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USAC recap – May 21

By Shiv Patel

May 25, 2024 6:12 p.m.

The Undergraduate Students Association Council held its third meeting of May 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 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.

Tuesday evening marked the final meeting for the officers of the 2023-2024 term.

Public comment:

  • A person who said they know many of the current and incoming council members thanked the outgoing council members and said they hope the incoming council continues to make USAC a “welcoming place.”

Funding:

  • The council allocated $810 from the Capital Contingency Fund to one non-USAC entity.
  • The council allocated $12,619.67 from the Contingency Programming Fund to one USAC entity and 43 non-USAC entities.
  • The council allocated $2,502.13 from the Supplemental Fund for Service to five non-USAC entities.
  • The council allocated $460 from the Student Wellness Programming Fund to one non-USAC entity.
  • The council allocated $8,700 from the Arts Restoring Community Fund to five non-USAC entities.
  • The council allocated $1,522 from The Green Initiative Fund to one non-USAC entity.

Special presentation:

  • USA Elections Board Chair My-Lan Le announced the names of the newly elected council members following last week’s USAC election.

Appointments:

  • The council appointed Katie Choo, a geography/environmental studies student, to the ASUCLA Communications Board. Choo currently serves as a Design contributor at the Daily Bruin and as a Pacific Ties staffer.
  • The council appointed Rosalie Chiang, a first-year pre-communication student, to the ASUCLA Communications Board.

Officer reports:

  • President Naomi Hammonds said she met with the Campus Facilities Coordinating Commission and has continued to meet with Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Monroe Gorden Jr., Administrative Vice Chancellor Michael Beck and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Development & Health Suzanne Seplow. She also said she met with Beck with other council members. Hammonds added that she was grateful to have known this year’s council and distributed flowers to the outgoing USAC officers. She also listed some of the work she and her office did this year, including her office’s town hall series and community events.
  • Internal Vice President Megan Law said she has been working on transition documents for her successor, IVP-elect Josh Garland. She also listed some of her office’s events and achievements from the past year, including the Enormous Activities Fair and the True Bruin RAISE awards ceremony.
  • External Vice President Eva Jussim said she and Hammonds have continued to meet with the UCLA administration about the injustice she alleges the university has inflicted upon pro-Palestine students. She also alleged that many members of the UCLA administration, including Gorden, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Campus Life Mick Deluca and Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Safety Rick Braziel do not “know what’s going on” and have been giving incorrect information to council members. Jussim thanked her office’s directors for their work and called her office the most successful EVP office she has seen during her time at UCLA. She added that her office will donate $30,000 to the Economic Crisis Response Team and UCLA Transportation for safe parking and basic needs funding.
  • General Representative Katie Pool listed some of the events her office held this year, including its Financial Literacy Night and essay contests. She said she was grateful to her directors, friends and fellow council members for their help this year.
  • General Representative Gabby Lasry thanked her office’s directors for their help.
  • General Representative Jonathan Valenzuela Mejia said he recently attended a meeting with Beck to discuss campus safety. He added that he met with the other general representatives to discuss office transitions. Valenzuela Mejia discussed some of his office’s work this year, including advocating for a digital BruinCard and the establishment of a Latine resource center. Valenzuela Mejia said he was proud of the incoming officers with Latino backgrounds and asked them to support their community. He also encouraged some council members, whom he did not name, to educate themselves on the struggles of marginalized communities.
  • Academic Affairs Commissioner Sujana Sridhar listed some of her office’s work this year, including the removal of incomplete grade notations on transcripts for resolved grades and Books for Bruins, a program that aims to subsidize course materials for students.
  • Campus Events Commissioner Mason Miller said his office will host its Shorttakes Film Festival on June 3 in the Kerckhoff Charles E. Young Grand Salon. He also thanked other council members for their support.
  • Community Service Commissioner Chia Ying Wong said her office will hold its final event of her tenure, the Service Impact Summit, on Friday at the Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference Center. She also listed some of her office’s work from this year, including expanded event and programming efforts and collaborations with other USAC offices and student organizations. Wong also thanked the outgoing council members.
  • Cultural Affairs Commissioner Alicia Verdugo said the media is “riddled with Zionism” as she read updates on the Israeli military’s actions in Gaza amid the Israel-Hamas war. They encouraged students and council members to join the efforts of what they called the Popular University for Palestine, a series of teach-ins hosted in Dickson Plaza. She also thanked council members “with a backbone” who she said stood for students’ efforts. Verdugo also said they do not regret canceling their office’s events for the remainder of the academic year and blamed Zionism for the cancellation, using an expletive to describe the ideology.
  • Facilities Commissioner Nilaya Kanuri said her office’s project to monitor transit and pedestrian traffic on De Neve Drive will begin this week. She added that she attended USAC’s monthly meeting with Beck to discuss the recent security presence on campus and violence incited by counter-protesters against the Palestine solidarity encampment. Kanuri also thanked her office’s staff for their work this year.
  • Financial Supports Commissioner Sara Broukhim said she was proud of her office’s work this year, including securing New York Times subscriptions and distributing lab coats to students. She added that she believes the council failed to hear all voices and be respectful at times, saying she sometimes felt isolated. Broukhim also criticized the rhetoric used by the council as being at “an all-time low.”
  • Student Wellness Commissioner Jennis Kang thanked her office’s staff, Wong, Law, Sridhar, Miller, International Student Representative Adam Tfayli, Jussim and Verdugo for their work and support.
  • Transfer Student Representative Meagan Harmon encouraged the incoming council to hear perspectives from many communities and take action on such concerns. She also thanked council members for welcoming her to the council after she was appointed in March.
  • Tfayli said his office hosted a charity volleyball tournament with the Middle Eastern Student Association, the Lebanese Student Association and The Diya Project. He added that he has worked on his office’s transition to his successor and thanked the council members.

Agenda item:

  • The council approved a change to its bylaws to allow the Facilities commissioner to appoint another individual to chair the TGIF committee. The council unanimously approved the amendment.
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