By Julia Schemmer | June 25, 2016
Every other month, the UC Regents convene together for a long chunk of meetings, covering everything from administrative salaries to admissions data. From May 11-12, the UC Regents gathered in Sacramento, California.
There, they discussed the issues affecting the University of California and to make decisions about what the solutions should be. Miss the meetings? Check out the top takeaways from the meetings here:
Janet Napolitano reaffirmed her support for undocumented student programs. During her opening remarks on Wednesday, May 12, Napolitano confirmed that $8.4 million dollars will be earmarked per year to fund programs such as the UC Dream Loan Program, student staff coordinators, undergraduate and graduate fellowships, and the UC Undocumented Legal Services center. Although the University undoubtedly has a lot of work to do when it comes to providing for undocumented student programs, the confirmed funding marks a positive step forward for the continued accessibility of the UC.
The Regents are considering an overhaul of their current Committee structure.
Currently, there are ten committees within the UC Board of Regents, in which the UCSA-appointed Student Observer sits on three, providing about 30% representation for students in the decisionmaking space. The Regents are considering consolidating the committees to only six, which would provide 50% of student representation within the committees.
“When you hear an announcement like that, you would think it would be more paramount. I think it was a good idea because it’s a reflection of what the Regents have been experiencing over the last few years. I’ve seen it before where there has been an organizational gap between the committees,” says Guillermo Rogel, a May Student Advocate to the Regents.
There is also discussion on creating a committee regarding student affairs, which is a progressive step forward in the Regents’ acknowledgement of their responsibility to help students have a quality and safe education. Additionally, a proposed committee titled Community Engagement would enable the Regents to have a greater stake within the community for funding and outreach.
UCSA appointed Student Advocates to the Regents for the May meeting.
For every Regents meeting, UCSA appoints Student Advocates to the Regents, who speak about campus and systemwide issues directly to the Regents. The May STARs were Iman Sylvain from UC Berkeley, Guillermo Rogel from UC Santa Cruz, Ralph Washington Jr from UC Davis, Ryan Abusaa from UC Davis, and myself, Julia Schemmer from UC Riverside. Unlike most STAR appointments, they were able to attend a banquet with attendees such as the UC Regents, local officials, and Governor Jerry Brown, thus solidifying essential relationships to make long-lasting change within the UC. Students also met with the UCOP Student Affairs staff to discuss systemwide issues such as automatic voter registration, mental health, and housing insecurity.
“Being a student advocate to the regents meant more than just having a chance to speak in front of the policymakers whose decisions affect our lives — it was a chance to build personal connections with them and understand more about their backgrounds,” says Ryan Abusaa, a student at UC Davis. “As far removed as they may seem to be, we cannot simply disregard the remainder of their experiences from their time in the education system up through their current experiences as working members of our society.”
Student Regent Avi Oved finished his last Regents meeting. Avi Oved, a fifth-year undergraduate student from UCLA, finished his last Regents meeting as the 2015-2016 Student Regent. Next to follow his lead is Marcela Ramirez, a graduate student from UC Riverside. During the Regents meeting, a special committee convened to interview the three finalists for the position of Student Regent-Designate, who will be tagging alongside Marcela to learn the role of the student regent.
The Regents will be meeting next in July. Stay tuned for more announcements from the UC Board of Regents!
Julia Schemmer is a first-year Public Policy major at UC Riverside and Media Intern for the UC Students Association. Her goal is simple: to put the lit back in politics.