A publication of UCLA Student Affairs
THE STUDENT THEUCLA UCLA STUDENT
UCLA Students lend a helping hand
BruinCorps Creating Equity and Access for Elementary and Middle School Students Student Affairs Funding Student Services and Programs Active Minds Q&A with Kelly Hitch and Chan Park Student Voices Interview with UCLA Students
THE STUDENT THEUCLA UCLA STUDENT A publication of the UCLA Student Affairs Organization Editor
Kathy Wyer Assistant Editor
Maria Wilcox Design
Amy McFarland, Escott Associates Photography
Studio 624 Student Affairs encompasses four divisions under the Office of the Vice Chancellor: n Student Academic Services n Student and Campus Life n Student Development n Student Health
Within these divisions there are more than 20 departments providing a wide range of programs, services and educational experiences for UCLA students.
STUDENT AFFAIRS ORGANIZATION 2131 Murphy Hall Box 951405 Los Angeles, CA 90095-1405 email@example.com www.studentaffairs.ucla.edu
In this issue: Helping Those In Need
04 08 10 Spring 2010
UCLA Student Civic Engagement
ruinCorps B Creating Equity and Access for Elementary and Middle School Students
ctive Minds A Q&A with Chan Park and Kelly Hitch
Student Voices Interview with UCLA Students
tudent Affairs S The Allocation of Funds for Student Services and Programs
A publication of UCLA Student Affairs
THE STUDENT THEUCLA UCLA STUDENT
UCLA Students lend a helping hand
BruinCorps Creating Equity and Access for Elementary and Middle School Students Student Affairs Funding Student Services and Programs Active Minds Q&A with Kelly Hitch and Chan Park Student Voices Interview with UCLA Students
2 | in focus magazine spring 2010
On the cover: Student Farhan Ferozali Banani serves as Commissioner of UCLA’s Community Service Commission: “Everyone can find a little extra time to give back to the community. It’s a fun and rewarding experience, and a great learning experience, too.”
vice chancellor’s message
a message from The Vice Chancellor
“This issue offers highlights ranging from student community involvement to the crucial importance of our donors in these difficult times, and I commend each of these excellent features to your attention as bright windows into the complexity of UCLA’s world.”
As always, In Focus: The UCLA Student features articles on an array of outstanding programs and individuals who help to make a “UCLA education” such an exceptional and richly productive constellation of experiences in our students’ lives. This issue offers highlights ranging from student community involvement to the crucial importance of our donors in these difficult times, and I commend each of these excellent features to your attention as bright windows into the complexity of UCLA’s world. However, the events of the past months have, in large measure, overshadowed the ongoing activities and processes that constitute our normal co-curricular programming. The dual impact of budget reductions and student fee increases has been keenly felt by our students and families, including a number of students who find their educational futures in jeopardy because of financial difficulties. Students have been active and vocal in protests related to these issues, the most emphatic of these demonstrations involving a Regents’ meeting at UCLA in November that, in some instances, tested the good will of protestors and the UCLA Police Department. Much more recently, two of our sister campuses have been rocked by incidents of unconscionable intolerance – a series of incidents of racism on the UC San Diego campus and homophobic vandalism against the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center at UC Davis. These incidents generated new protests throughout the UC system, including student actions here at UCLA that show the deeply felt impact of these deplorable events on our UC communities. While the types of issues that have moved our students to action are different in their origins and proposed remedies, they are very similar in terms of emotional content and the critical need for empathetic, creative, result-oriented dialogue among all campus constituencies. In regard to fee increases, we must understand that higher fees will have a much more profound impact on certain student populations than on others, and we must be prepared not only to reach out to the most affected students, but to give full credence and consideration to some of the broader student concerns about long-term access for undocumented or under-represented students, and the impact of other budget-related variables. The incidents on the San Diego and Davis campuses have been denounced by our University’s leadership, and UCLA is moving ahead on a number of fronts to reassure affected student groups and our entire community that we will do everything possible to ensure the well-being of all community members. We are committed to decisive responses when needed, to on-going dialogue with concerned students, and to multi-faceted educational efforts that will help us all understand the positive, unifying power of respect: inclusiveness and constructive engagement versus the destructive effects of intolerance and bigotry. I believe that this issue of In Focus offers further insights into the quality and expanse of educational opportunities at UCLA, and I will close by requesting your continued support for our campus and the critical work of the University as we move into the future.
