The University of California Student Association will be holding a conference from Aug. 11 to 17 in order to appoint executive officers and committee chairs, as well as to choose a new UCSA undergraduate campaign.
The UCSA Board of Directors is made up of about one undergraduate and one graduate voting members from each campus, in addition to appointed nonvoting members. In order to be elected to a position, the nominee must be on the Board of Directors either as a voting or nonvoting member.
At the July UCSA meeting, various members of the board were nominated, including one UC Berkeley graduate and four undergraduate students. External Affairs Vice President André Luu was one of the candidates nominated for positions on the board of directors, specifically as board vice chair and university affairs vice chair.
“Berkeley historically has been a dominant presence on the board,” Luu said. “It’s been clear that when Berkeley students are in these leadership positions, it helps continue to elevate and lift the conversation and encourage the other campuses to follow in suit.”
After the nominations, board members typically have roughly a month to either accept or withdraw their candidacy. Voting will take place Friday.
According to the current UCSA President Kevin Sabo, nominees “do not overtly campaign” for their positions on the board and instead are given an allotted amount of time for a speech. Sabo added that the conference’s main focus is training UC students in leadership skills and selecting the new undergraduate campaign.
Every year, UCSA undergraduates launch a two-year campaign that underscores major problems in the UC system and advocates for solutions. According to Sabo, five to seven campaigns are proposed during the conference, during which the organization proceeds to select one and then flesh out the campaign’s goals for the rest of the conference.
For example, Fund the UC — an organization-wide campaign — was focused on finding funding solutions for higher education. To achieve this goal, the organization hosted fundraising and educational events on solutions advocating for a more accessible and affordable UC system.
One proposed solution was reforming Proposition 13, which was an item California voters passed in 1978 that capped the state property tax rate. The campaign also advocated for a Robin Hood tax, a package of financial transaction taxes that could be implemented regionally or on a larger scale.
The focus of this year’s campaign could range from marijuana legalization to UC regents reform; but Luu predicts that this campaign will involve food and housing for students.
“(Food and housing security) is something that a lot of members from Berkeley and other UC delegations have expressed a real need for,” Luu said. “It’s been often overlooked by not only administrations but also by students themselves.”