Candidate Statements for USAC Elections

President

1.     Danny Siegel

Hello Bruins! I’m Danny Siegel, your next Bruins United USAC President. As your current Gen Rep One, I revitalized school spirit, provided an outlet for healthy political discourse, and encouraged student entrepreneurship - but my work does not stop here. Next year, I will revolutionize the Bruin experience through the following platforms:

What’s Good in Westwood
- With some of the most famous and student-friendly businesses located right in our backyard, I will introduce more Bruin discounts, a Bruins’ Night Out, and drive-in movie nights. Let’s revive the Bruin experience and reclaim our college town!

Affordability and Accountability
- As USAC President I will collaborate with other presidents across the UC to advocate for affordable housing by ensuring that the UC Regents prioritize low cost housing options. In addition, I will hold local landlords accountable to the law, helping to ensure that all students have safe, affordable housing options.

Bruin Strong, Alumni Strong
- Alumni interaction should extend beyond donations to the UCLA foundation and sporadic facilitated interactions. As president, I will ensure that graduates see their contributions make an impact on campus TODAY by guaranteeing paid internship programs specific to Bruins, raising funds for our 1,100+ student groups, and giving students access to special Bruin Benefits.

As a successful council member, I have the experience and vision to maximize the UCLA experience for all Bruins. 

To learn more, visit bruinsunited.com and vote Danny Siegel to be your next USAC President!

 

2.     Denea Joseph

Hello Bruins! My name is Denea Joseph and I am your Waves of Change candidate for USAC President! 

I’ve served in USAC spearheading campus and statewide campaigns as Campus Organizing Director and State Affairs Director for the past four years. Serving as an Undergraduate Representative for ASUCLA has allowed me to collaborate with student organizations to identify the specific needs of the larger Bruin community. 

Having traveled across the nation advocating and coalition building with my fellow Black and immigrant communities has provided me with the necessary organizing experience that will allow me to fight for all Bruins. 

I strongly believe in activating individual agency to create long lasting change as I’ve done as co-founder of IGNITE: a campaign to re-prioritize funding towards education and away from mass incarceration. As a board member for the UC Student Association, I organized with the Fund the UC campaign, which successfully froze the tuition hike. Advocating for over 238,000 students in the University of California refined my skills, relationships and knowledge to continue to advocate for you too. 

As President, I will: 

Develop an effective support and resource network comprised of students, professors and administrators in order to provide more accessible and personable mental health assistance.

Create a UCLA student-specific conference that will bring together administrators, elected officials, student leaders, athletes and organizers in order to create a more unified campus community. 

Advocate for resources on a UCLA and UC-wide level in order to provide increased housing and food security.

 

Internal Vice-President (IVP)

1.     Sabrina Zeigler

Hello Bruins! For years, the Office of the Internal Vice President has been led by individuals who understand the importance of student groups and student safety in a way that translates into tangible change. I am humbled to have the opportunity to continue this legacy, while moving the office in a new direction with innovative and empowering platforms. As our next Bruins United Internal Vice President, I will strive to create: 

“SOLE Mates” (Student Advisors)
- Establish the role of SOLE Mates who will work alongside the SOLE office to increase the efficiency of communication between Student Organizations and ASUCLA. They will have the added role of being trained on student group issues, then educating the student groups that they advise, directly. 

IVPhundraise for Bruins Today and Tomorrow
- Actively invest in the Endowment for future sustainable funding for student organizations, as well as contribute to the Contingency Fund so current student groups have access to funds. Accomplishing this through the Spark Campaign, as well as alumni events. 

Keeping TABS on USAC (Reform)
- Training council members on the bylaws for better governance
- Accomplish appointment accountability
- Benefit the students through budget transparency. 

As one of the current Chiefs of Staff for this office, my qualifications and passion for the position is unrivaled, literally. But this is not about me; it’s about us and what we can do as a united student body.

To learn more visit www.bruinsunited.com and vote Bruins United in this year’s USAC election!

