Good evening, fellow Anteaters!
Firstly, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to read this report. Throughout my term as ASUCI President, I plan to continue updating and being transparent with you all on what ASUCI’s Office of the President plans to achieve, what we are currently working on, and what we have managed to achieve for students through a monthly report over the next several months.
Below are some of the projects and campaigns that my office has been actively working on from June 11th – July 31st:
- University of California Council of Presidents: Last weekend I attended the first UC Council of Presidents (CP) meeting of the year, which was held at the newly-opened UCLA Luskin Conference Center. CP is the body comprised of all graduate and undergraduate student body Presidents system-wide. It is an advisory committee and regularly meets with UC President Janet Napolitano to discuss issues and campaigns that are impacting each respective campus, or campuses UC-wide.
The Council of Presidents is co-chaired by an undergraduate and graduate President, and I am honored to announce that I have been chosen by my fellow UC Student Body Presidents to serve as this year’s undergraduate co-chair of the Council of Presidents, alongside UCLA’s Graduate President. We are currently working on a website and social media pages, and I will share these with you soon so that you may view our agendas, minutes, and advocacy projects.
- Transitioning Food Security Advocacy Initiatives into Basic Needs Security Advocacy: In conjunction with many of our statewide partners, such as the UC Student Association, the Council of Presidents plans to move forward with addressing the issue of food insecurity on our campuses to also include issues of housing insecurity and inaccessibility to mental health resources/services, under the umbrella term Basic Needs Security. The UC Nutrition Policy Institute conducted a Food Insecurity Study in Spring 2015, which found that housing expenses directly impact food security and that our UC Undergraduate Living Budget is either barely or well below Active Market Rent Prices. This study also found that students who are food-insecure are twice as likely to report feelings of depression.
Furthermore, this study found that rent prices in off-campus housing in the city of Irvine are the highest in the entire UC system. This is an issue that many candidates addressed in our ASUCI elections, and my fellow Presidents and I, as well as the entire ASUCI Executive Office, are diligently working on finding resources that will secure a better state of basic needs security for UC Irvine students. In my next couple reports, I will include tangible projects ASUCI is working on in this area.
Link to the study: UCOP Global Food Initiative: 2016 Student Food Access and Security Study.
On-campus Housing updates:
The Mesa Court Tower project is completed and will officially open on September 13th. Due to the increase in admitted freshmen to UCI this year– an increase of over 200 students compared to Fall 2015’s numbers– some of the rooms will serve as triple or even quadruple rooms. Conversations about opening a Middle Earth Tower have begun, but these plans have not been confirmed to ASUCI.
Food Pantry updates:
The student body voted to pay $3 per student per quarter to sustain the Food Pantry for the next 10 years. The language in the referendum indicated that the fee may increase annually based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to offset the costs of inflation. 33% of this increase will be returned to financial aid.
Mental Health Resources:
In early June, UCI’s Counseling Center hosted several community forums for all UCI community members to evaluate candidates for the Senior Staff Psychologist positions. This increase in hires was made possible by a 5% increase in the Student Services Fee, wherein 50% of the increase– after 33% returns to financial aid– went to hiring these clinicians statewide.
- As you may know, in our Spring Elections, students voted in favor of a revised version of our ASUCI Constitution. Some of the major changes to our Constitution includes the creation of the Office of the Student Advocate General, which is responsible for giving legal advice based on state, federal, UC, and UCI policies, and working with students to ensure their rights are understood and exercised. In the constitution, students also voted to change the name of our Executive Vice President and Administrative Affairs Vice President to External Vice President and Internal Vice President, respectively. To coincide with the changes in our new Constitution, ASUCI is currently working on updating our Bylaws, Elections Code (which are rules that ASUCI officer candidates must abide by during Elections), and Student Programming Funding Board (which provides funding for organization events) Guidelines.
ASUCI Student Advocate General: Oliver Flores
External Vice President: Taylor Chanes
Internal Vice President: Rafael Carrazco
Academic Affairs Vice President: Tianna Nand
Student Services Vice President: Jackson Chirigotis
Review our new Constitution here: ASUCI Constitution.
- ASUCI is reaching the pinnacle of our three-year long voter registration campaign, otherwise known as the 60 by 16 Initiative. This initiative, which was created in 2014 under the ASUCI Office of the President, aims to register 60% of the undergraduate student body by the November General Election. Our events throughout the last three years have focused on promoting voter education and engagement as well. This year, in conjunction with voter registration, we will be screening the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Debates, as well as partnering with the Irvine Chamber of Commerce to host a town hall forum for Irvine City Council candidates, which will be free and open to all! ASUCI’s Office of the External Vice President will also be distributing educational ballot initiative pamphlets.
Our voter registration team will be available to register students to vote at all welcome week events, in classrooms, on Ring Road, during move-in weekends at all housing complexes, dining locations, and in many other areas. Our partners for the campaign include: the Korean Resource Center (KRC), UC Student Association (UCSA), League of Women Voters (LWV), The Orange County Registrar of Voters, and many more campus departments.
For more information, visit: ASUCI 60 by 16 Page
For updates, like the campaign Facebook page: ASUCI 60 by 16 Campaign.
- ASUCI’s Office of Student Services has announced this year’s World Record Attempt: 4-Quadrant Dodgeball! We would love to welcome you all to attend this event during Welcome Week and compete to be the ultimate dodgeball champion! If your organization would like to booth during welcome week, visit this link: Welcome Week Performance Boothing Applications.
- Student Parent Orientation Program (SPOP): In Partnership with SPOP, ASUCI has helped coordinate several programs and will be there to speak with incoming students about who we are and what we do! Find us at the Peer Education Fair (2-4PM) and the Anteater Resource Fair (1:45-3PM), as well as during the nightly dances.
There are many other projects that ASUCI’s Office of the President will be working on through the summer, and I welcome any feedback and questions you may have. Beginning Fall Quarter, these monthly reports will be supplemented by bi-weekly videos created by ASUCI’s Media & Communications team! I look forward to hearing your feedback and reporting our progress in the next monthly report, which will include our August projects.
Get Involved: Apply to be a staff member or intern in ASUCI!