Janina Montero Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs
spring 2010 in focus magazine | 3
Students Farhan Ferozali Banani, Lydia Avila, and Anthony Nguyen volunteer regularly for different campus causes, and lead student-run community service initiatives.
4 | in focus magazine spring 2010
Volunteerism, also known as community service or civic engagement work, has a long tradition at UCLA, and in many ways defines the very essence of what it means to be a Bruin. For anyone who has given of themselves or lent a hand to help those less fortunate or in need, there’s a recognition that the rewards of such service are often far greater than what one ever has to give.
Helping Those In Need: UCLA Student Civic Engagement By Kathy Wyery Wyer Some of the benefits of community service work are obvious and quantifiable: volunteerism carries social networking potential, where one can meet others and make new friends; there’s the possibility of gaining professional experience while also learning new skills and expanding one’s contact network; or discovering within oneself a hidden potential for true leadership, and an ability to motivate and inspire others to bring about a positive change. But mostly the rewards of community service can be found in a fulfillment that comes from simply extending oneself for the betterment of others, and the discovery of an innate capacity within to give without looking for anything in return. Yet even though UCLA’s standards for personal and academic excellence are high and achievement within the classroom is a priority, learning outside the classroom is also valued. Underscoring the real value and significance of community service, fourth year student Anthony Nguyen, who as a member of the Student Task Force helped establish UCLA’s Volunteer Center, suggests: “You learn things about others and yourself that you can’t read in a book, and you can only gain by experience. It enriches your perspective on life and balances out all the other academic and social obligations we have. It is important to distinguish between community service, the noun, and serving the community, an action. The latter is something we should all strive to do.” For students, there are many pro bono causes to consider, both on campus and off. The University has an astonishing 947 student-run groups, many of which offer volunteer opportunities. All have online portals that coordinate their efforts through OrgSync.com, a commercial entity contracted by the University of California to provide a centralized infrastructure for vol-
unteer initiatives, including a search engine that tracks volunteer opportunities. OrgSync.com engages students for volunteer work by sending volunteer opportunities posted throughout the system directly to UCLA’s Volunteer Center website, where visitors can identify causes for which they might like to lend a hand. Overseen by Executive Director, Antoinette G. Mongelli, UCLA’s Volunteer Center draws from the Student Task Force, a steering committee that helped bring the Volunteer Center to life. Comprised of student leaders from various community service organizations, the Student Task Force directly connects the Volunteer Center to UCLA’s student population and meets weekly to share and enact ideas to strengthen campus volunteerism by providing support to hundreds of student organizations. The Student Task Force helps with all aspects of managing the Volunteer Center, including designing its website and providing resources for volunteers. “The Volunteer Center brings into focus an already strong campus commitment to service, which is one of the core values of being a Bruin,” Mongelli said. “We provide a place for those who want to serve to find where they can make their most valuable contribution. Our ultimate goal is to put out into the world a whole new generation of leaders committed to changing and bettering society in innumerable ways.” For Mark Dakkak, a fourth year Mathematics major, volunteering has become integral to campus life. In addition to giving time to UCLA’s Project Literacy, the Community Service Commission, Mobile Clinic, and the Global Health Equity Initiative, Mark has served on the Student Task Force since May of 2009, working with directors of the Volunteer Center to help promote campus civic engagement. Speaking about the work of the Student Task Force,
How You Can Help... If you are looking to establish a campus organization, you will first need to register it through the Center for Student Programming, where you can also sign-up with OrgSync and reach advisors. Contact: www. studentactivities.ucla.edu To find campus volunteer opportunities, please visit: www.volunteer.ucla.edu
spring 2010 in focus magazine | 5
“When I walk into Kerckhoff Hall everyday, I realize how devoted and committed students at UCLA really are. This makes me proud and happy to be a Bruin.” —Student Farhan Ferozali Banani, Community Service Commissioner
Student Mark Dakkak has given time to various pro bono groups, including UCLA’s Student Task Force, Project Literacy, the Community Service Commission, Mobile Clinic, and the Global Health Equity Initiative.