 

External vice-president (EVP)

1.     Rafi Sands

Hi Bruins! My name is Rafi Sands and I am your Bruins United Candidate for External Vice President!

With my experiences writing policy on behalf of 240,000 students in the Office of the UC Student Regent, and navigating the complex bureaucracy of the UC as a reporter for the Daily Bruin, I understand how our system works and have already affected lasting change. 

As your next EVP, I’ll bring you:

M.I.A. is MIA!: A Campaign to Advocate for Middle Income Affordability
- It’s time to show our admins that middle income students are struggling to get by. Our campaign will empower middle income students to share their stories and advocate for the financial support that they deserve. 

Activate the Activism
- My office will give students the knowledge and tools they need to lobby for the legislation that matters to them. We will train students to write op-eds, circulate petitions, write letters to our policy makers as well as schedule lobby visits for students to our state and nation’s capitols to advocate on their own behalf. 

Bruins Vote 2016!
- In the upcoming elections, it’s important that students know how specific issues will affect them! I will lead a campaign to educate Bruins as to what’s at stake in the presidential candidates’ platforms, California ballot measures, and beyond.

To learn more about my ideas, visit bruinsunited.com and vote RAFI SANDS to be your next External Vice President!

 

2.     Ria Jain

Hey UCLA Bruins, my name is Ria Jain, and I’m running with Waves of Change to be your External Vice President!

In my three years at UCLA, I have worked tirelessly to implement change, lobbying on behalf of students on campus, in Sacramento, and in Washington, D.C. 

I believe that transformative change starts at the local level. As the External Vice President of Indus, I have worked to promote political engagement in the UCLA community through voter registration mobilization. 

Furthermore, as the Assistant State Affairs Director in the External Vice President’s office, I have advocated for over 200,000 students through the University of California Student Association, fighting for a successful two year UC-wide tuition freeze and lobbying for the California affirmative consent bill. 

I have also gained crucial national policy lobbying experience. As an SWC campaign manager for All of Us: A Campaign to Rethink Mental Health, I have lobbied across the country to address policy initiatives for mental health reform. But my work won’t stop here. 

As External Vice President I will:
• Increase civic engagement through electoral training workshops, an outdoor kickoff fair, and a centralized portal dedicated to Vote 2016.
• Expand mental health resources and accountability on a state and national level.
• Advocate for policies that prioritize environmental justice and sustainability.
• Fight Fee Increases by advocating for affordable education and tuition freezes.

I am confident in my ability to work together to ensure an accessible and affordable future for all of us. 

Vote Ria Jain for EVP!

 

general representative

1.     Shubham Goel

#MakeUCLAGreatAgain #MakeUCLAGreatAgain #MakeUCLAGreatAgain

I don’t represent the record low 29% that voted last year but instead I represent the 100% of the student body. If you feel like an outsider with our ineffective student government (USAC), then you are not alone. I know that many of you have friends or acquaintances that are asking you to vote for a whole party for every position, but be stronger than that and have the courage to vote for someone DIFFERENT. I would compare USAC to a turtle with multiple herniated disks and suffering from an advanced stage of scoliosis. This turtle talks a lot, moves slowly, requires a lot of money and does nothing. Drugs, corruption and abuse of power were some of the headlines last year; it is hard to fathom how student government has morphed to become a clown like circus with acrobats and elephants sitting on stools in front of laptops. Reality is that last year I was scared to walk on campus because of USAC. It is hard to fathom how student government has morphed from civility to a clown like circus. I want to make a change not individually, but collectively as a whole student body incorporating the entire 100%. My experience in software companies, movie production companies, frats, and organizations will make me the perfect candidate. #FeelTheBham ## #MakeUCLAGreatAgain #bruWIN #MakeUCLAGreatAgain

 

2.     Zoe Borden

Hi Bruins! My name is Zoe Borden and I’m running to be your next General Representative with Bruins United! As Director of Lobbying under the External Vice President, I personally fought for the Bruin student body in Sacramento and Washington D.C. My time in USAC has given me the connections to ensure that ALL Bruins have the opportunity to succeed, and the experience to ensure that ALL their voices are heard. 

