Le’s office also verified the signature counts and is currently verifying the GPA and unit requirements for candidates to run, she said, adding that her office will present the finalized list of candidates to the council after receiving the completed statements of attestations. Le said although the elections board was able to recover its old website, it was unable to recover its old Instagram and Facebook, so they have since created new social media accounts. President Naomi Hammonds also informed officers of plans to make collaborative posts with their respective commissions’ Instagrams and with ASUCLA’s Instagram.
  • Nataly Villaseñor, vice chair of UCLA’s California Public Interest Research Group chapter, presented on the organization’s work in the past year. She said in the past quarter, CALPIRG educated over 5,000 students through classroom presentations and over 17,000 through their email list. Another presenter said they’re funded by contributions from over 30,000 students UC-wide, who have paid a voluntary fee of $10 per quarter. CALPIRG lobbied at the state capital on issues regarding food waste, clean energy, ending oil and gas subsidies and plastic solutions, including meeting with State Senator Catherine Blakespear
    on its lead campaign to ban plastic bags. The group also advocated making habitat restoration a codified part of the UCLA South Bay campus landscaping plan to support the endangered PV Blue Butterfly. The group advocated for California Senate Bill 707 to make fashion companies responsible for recycling their used clothes by the end of the legislative session in an effort to combat clothing and textile waste. The group also advocates for increasing voter registration through peer-to-peer organizing on campus and works to increase food security and more affordable housing through fundraising and community service.

Officer reports:

  • Hammonds said she attended ASUCLA staff training, a Basic Needs Committee meeting, and an Outreach, Recruitment and Retention Task Force subgroup meeting. She added that she met with student parents and attended a healing and visibility walk organized by Bruin Parenting Scholars.
  • Internal Vice President Megan Law said her office’s all-staff meetings will be held on Mondays. Her further written reports were not accessible.
  • External Vice President Eva Jussim said around 15 students will travel to Washington, D.C., for UC Hill Day. The agenda will include advocacy for food-insecure students, undocumented students and students with disabilities. She added that the BruinsVote ambassadorship will continue into spring quarter, with applications going out soon.
  • General Representative Katie Pool said her office and the club Money Think confirmed an Investments Financial Literacy Night to be hosted in week four. The meeting follows the first meeting of the series known as the Tax Financial Literacy Night.
  • General Representative Gabby Lasry said in her written report that her office continues to work on projects from winter quarter.
  • General Representative Jonathan Valenzuela Mejia said his office shifted priorities toward its Bruin Buddies program, which pairs exchange students with students based at UCLA.
  • Academic Affairs Commissioner Sujana Sridhar said her office will be hosting an event Wednesday with the UCLA Anderson School of Management, including a Q&A and opportunities for students to meet directly with each program within the school. She added that students can now submit applications for a program that provides students with rented study resources for graduate school exams, such as the MCAT, GMAT and LSAT.
  • Campus Events Commissioner Mason Miller said the artist for the week three FUNK’D UP concert will be announced soon and that his office is hiring media staff until April 8.
  • Community Service Commissioner Chia Ying Wong said her office is working on its winter quarter transparency report and is finalizing a resource handbook for service projects.
  • Cultural Affairs Commissioner Alicia Verdugo’s written report was not updated for the week.
  • Facilities Commissioner Nilaya Kanuri said she met with members of the UCLA Disability Alumni Network to begin a potential collaboration. She added that her office works with on-campus groups such as the Bruin Bazaar and UCLA’s Government & Community Relations to think of sustainable move-out solutions, such as designated drop-off spots.
  • Financial Supports Commissioner Sara Broukhim said in her written report that she met with the Student Fee Advisory Committee and has started preparing to distribute lab coats.
  • Student Wellness Commissioner Jennis Kang said she has been working with the Center for Accessible Education to address difficulties surrounding accommodations for finals and wait times for intake appointments. She added that registration for the 24th Bruin Run/Walk is open, with the 5K race happening April 21.
  • Transfer Student Representative Meagan Harmon said she is working to hire her staff, as they have not officially been onboarded despite having worked all academic year. She added that she is working with local businesses in Westwood to host fundraising events and that Transfer Lobby Day is at the end of April.
  • International Student Representative Adam Tfayli said in his written report that his office continues to work with Valenzuela Mejia on the Bruin Buddies program and that it has finished hiring office directors.

Agenda items:

  • Jussim presented to the council on “A Resolution for UCLA’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 Earmark Requests,” for which she was the primary sponsor. She said the current budget draft from President Joe Biden’s administration does not include earlier requests submitted by UCLA. Some of these requests include the establishment of Bruin Life Skills, which would provide career and financial knowledge, and the electrification of UCLA’s bus fleet. The council unanimously passed the resolution, which indicates USAC support for the UCLA budget requests. 
  • The council unanimously approved edits to the guidelines allowing for a one-time additional spring quarter cycle for surplus allocations.
  • Hammonds vetoed the $110,429.03 surplus allocation to the Afrikan Student Union. She said she decided to because ASU Chairperson and former Transfer Student Representative Thyra Cobbs led the proposal despite no longer being a signatory of the club, adding that requests were also supposed to be submitted by councilmembers. She also vetoed the allocated $75,000 for the Latine Student Prosperity Financial Support. Valenzuela Mejia expressed disappointment, as he said Hammonds did not tell him she planned to veto the allocation until her announcement during the meeting. Valenzuela Mejia motioned to override the veto, but by a 4-6 vote, the motion did not pass.
  • The council decided to make proposals for the leftover surplus funding due Tuesday of week two, prioritizing proposals that received no funding in the previous allocation.
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Sam Mulick
Mulick is a news contributor on the features and student life beat. He is also a third-year sociology student from northern New Jersey.
Mulick is a news contributor on the features and student life beat. He is also a third-year sociology student from northern New Jersey.
Hamilton was the 2023-2024 News editor and a Copy staff member. She was previously the 2022-2023 national news and higher education beat editor and a national news contributor.
Hamilton was the 2023-2024 News editor and a Copy staff member. She was previously the 2022-2023 national news and higher education beat editor and a national news contributor.
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