Dakkak says: “We look at all the different components of programming and implementing volunteer events in an effort to understand what types of relations we can establish to help groups, including providing publicity, transportation, liability coverage, food, and various other things. Being part of a new UCLA initiative such as the Volunteer Center, we recognize that we are in a unique position to create these relationships.” Support for student civic engagement and community service goes well beyond the campus Volunteer Center. The Center for Student Programming (CSP), a department within UCLA’s Student Affairs Organization, which itself provides essential support services and special programs to students, is charged with a number of critical directives, among them advising campus organizations, registering new and continuing student organizations, and offering programming assistance and leadership training. One of the primary initiatives for the Center for Student Programming is its collaboration with the Community Programs Office (CPO), and together both offices help advance student volunteerism. According to Associate Director of the Center of Student Programming, Kenn Heller: “The advising staff in Center for Student Programming works closely with the advising staff at the Community Programs Office to help ensure that student projects within the community are well run and provide service to beneficiaries and safe environments for volunteers. The two offices have worked very closely together in facilitating Student Risk Education strategies to promote safe practices while volunteering. By working closely together, the two offices effectively manage many of the interactions that community service projects have with the University.
6 | in focus magazine spring 2010
The cooperative approach to advising helps to ensure that programs and projects receive the resources they need to carry out their service visions.” The Community Programs Office Student Association (CPOSA), chaired by fourth year student Lydia Avila, serves as the governing and advisory board of the Community Service Projects within the Community Programs Office. CPOSA oversees more than 25 major student-run projects, and the collaboration among students is the driving force towards success. Says Avila, “I strongly believe in the work that every single Community Service Project does. My interaction with all the wonderful people that participate in the projects and work at the department is something I really enjoy, and I feed off of their energy and belief in social change.” UCLA students dedicate themselves to causes large and small, and address issues that have an effect both directly within the campus community, as well as beyond; homelessness is one such issue. Shahida Bawa, a fourth year pre-med and political science student, is the Undergraduate Student Association Internal Vice President for UCLA as well as Co-Founder and Advocacy Director for BruINTENT, an initiative dedicated to alleviating homelessness. Similar to the University’s Economic Crisis Response Team, the group advocates for students in financial distress who may be struggling to meet basics such as room and board, and offers a number of much needed services, including a campus food bank, temporary housing, and even financial assistance in the form of scholarships created by both the Undergraduate Student Association Council (USAC) and BruINTENT. “These people are not defined by their misfortune; they are not “the homeless,” but simply struggling with an issue at hand,” says Bawa. “There are many contributing factors behind their plight, ranging from unemployment, strained familial economic matters, or undocumented status which hinders them from receiving any federal aid. I have seen their faces and heard their stories, and feel compelled, if not obligated, as a human being who has been blessed in life, to help as much as I possibly can.” An initiative dedicated exclusively to student civic
engagement is The Community Service Commission, an Undergraduate Student Association Council (USAC) office, which provides oversight and resources for a number of service projects within the greater Los Angeles area. Projects offer support for literacy training, working with incarcerated youth, preventative health care, and helping orphanages, among other service efforts. The Commission also produces large-scale service events such as Promoting Individuality through The Arts (PITA), and Community Service Days, which send volunteers to various sites around Los Angeles to lend support. Student Farhan Ferozali Banani serves as Commissioner of the Community Service Commission. “In general, CSC addresses the general concerns for service groups around campus, such as safety, risk management, best practices and liability, as well as funding,” says Banani. “As students, we may be in a difficult situation with fee hikes and financial aid battles. We may also be struggling to find jobs in a market of increasing unemployment. But we must realize that in a time like this, the marginalized in society are still suffering, perhaps more than ever. “We are working in Los Angeles six out of seven days of every week. Our work addresses a variety of the needs of greater Los Angeles. I am very fortunate