As your next General Representative I will implement:

Bruin Test Prep
- Every student at UCLA should be able to take test preparation courses to further their degree regardless of their financial background. Bruin Test Prep will offer discounted GRE, MCAT and LSAT courses for UCLA undergraduate students.

The Scholarship Portal
- College affordability is on the forefront of all students minds. The Scholarship Portal is a feature on myUCLA that will connect students with institutional and external scholarships that they are eligible to apply for

Make Campus Chill Again
- Love relaxing at Janns steps? Want to throw a frisbee around the quad like you see in all those college movies? My program will establish a rental system for lawn blankets, hammocks, frisbees and other sports equipment by simply swiping your bruin card! Let’s take advantage of the fact that we go to the most beautiful campus in the country.

We are only students for a short time. Now is the time to use our voice. I’m Zoe Borden and together we are Bruins United.

 

3.     Inan Chowdhury

My name is Inan Chowdhury. Running as an Independent, I plan to tackle divisiveness and provide an inclusive environment for all by empowering understanding in the UCLA community with unprecedented levels of communication and unity. As an events director of SWC-EARTH and USAC General Representative 1 and 2 staff, I have organized several events geared towards accomplishing that goal and hope to continue doing so with:

1) UCLA Olympics (Bruin Games): Teams of students will compete in all-inclusive activities with the incentive of raising money for a charity of their choice as well as additional resources and events. This event will engage peers in friendly competition and bring together groups of all backgrounds through community service, highlighting the beauty and abundance of diversity at UCLA through food, dance, and music. 

2) Sigma C.H.A.I. (Coalition of Humans Against Inequality): This United Nations-style forum will serve as an umbrella entity for leaders from different communities on campus to come together to build their networks and facilitate a dialogue towards proactive solutions to social and student issues across the board. Allowing student voices to be heard by both administration and each other is my priority and this is the first step. 

3) Resources for Mindful Awareness and Self Expression for Better Mental Health:
-Provide free yoga and meditation lessons to complement prayer/meditation space.
-Yoga/prayer mat loan library
-Host a schoolwide chalk day allowing students to express themselves through art
-Promote mental health awareness as well as utilization of resources

 

4.     Sujith Cherukumilli

Hi Bruins! I’m Sujith Cherukumilli, I’m running for General Representative with Bruins United, and I have a vision for UCLA: to enhance the college experience for Bruins. From my experience as an Orientation Advisor and a Dancer Captain for Dance Marathon, I realized how pivotal it is for students to be involved in fun and engaging ways. I am running because the UCLA I strive for is one where students embrace their Bruin pride, remain insightful, and constantly work to solve our University’s biggest challenges. 

I plan on realizing my vision for UCLA through my platforms and the goals they seek to accomplish. 

Let’s Talk About Sex
- This project dedicates one week to raising awareness for issues surrounding sex, including sexual health and sexual assault, in an engaging way. This initiative will also include a day where UCLA students visit local middle schools to educate students about safe sex.

Bruins Decide 2016: Presidential Election Watch Party
- This will be a collective viewing experience of the results of the 2016 Presidential Election for Bruins to attend and commingle, collaborate and celebrate American politics.

Bruin Beatz
- UCLA harbors a plethora of extremely talented DJs and hip hop artists; this project aims to expose Bruins to a variety of music from peers.

With my experience and vision for a more spirited and superb UCLA for ALL Bruins, I believe a vote for Sujith is a vote for progress. 

To learn more, visit BruinsUnited.com, and vote Sujith Cherukumilli for your next General Representative!

 

5.     Ru Majmudar

My name is Ru Majmudar and I’m running to be your next General Representative with Bruins United to bring new energy, fresh ideas, and achievable solutions for UCLA! 

