Illustration by Owen Thomas
Illustration by Owen Thomas

The monthly University of California Student Association (UCSA) meeting is scheduled for this weekend, Jan. 9-10, at UC San Diego. UCSA is a student government organization advocating for all 240,000 students and addressing issues such as the affordability and quality of the UC system. The agenda highlights conversations among the board of directors, led by UCSA board chair and UC Santa Cruz’s Student Union Assembly (SUA) Vice President of External Affairs Guillermo Rogel.

Rogel plans to discuss Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed education budget, action against Islamophobia at the UC, UCSA student funding, and joint lobbying with the UC Office of the President and the UC regents.

“We are hoping that there is increased funding for housing on campus and want to see that there is more money going to the UC,” Rogel said. “[At the meeting] we are going to be seeing what our legislative priorities are going to be for this next cycle, and that is largely going to be framed by the budget that comes out on Friday.”

The meeting agenda will also address the Student Advocacy, Governance and Engagement (SAGE) fee that funds UCSA. In November, UCSC SUA voted and passed the SAGE proposal. At UCSC the fee is $1.32 per student annually, whereas UC Santa Barbara’s undergrad student association charges $7.65 annually. SAGE will raise the fee to about $5 across all of the UCs and give students the option to opt-out of the fee.

“We want to see this implemented as fast as possible, but we also want to see student support,” Rogel said. “So we are going to be getting feedback about how students have been responding to it and how laws and resolutions of support have been passed at each individual campus so far.”

UCSA will also address Islamophobia across the UC campuses in the wake of the San Bernardino attacks. UC Berkeley student Priscilla Ibrahim, will lead an action on Sunday against Islamophobia at the UC to raise awareness about the issue.

“There have been instances, not just on our campus but also on other campuses, where students have felt unsafe on campus, and the campus hasn’t really been responding to it,” Rogel said. “It’s been under wraps. What we wanted to do was bring an action into the UCSA board meeting and see how we could help.”