Christina Brown, a fourth year Physics and Political Science double major, serves as Director of the organization, and leads a 115-person committee that works throughout the fall and winter quarters planning the event held in February. “The event brings in students from all parts of campus to participate as “dancers,” who pledge to stay on their feet for the entire 26 hours and each fundraise $208. A shot of Nevirapine, which cuts the rate of mother-to-child transmission of AIDS in half, costs just $8, so each dancer raises enough to buy one shot for every hour they dance. Close to a thousand students this year will once again take a stand against Pediatric Aids.” A member of both the Volunteer Center Student Task Force as well as External Chair for the Community Programs Office Student Association, Anthony Nguyen was required to do community service in high school, so volunteering was familiar ground to him when he entered college. Yet his preconceived notions about service work shifted dramatically after his first year on campus, and revealed to him a deeper meaning of service. “It wasn’t until I took classes at UCLA that focused on the disparities certain communities face that my perspective as to why I did this kind of work com-
“As you immerse yourself in a culture of service, you become more conscious of your surroundings, your privilege, and your ability to effect change.” —Anthony Nguyen, Fourth year student, member of the Student Task Force
to be able to work with such an inspiring and hard working group of people in these organizations, as well as an extremely hard working staff. When I walk into Kerckhoff Hall everyday, I realize how devoted and committed students at UCLA really are. This makes me proud and happy to be a Bruin.” One of the largest volunteer events at UCLA is the annual Dance Marathon, a 26-hour student initiated fundraiser for the Pediatric AIDS Coalition, which looks to educate the campus community about both the worldwide pandemic as well as how individuals can protect themselves from contracting AIDS. Thousands of students have participated in the event every year, and in 2009, UCLA students raised more than $362,000. Students pledge to stay on their feet to raise money for the cause.
pletely changed,” says Nguyen. “As you immerse yourself in a culture of service, you become more conscious of your surroundings, your privilege, and your ability to effect change.” Christina Brown would agree: “There are so many people who truly care and are willing to give so much of themselves, and these people are all around us here at UCLA.” n
Student Shahida Bawa serves as Internal Vice President of UCLA’s Undergraduate Student Association and is Advocacy Director of BruINTENT.
Creating Equity and Access for Elementary and Middle School Students By Kathy Wyer
BruinCorps As a service-learning program within UCLA Student Affairs, BruinCorps helps advance equal access to educational opportunities for elementary and middle school students in underserved communities in the greater Los Angeles area. BruinCorps engages approximately 125 UCLA undergraduate student volunteers who serve as tutors, teaching language arts to elementary school students, and pre-algebra and algebra to middle school students. Through its Volunteers In Service To America (VISTA) component, BruinCorp also sponsors a College Career Center project in middle schools and community based organizations, to help cultivate and support a college-going mindset in young students in these communities. Debra Pounds, Director of BruinCorps and UCLA’s Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP), which helps provide training services for volunteers and VISTA members, suggests: “The program really makes a difference for a lot of young students who otherwise would fall behind in learning reading and math, and also helps make real the possibility of going to college someday, which unfortunately for many isn’t even a consideration.” The tutoring initiative of BruinCorps helps to improve reading and math, two key academic skills for elementary and middle school students. An 8 | in focus magazine spring 2010