As your next General Representative I will implement the three C’s: 

Collaboration Station - Expand spaces with 3D Printers, whiteboards, and study rooms on campus for EVERYONE
- Working with the Vice Chancellor’s Office and On Campus Housing Council, I helped create a floor on the Hill dedicated to providing entrepreneurial minded students the tools they need to achieve their goals. By creating more of these collaborative spaces both on the Hill and throughout campus, we can empower all students to innovate. 

Connect LA - Institute a BikeShare program that reach across campus and into Westwood
- By instituting a BikeShare program, we will make it easier for students to reach their destinations. We all know it takes far too long for students to travel to Westwood to shop or bus to Santa Monica for internships and trips. Additionally, thousands of students who live further away from campus can save both time and money using BikeShare. 

Conversations Creating Change - Bringing Speakers to Campus
- This undergraduate speaker series would be an accessible, non-partisan forum for the expression of ideas on campus. The speaker series would bring together panels of experts, distinguished persons, and students to discuss a wide range of issues both affecting UCLA and the entire world. 

To learn more, visit bruinsunited.com and vote Ru Majmudar to be your next General Representative!

 

academic affairs COMMISSIONER (aac)

1.     Ashly Mohankumar

Hello Bruins! My name is Ashly Mohankumar and I’m running with Bruins United to be your next Academic Affairs Commissioner! My love for UCLA is strong and helped me develop a diverse perspective which I will use in shaping this commission.

As your next Academic Affairs Commissioner I will bring you: 

Women Empowerment Campaign
-Increase confidence and empower women in all fields across campus such as areas of Tech, Science, Education, Business, and Health

‘Brewin’ Networking Night:
-Not your typical networking event! Hosted in an unconventional environment, this program will connect graduate students to undergraduate students to facilitate increased peer advising and guidance in specific fields of study

Bound 2 Retention:
-Advocating for new structuring and better use of resources to ensure clear paths for undergraduates to graduate on time
-Creating new tools to fill the missing gaps as well as organizing tools that are available

After three years of working in the Academic Affairs Commission, I have the necessary connections with key administrators to facilitate collaboration and communication amongst organizations and individuals from all pockets of campus. My past experience of serving as the Director of the Diversity Lobby Core Committee and helping pass the Diversity Requirement along with currently being the Director of Academic Services, Director of Appointments, and sitting on the Senate for Academic Freedom serves as a reminder that I am the MOST QUALIFIED candidate for Academic Affairs Commissioner. 

To learn more, visit bruinsunited.com and vote Ashly Mohankumar to be YOUR next Academic Affairs Commissioner!

 

cAmpus events commissioner (cec)

1.     Jordan Vincent Dang

No statement available

 

community service commissioner (CSC)

1.     Zack Dameron

Hey Bruins! 

My name is Zack Dameron and I am seeking a second term to serve on USAC as the Community Service Commissioner. During this past year, I have worked to help improve the overall funding process at UCLA for all student organizations and assisted with increasing the visibility of service opportunities to students. Now, I want to continue working as a service-minded student on this campus to expand the variety of opportunities to get involved with civic engagement at UCLA. 

As your next Community Service Commissioner, I will work on the following initiatives: 
• Establish an advocacy program so students can pursue their passion of fighting for different service-based issues at the local, state and national level.
• Incorporate more service programs that encompass a wider range of issues in the community. 
• Engage students in service during their first year at UCLA by creating a service-oriented New Student Orientation and service-themed Residential Hall community. 

At UCLA, Service is the fourth True Bruin value that is instilled within each student. However, it is often one that not all students get to fully experience. During my second term as Community Service Commissioner, I will continue to look for ways to expand the service opportunities available to all students while adequately serving the needs and concerns of all undergraduates as a council member.

 

cultural affairs commissioner (CAC)

1.     Amy Shao

Hey Bruins! My name is Amy Shao and I am your Waves of Change Candidate for Cultural Affairs Commissioner.

