Saturday, December 4

USAC recap – May 5


The Undergraduate Students Association Council is the official student government representing the undergraduate student body at UCLA. Council meetings take place every Tuesday at 7 p.m. and are open to all students. Spring quarter meetings will take place virtually on Zoom; links for the meetings can be found on the Internal Vice President’s Facebook page. Watch a livestream of the meetings on the USAC Live! channel on YouTube.

Public Comment:

  • Keya Vijapure, the California Public Interest Research Group campus relations coordinator on the affordable textbooks program and a first-year physiological science student, asked the council to advocate for expanding student access to affordable educational resources.
  • Sithara Menon said she is no longer the chair of CALPIRG at UCLA. She expressed gratitude toward USAC members for the work they have accomplished this year. Prab Rai, incoming chapter chair of CALPIRG at UCLA, said she is excited to work with the incoming council.
  • Undergraduate Students Association Elections Board Chair Navi Sidhu said the elections board asked him to remind council members to promote voter turnout, especially considering that last year had about a 16% turnout. The USAC election is underway and will last until Friday.

Agenda:

  • The Green Initiative Fund adjusted the money allocated to three previous applications of student-initiated projects to a total of $23,125.
  • The council approved new requirements for maintaining Campus Safety Alliance voting membership. A member must attend three CSA meetings throughout the academic year to keep their voting rights. The alliance will also elect a representative to the Public Safety Advisory Council, a council chaired by Vice Chancellor Michael Beck, at its last meeting of the academic year.
  • The council approved an amendment to its bylaws to clarify the Facilities commission appoints five undergraduate student representatives to The Green Initiative Fund. The amendment also reflected the Facilities commissioner will serve as chair of TGIF.
  • USAC and the Transfer Leadership Coalition endorsed a resolution to condemn the Daily Bruin Editorial Board’s rhetoric in a nonendorsement of a transfer student candidate as disrespectful toward transfer students at UCLA.
  • Naomi Riley, the Academic Affairs commissioner, raised concerns about certain professors giving out difficult midterms on short time limits. Riley said the council should try to replicate previous success with the Academic Senate to help students going through unfair academic situations
  • Financial Supports Commissioner Millen Srivastava said UCLA will be distributing part of the money allocated to it under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act back toward the student population. Each student will receive $200 from the university. The CARES Act requires recipients to be U.S. citizens, but the university will open up university funding to funnel money to undocumented and international students. About $10,000,000 will go toward need-based financial aid for students, which also will not be limited by citizenship.
  • The council also proposed an opt-out system, where a student has the option to donate the $200 they receive under CARES Act to financial aid funding.

Report:

  • USAC President Robert Watson said the University of California Office of the President has lowered the referendums threshold from 20% to 15%, meaning a referendum now needs to only reach at least 15% voter turnout and win a majority of the vote cast to go into effect. He added the class of 2020 accomplishment task force, which oversees graduation plans for 2020, is operational.
  • General Representative 2 Orion Smedley said his office is taking three approaches to make the budget clearer for students. He added the report will include a word cloud of all the purchases USAC has made. He also said he hopes to combine machine learning and an administrative approach with the word cloud.
  • General Representative 3 Brandon Broukhim said his office will be releasing an end-of-the-year report. He added that the last group of Westwood businesses that are collaborating with the council to offer students discounts will be announced tomorrow.
  • Riley said a housing task force is researching models for housing options for the next academic year.
  • Campus Events Commissioner Tara Steinmetz said her office is coordinating with local artists to livestream concerts. Steinmetz added her office is also coordinating a Zoom cook-along with Antoni Porowski from Queer Eye on Saturday.
  • Srivastava said her office has just closed applications for the COVID-19 Relief Fund. She also said student tuition refunds are not viable because of costs incurred by COVID-19-related disruptions.
  • Student Wellness Commissioner Mihika Sridhar said her office will be coordinating with the Financial Supports commission to assist students in need with financial support.
Editor in chief

Qu is the 2021-2022 Editor in chief. He was previously the 2020-2021 campus politics editor and a contributor for The Stack. He is also a fourth-year statistics and political science student at UCLA.


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