UC Student Association finalizes plan for Million Student March

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At its meeting Saturday at UC Berkeley, the UC Student Association Board of Directors discussed a number of topics and finalized plans for the upcoming Million Student March.

The Million Student March will be taking place Thursday across the UC system, alongside a national movement of students. Each UC campus will be holding individual marches, but the common goals of the event are the adoption of a national $15 minimum wage, the abolition of student loan debt and free tuition at public universities through a “Robin Hood Tax” on Wall Street.

“The Million Student March was an idea that started with a remark made by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, stating elected officials wouldn’t care about supporting higher education until a million students were out marching,” said UCSA President Kevin Sabo in an email.

The UC Berkeley march will begin on Sproul Plaza on Thursday at 2 p.m. The event has garnered the support of student groups including the California Nurses Association, the campus Black Student Union and the campus Muslim student Association.

Additionally, the UCSA board met Friday and heard input from UC Irvine on ways to ensure that UCSA responds adequately to the needs of students. As a condition of UC Irvine’s return to UCSA — after seceding in 2014 — the campus holds quarterly check-ins with UCSA to ensure that its concerns are addressed.

“We want to open up for our students a platform to discuss UCSA, and how their suggestions can be taken up to UCSA,” said Kristine Jermakian, ASUC Irvine executive vice president.

UCSA committees also reviewed the practices of UConsent with regards to peer education and worked on developing a rubric to gauge student satisfaction with mental health services as part of the #HowAreYou campaign.

The UCSA also finalized its budget for the first half of 2016. The UCSA recently aligned its fiscal calendar with the UC fiscal year in order to facilitate the implementation of the SAGE fee and give new boards a “fresh budget” to govern with, according to Sabo.

Ivana Saric covers higher education. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @ivanas26.