This year as your Cultural Affairs Commissioner, I have been granted a beautiful and privileged experience of growth, falling back in love with a Commission that captured my heart three years ago. Throughout three years within CAC, I continue to return back to what this Commission has offered in its 50-year legacy – empowerment through utilizing one’s narrative to educate the campus on silenced identities. Establishing my roots within CAC as an intern and later as Administrative Coordinator and Arts Restoring Community Fund Chair, I seek re-election out of an unrelenting belief that CAC must continue to grow as a home for Bruins who seek outlets of self-expression.

As your next Cultural Affairs Commissioner, I will create:

Freestyle dance spaces to inspire collaboration amongst the dance communities, bringing forth community founders and choreographers to educate on the historical movements of dance

CAC Shark Tank Panels serve as an opportunity for students to pitch events respective to their organizations and receive constructive feedback on how to make them as successful as Bruin Bash. 

Culture Talks x Student Documentaries provide an outlet for students to show their self-produced documentaries to a wider audience. 

The arts have the capacity to provide an outlet for individuals to explore their creative expression. It is an outlet that motivates CAC to continue to provide resources to students who face the beautiful struggle of remaining true to their path.

 

2.     Brian Kohaya

Hello Bruins! My name is Brian Kohaya and I am running to be your next Cultural Affairs Commissioner with Bruins United!
In my time at UCLA, I’ve been involved in a diverse array of organizations such as the Asian Pacific Coalition, Pacific Ties Newsmagazine, the Cultural Affairs Commission (CAC), and many others which taught me the importance of community building. For this reason, I hope to utilize the position of Cultural Affairs Commissioner to build understanding between different communities and help improve the campus climate, while still maintaining the spirit of “edutainment”, education through entertainment.

As Cultural Affairs Commissioner, I will achieve these goals by:

Global Connections: Incorporate international students into CAC
-CAC will host art shows and receptions, showcasing the artists in the international community. I want to help these artist promote themselves and gain a reputation in the UCLA community.

CulturexHealth: Exploring the intersection of culture and wellness
-Cultural groups all have unique problems when it comes to health. I will explore these issues and “edutain” the UCLA population that health and wellness cannot be summed up, but is intricately and differently tied to each culture through health fairs and awareness days.

Revitalized Spring Concert
-The new spring music event will replace the Jazz Reggae Festival. This festival will retain the spirit of JRF, but be reworked to target the interest of UCLA students.

To learn more, visit bruinsunited.com and vote Brian Kohaya to be YOUR next Cultural Affairs Commissioner!

 

facilities commissioner (fc)

1.     Sandra Rhee

Hello Bruins! My name is Sandra Rhee and I am your Bruins United candidate for Facilities Commissioner!

I have been at the forefront of change for sustainability and improvement of facilities since my first year at UCLA. In this past year, I led the solar array expansion on Ackerman Union, served as the President of our campus’s first clean energy club, the Renewable Energy Association at UCLA, and helped institutionalize campus sustainability efforts as the Director of Green Week in this year’s Facilities Commission.

As your next Facilities Commissioner, my platforms will deliver creative and feasible solutions to these issues:

“Turn Down the Watts!” Energy Saving Initiative:
- Address temperature control concerns in classrooms to mediate excessive air conditioning settings
- Reevaluate campus lighting and energy infrastructure

“Don’t Crack Your Back” FREE Rental Equipment Service:
- Establish a centralized online application that will allow student organizations to reserve free equipment rental in advance for events and activities (e.g. overhead projectors, sound equipment, chairs)

SafetE^3 Program:
- Multi-faceted campus safety initiative tackling Environment, Enforcement, and Engagement
- Bring structural improvements to provide a safer physical campus environment, increase on-campus security to prevent sexual assault cases, and organize forums between students and administration to respond to university concerns

We are united by our aspiration to improve our campus’s sustainability, safety, and student spaces. Together we can make the changes we want to see on our campus. 

To learn more, visit bruinsunited.com and vote Sandra Rhee for YOUR next Facilities Commissioner!

 

financial supports commissioner (FSC)

1.     Ariel Rafalian

Hello fellow Bruins! Ariel Rafalian here, running to be YOUR next Financial Supports Commissioner!