outgrowth of President Clinton’s “America Reads” challenge, which operates in collaboration with the Los Angeles Unifed School District (LAUSD) and local community based organizations, BruinCorps facilitates the training and service work of UCLA undergraduates who provide tutoring in reading to elementary school students in grades 3 –5. Tutoring sessions, which are offered weekly and are held either in-class or after-school, help elementary school participants who are classified as “below basic” in English proficiency to increase a full grade level in their reading skills. The math component of the BruinCorps tutoring program also prepares UCLA undergraduates to provide tutorial services in pre-Algebra and Algebra to students in grades 6 - 8. Middle school students are tutored in the essentials of understanding Algebra, and through weekly sessions held either in-class or after school, increase their level of math ability from “below-basic” to proficient. New performance measures to assess students’ progress have recently been put in place, and were developed by UCLA and AmeriCorps, which offers funding for the BruinCorps program. Because the initiative works to move students who perform below California state standards for academic proficiency to a proficient level in reading and math, it
is essential to assess outcomes of student performance effectively. BruinCorps has proven to be a genuine learning experience for both undergraduate student volunteers as well as student participants from under-resourced communities; while the program helps foster a lifelong commitment to community service for volunteers and trains them to serve as education advocates, the program also prepares student participants within inner city communities for educational success by enhancing essential academic skills. Undergraduate student volunteers receive a small stipend through the University’s Financial Aid Office work-study program for working 10 hours a week as tutors, and after completing 300 hours of service, volunteers receive an educational award – a grant – which helps offset the cost of their student fees. Justyn Patterson, Program Manager of the BruinCorps Tutoring Volunteers, suggests that the service aspect has a positive effect on undergraduate tutors: “Many of our undergraduate student volunteers are not from the communities they serve, so the experience raises their consciousness about education and social issues. It turns them into advocates for education.” The BruinCorp tutoring program provides support to 14 sites, including elementary, middle schools and local neighborhood agencies in underserved communities in Los Angeles, including 42nd Street and 59th Street elementary schools, Audubon and Belvedere Middle Schools, and the Hope Street and Mar Vista Family Centers. The elementary tutoring program serves 400 students, while the middle school tutoring program reaches approximately 320 students. Every spring quarter, BruinCorps volunteers coordinate a “Family Involvement Day,” and bring participating middle school students and their parents to UCLA’s campus for a gathering focused on education and student-centered fun activities. The day includes a campus tour, along with game activities and food, as well as an educa-
tional component that delivers college preparation information. The experience helps cultivate greater awareness around the prospect of attending college for participating middle school students, and fosters aspirations and dreams for many. This year’s Family Involvement Day is tentatively scheduled for the week of May 3rd. The College Career Centers, another vital component of BruinCorps, is funded by a grant from Volunteers In Service To America (VISTA); through this program, recent graduates of UCLA and other colleges and universities local to Los Angeles work to establish college and career centers at various middle schools and community agencies, with the intention of cultivating a college-going mindset for middle school students in those local communities. VISTA volunteers help disseminate college admissions information and provide application assistance at approximately 10 sites, including Bret Harte and Carver Middle Schools, The Boys & Girls Club of San Fernando, and the East and South Los Angeles YMCAs, among others. Participating VISTA members, who are all graduate students of UCLA and other local colleges and universities, are a diverse group, and have a range of academic interests; some are engaged in studying post-secondary education, pre-law, or social work, and all have a commitment to increasing equity and access to higher education opportunities. VISTA members plan to establish eight College and Career Centers in 2009-2010, and offer a minimum of five types of college preparation services, such as A-G workshops, college advising and individual academic plan development, guest speaker workshops, college field trips, and also provide college preparatory materials at each site. VISTA members write grant proposals and are planning fundraising events to help support the various College and Career Centers. n For more information, please visit: www.bruincorps.ucla.edu
“” The English Conversation Program
Learning to Speak Like a Native Aiming to build English fluency of international students and scholars, the English Conversation Program (ECP) is an 8-week series of group sessions that strengthen the conversation skills of individuals through more inclusive and informal discussions.
