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Introducing our quarterly report for Fall 2019 and blog posts straight from our team!

 

QUARTER RECAP

Fall 2019 Report brought to you by the Academic Affairs Commission

This is the USAC Academic Affairs Commissioner’s quarterly recap, created by the executive directors and commissioner, Naomi Riley, in order to evaluate and update the general student body on AAC’s goals, objectives, and progress within the first half of the 2019-2020 academic year. It is important to begin with understanding what is the Academic Affairs Commission under the Undergraduate Students Association Council. 
Our commission has four core components. The first is the Academic Senate. Our commissioner is charged with appointing over 25 student appointments as Academic Senators on various committees mixed with UCLA faculty and staff members. It is through the Academic Senate that AAC has the power to influence and make policy changes within UCLA. AAC also provides funding opportunities for individual students and student organizations through the Travel Grant Mini Fund and the Academic Success Referendum Fund. These funds are provided to us through the Social Justice Referendum. The commission also aims to increase accessibility within USAC and AAC by offering a fall and winter internship class. This class of interns is educated on the ins and outs of USAC, AAC and student advocacy. Interns usually go on to serve as liaisons between their communities and USAC, return as executive staff members, and even run for student government positions. Lastly, AAC provides programmatic support and resources that aim to enhance students’ educational environment.

Academic Senate

  • This quarter Breeze was able to interview and fill the positions for the Academic Senate. After a tough  quarter of positioning all our senators, everyone who has not yet attended a meeting, will be ready to attend one this upcoming quarter. 

  • Thus far we have had 3 all-senator meetings, but this upcoming quarter we hope to have a total of 5 (biweekly).

  • Finally, Breeze and Naomi have drafted a by-law change that promises that all academic senators will be paid both this year and in years to come.

  • We are looking forward to having our all-senator retreat Saturday, January 18 from 5 PM to 9 PM.

Internship

  • Hired a class of twelve Academic Affairs Commission interns, both freshmen and transfers. 

  • Internship director coordinated spaces for interns to engage in learning about the mechanisms and history of USAC, AAC, and the Academic Senate. 

  • Helped conduct research on standardized testing and admissions.

  • Partnered with Brian Zamora from the UCLA Ethnic Studies Student Committee to draft a resolution to Save CA Ethnic Studies, which was passed during Week 10 of Fall Quarter.

  • Integrated fall interns into commission staff.

Travel Grant and Academic Success Fund

  • Created two funding directors to oversee both Travel Grant and Academic Success funding bodies to allow for specialization. 

  • Updated funding guidelines for two funding bodies for better efficiency and clarity for our applicants. 

  • Created office hours with our funding directors to allow for student organizations and individuals to get additional clarification. 

  • The Travel Grant Mini Fund funded a total of 26 applicants, considering each of them for the maximum allocation in order to help alleviate the cost of lodging, airfare, ground transportation and meals for academic events.  

  • The Academic Success Referendum allocated a total of  $2,415.60 to UCLA organizations. 

  • We created evaluation forms to increase our efficiency and to help publicize our resources and how they have benefitted our lovely applicants.

Check out our latest blog posts for more tips and information about the funding process!

Access and Equity

Access and Equity is charged with advocating for the removal of the SAT and forms of standardized testing that prove to be a historical admission admissions barrier. 

  • Met with a series of UCLA and higher education faculty to discuss standardized testing and find an advisor for our commission-sponsored research project. We ultimately secured our advisor, Professor Walter Allen, to help us develop a research paper regarding our initiative.

  • Met with and retained research and information from California higher-education consulting organization SoCal CAN to discuss equitable college admissions.

  • We also began researching multiple cases, journals, articles, and etc. about the topic.

  • And finally, we hired a staff of about 5 students to help us develop our research paper on the elimination of the SAT.

Retention First

  • Serviced 75 students for our Fall 2019 Books 4 Bruins Scholarship! 

  • Expanded our textbook scholarship to also cover rising costs for academic materials such as access codes. 

  • Serviced 20 students with our i-clicker rental program for Fall 2019. 

  • Received $10,000 of additional funding for Books for Bruins scholarship to increase the amount allocated for textbooks to $100, and amount of students serviced per quarter to 100 students.

Sanctuary Campus

  • Reached out to over 20 organizations for co-collaboration and partnership in areas regarding sanctuary. 

  • Launched our newest initiative, Speak Your Mind, as a monthly conversational and informational event for speakers to discuss topics surrounding mental health. 

  • Held our first ever healing circle in response to the Donald Trump Jr. event. 

  • Partnered with UCLA Psychology faculty to create mental health awareness fiat lux in Spring 2020. 

  • Developing curriculum for new fiat lux.

Space and Technology

  • Revamped and republished our commission’s new website. 

  • Conduct survey research on study spaces on The Hill to launch Covel the dining hall as a night-time study space in Fall 2020. 

  • Agreed with UCLA Library to begin a pilot program for early overnight laptop rental in the Charles E. Young Research Library. 

  • Researching and locating potential study spaces in the local Westwood area for potential off-campus collaborations. 

Commission Wide

  • Participated on the Campus Safety Alliance to voice academic concerns intersecting with campus safety on matters regarding the interim security camera policy, Donald Trump Jr. event, and the Getty Fires. 

  • Delivered a Letter to the Academic Senate concerning the Getty Fires and Emergency preparedness.

  • Advocated for issues regarding accessibility within CAE and housing in a joint meeting with the Facilities Commission, Cultural Affairs Commission, CAE staff, Dean Maria Blandizzi and Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Monroe Gordon. 

  • Preparing for Winter Quarter meeting with Vice Chancellor Michael Beck to discuss emergency preparedness. 

 

Up Close With AAC

What goes on in AAC? Here are some updates, reports, and advice brought to you exclusively by our esteemed staff.

 
 
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