This past year, I served as your Transfer Student Representative helping transfer students acclimate and succeed at UCLA. I implemented a mentorship program “Show Me the Ropes” that brought together over 300 students to help one another on campus. I also worked with administrators to make the Transfer Resource Center a reality. However, my work on council is not yet finished!

As your Financial Supports Commissioner I plan on implementing: 

Find Some Charge (FSC)
-Rent a phone charger, free of charge, to charge through your day. Our partnership with the Clicc Lab will provide Bruins access to phone chargers at Powell and YRL. Don’t let your phone battery waste your time, because time is money. 

Success Studios
-Create interactive on campus workshops to successfully prepare students with the valuable skills employers are seeking. Workshop topics will range from Microsoft Office to Photoshop featuring industry professionals, CEOs, and notable alumni. 

Personal Finance Course
-Advocate for a course where students acquire the knowledge necessary to navigate through finances in college and beyond. Learn to budget, bank, and buy a healthy financial lifestyle. 

Accessibility is my priority. Through my platforms I will ensure that every Bruin has the opportunity to succeed in their undergraduate and postgraduate career. And as a successful sitting council member I know how to make tangible change happen.

To learn more, visit bruinsunited.com and vote Ariel Rafalian to be YOUR Financial Supports Commissioner.

 

student wellness commissioner (SWC)

1.     Christina Lee

Hi Bruins! My name is Christina Lee, and I have the honor to be running to be your next Student Wellness Commissioner. I joined the Student Wellness Commission (SWC) in the fall of my freshman year, where I’ve since continued my involvement in multiple committees and have gone on to join SWC Executive Board and also direct the conference committee for All of Us: A Campaign to Rethink Mental Health. These experiences, as well as those from other organizations on campus, have prepared me to take on the role in serving the undergraduate population of UCLA in revitalizing health and wellness on campus.

SWC plays a crucial role in addressing numerous facets of wellness on campus through the diverse programming from our twelve committees: Active Minds/All of Us, Aids Awareness, Body Image Task Force, Bruin Consent Coalition, Bruin Run/Walk, CPR/First Aid, EARTH, Health Nutrition & Fitness, Student Education And Research on Contemporary Health (SEARCH), Student Health Advocates (SHA), Sexperts, and Total Wellness Magazine. All of these committees organize and host a variety of events available to the UCLA community on a weekly basis in addition to our commission-wide campaigns.

As Student Wellness Commissioner, I plan on furthering mental health advocacy, creating an expanded focus on body image, and promoting bodily autonomy, all in order to promote a safe and aware campus where students feel empowered to prioritize and manage their health.

 

transfer student representative

1.     Divya Sharma

Greetings Bruins! My name is Divya Sharma and I am your Bruins United candidate for Transfer Student Representative!

My passion for the Transfer Community stems from the idea of making sure each transfer student at UCLA feels represented, comfortable, and posi-DIV! As a transfer student, sitting on the Transfer Coalition I personally understand the pressing issues facing the transfer community and have worked with administrators to help solve these problems. Being a part of the Transportation Service Advisory Board I have, and will, continue to advocate for Commuter Bruins! And, as a member of UCLA College Against Cancer, I have learned how important it is to support the people around me in order to create an environment of love and care.

As your next Transfer Student Representative, I will institute:

Dollars and Sense
- Create a transfer alumni board to fund scholarships for current Transfer Bruins.

Back Up Plan
- A plan you can actually back up into. Advocate for transfer commuter students to have a guaranteed parking permit.

Bruin Fitness Challenge
- An app that will give Bruins health tips and workouts to promote a healthier and happier Bruin experience! Team up with floor mates, carpool parties, or club members to complete these fun workouts and receive rewards!

Through my initiatives, we can mo-DIV-ate and energize the Office of the Transfer Student Representative. We will create a better UCLA, and together, make the UCLA transfer experience the best it can be!

 

REFERENDA

(Click here for official referenda language)

1.     TGIF

2.     Social Justice

3.     UCLA Wellness

4.     Daily Bruin/BruinWalk