Good afternoon everyone,
Happy Halloween! I hope this report finds you in great spirit (pun intended). I apologize for my delay in sending my September Report. It has been a very busy two months, but I will be back on track to sending these reports out on a monthly basis. Because we’ve already reached the end of October, I am sending out my September report today and will send out the October report tomorrow, November 1st.
- Welcome Week: ASUCI had a very exciting Welcome Week. As many of you know, for our annual World Record event, we attempted to set a new record for largest game of four-quadrant dodgeball. Unfortunately, due to several errors and other setbacks, we were not able to achieve the world record from Guinness. However, we were very glad to hear from many of you that you really enjoyed the event. It was actually my first time attending a World Record attempt and I had an amazing time. Shoutout to Grey team for winning — but main shoutout to the Yellow Team, which I got to be the captain of! Nonetheless, the ASUCI Office of Student Services did an amazing job with the event. If you have any questions, please reach out to email@example.com.
During the record attempt, our Anteaters in Action team under the Office of the Internal Vice President worked with other students to create over 300 care packages that were donated to cancer patients at the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. Thank you to all of those who dedicated their time to creating these care packages with us. On the last day of Welcome Week, ASUCI also partnered with the eSports Arena to help support the Grand Opening, and I was honored to attend as one of the speakers to express ASUCI’s support, past and future, for the eSports program.
- ASUCI is an Official Member of UCSA: I am excited to say that ASUCI has fully committed to continuing our membership with the UC Student Association this year. During the 2015-2016 school year, we agreed to temporarily rejoin UCSA under the agreement that we will evaluate our year-long temporary membership and make a formal decision by the end of the academic year. This year, we fully committed to being a member of UCSA and were able to secure a half-waiver membership. As members of UCSA, UCI will receive full voting privileges in the UCSA decision-making process and resources, such as the UCweVOTE voter information guides that many of you may have seen in October.
The Students of Color Conference: After winning the bid in August, UCI is hosting the annual UCSA Students of Color Conference (SOCC) on November 18-20, 2016 under the leadership of the SOCC Steering Committee that was formed during the summer. Applications to be a delegate at SOCC have been extended from its original date and will close on Tuesday, November 1. Please apply! If you have any questions, please reach out to the Office of the External Vice President at firstname.lastname@example.org or visitwww.asuci.uci.edu/externalvp/2016-socc-uc-irvine.
- Voter Registration and Voter-Engagement Events: Firstly, thank you to every student who took the time to register to vote with us or encouraged their friends to register during the month of September. As part of our partnership with UCI Student Housing, ASUCI was able to register over 897 first-year students to vote during move-in weekend. We also partnered with the Alumni Association during their free sweater distribution to new students to register students at the Newkirk Alumni Center. By the end of September, we were able to directly register 2,486 students in-person. At this point, we had made in-person contact with well over 3,000 of you. I do sincerely apologize for taking up your time if you were approached more than once by one of our volunteers, but we hope we were able to provide you with a service.
During week 1, ASUCI hosted a screening of the first Presidential Debate and saw a turnout of over 400 students. We also hosted Voterpalooza, a celebration of National Voter Registration Day, and we partnered with the Irvine Chamber to host the Irvine City Council Candidates Forum where we encouraged many UCI students to come out to learn about Irvine’s potential representatives. Below are some of the flyers we used to advertise these events. For those of you who came out, we hope you enjoyed being there.
- ASUCI-UROP Collaboration: ASUCI is collaborating with UROP this year with the purpose of encouraging more undergraduate students to participate in research, as well as to work on research projects that will help us ultimately recommend policy decisions to campus administrators. ASUCI will develop 4 research proposals and after we send a call for collaborators, students will be able to choose which topic they are interested in working on with us. We will present our research projects in May, during the annual UROP symposium. Many of these projects will focus on the advocacy work that ASUCI has chosen to address during the last few years and on advocating for students’ welfare. Please look out for more information about this initiative soon.
- Next Steps with the Food Pantry Initiative: After much success with the Food Pantry initiative on campus in the SOAR Center, ASUCI is partnering with AGS to establish an off-campus Food Pantry for graduate students. We are still in the preliminary process of this initiative, but I will update you all soon with our progress.
A couple of our ASUCI representatives, including me and the Internal Vice President, are now working with the student-led Food Security Council who are ensuring the success of the Food Pantry initiative since the referendum was passed by students last Spring. I am excited to say that plans to expand the Food Pantry are currently in the works. We are also in the process of developing an advisory board with the SOAR Center that will oversee the funds of the Food Pantry initiative, to ensure that the funds are used solely for that purpose
- Concerns with the Campus Bookstore: After learning that many students were concerned with the operations of the Bookstore under the management of Barnes and Noble, the Internal Vice President, Rafael, and I met with the new manager of our campus bookstore. We asked her many questions regarding the concerns that we’ve heard from many students over the month of September, including pricing options, student worker issues, and transparency and accountability measures.
We learned that the bookstore now has several options for price matching, discounts, and a mobile application, and will be continuing the bookstore’s annual Halloween tradition with Peter the Anteater. In addition, the manager told us that their management team plans on addressing concerns raised by their student workers and acknowledged that they were not able to properly train their students in time for Welcome Week since many of them were hired the day or several days before. And finally, we agreed to establish a student-led Bookstore Accountability Committee to raise and address issues or concerns with the bookstore. They will also be sending out a student experience survey shortly to garner student feedback on their operations. Please reach out to me or Rafael if you have any concerns with the bookstore that you would like us to address.
Thank you for reading, and please look out for my October report tomorrow!