Providing a forum in a relaxed environment
where students can improve their English speaking skills while also sharing global perspectives on world events and cultures, the English Conversation Program offers classes at no cost to UCLA students and at a low cost of $25 to non-UCLA students. When students register, they may choose from either two levels of classes – Intermediate and Advanced. By utilizing in-depth discussions and activities, the English Conversation Program helps students expand their vocabulary and conversational expressions, while refining their pronunciation. “The program serves a diverse population that includes UCLA international students, visiting scholars, and spouses of students and scholars,” says Sarah E. Cohen, M.A., English Conversation Program Coordinator. Held once a week for two hours in Tom Bradley International Hall, the classes are limited to 20 students and are led by UCLA student volunteer instructors who are trained to teach ESL, or English as a Second Language. The English Conversation Program benefits both students and instructors alike, who gain valuable hands-on teaching experience by creating their own lesson plans and leading small group discussions on varied topics. The program offers details that students often find invaluable. UCLA law student Da Silva Zamboa, who hails from Brazil pointed out, “Teachers give some tips to avoid embarrassing situations, and help you learn some slang to better understand your new environment.” — Daysi Alonzo, Third Year Student For more information visit: www.internationalcenter.ucla.edu
spring 2010 in focus magazine | 9
The Allocation of Funds for Student Services and Programs By Monroe Gorden Comprised of 25 departments and approximately 900 employees, UCLA’s Student Affairs Organization offers a number of critical services and programs that provide support to students, and oversees key components of campus life such as Financial Aid, Campus Recreation, Counseling and Psychological Services, Community Programs, academic preparation efforts, as well as many others. Such services mean the difference between students having an ordinary college experience and an exceptional one, and the capacity to enjoy the extraordinary richness, quality, and depth that UCLA has to offer. The complex and ever worsening financial situation in California has had a profound impact upon the University of California, UCLA and specifically Student Affairs in the last year. For Student Affairs, 2009-2010 brought several budgetary challenges, including a 5% decrease in state general funding, a shortfall that has resulted in unavoidable changes for some programs and services, as well as salary reductions and furloughs for staff. The 5% state general fund reduction resulted in lost allocation of nearly $830,000, while the salary reduction target amount was approximately $1.79 million. These budgetary challenges follow a 1.2% reduction, or a loss of $185,000, from state general funding in fiscal year 2008-2009. As a University entity, Student Affairs receives funding from several sources and uses these allocations to cover expenditures from its many departments. Permanent allocations to the organization are made at the beginning of each fiscal year on July 1st and are disbursed to the various Student Affairs departments through their Adjusted Budget, a department’s operating budget. The Adjusted Budget must be funded sufficiently to cover all on-going expenses for a department (such as employee salaries) to ensure that these expenditures will be paid appropriately. Temporary funding amounts may also be allocated to various Student Affairs departments, either as one-time temporary funding commitments or as a “continuing temporary commitment.” The important distinction between these two funding sources is that, unless other funding options are secured, temporary funding allocations are not sufficient to cover on-going expenditures.
Economic Crisis Response Team: Students in Economic Distress Receive Crucial Assistance
2008-2009 Student Affairs Revenue by Fund Source
Student Referendum Fees $1,650,653
Student Academic Preparation $839,708
Gifts & Endowments $3,798,238
Sales & Services $18,443,725
Student Aid (USAP) $55,211,094
Registration Fee Funds $22,948,687
General Funds $23,513,946
Contracts & Grants $46,794,209
Virtually every member of
these situations in Fall 2008,
with the help of two private
UCLA’s campus community
students who couldn’t afford
donors. The ECR Team aims to
– students, faculty, and staff
to stay in their residence halls
identify undergraduate and
alike – has felt the impact of
or apartments, ‘sofa surfing’ at
graduate students in extraordi-
California’s financial crisis, each
friends’ apartments, sleeping
nary financial distress – whether
one affected in areas of serious
in their cars, eating every other
because of loss of funding,
and vital concern. But for a small
day so they could afford books,
financial crises impacting par-
number of students, the situa-
things like that. It was shocking
ents/families, extra demands
tion has gone beyond “serious”
on parenting students, or other
to “critical.” Enku Gelaye, Executive Of-
Forming the Economic Crisis
causes – and work out strategies
Response (ECR) Team, Chancellor
to relieve both immediate and
ficer for Student Affairs, recalls,
Gene Block moved immediately
long-term financial stressors in
“We started finding out about
to set up an emergency fund
10 | in focus magazine spring 2010
student affairs funding
Student Affairs departments receive various forms of funding, whether permanent or temporary in nature, to cover budgetary expenditures. The funding types include registration fees, state general funds, gifts, contracts and grants, and sales and service funds.
State General Funds are primarily intended to be used for general operating purposes, such as the University’s mission in teaching, research and public service. The majority of these funds are provided by the State, as designated in the California State budget, with additional funding coming from fees collected by the University, such as the application for admission fee, nonresident tuition, and a portion of the prior year’s indirect cost recovery from federally funded projects. Several Student Affairs departments receive state general funds, including Undergraduate Admissions and Relations with Schools, the Registrar’s Office, and the Financial Aid Office, to name a few. Although provided as state general funds, the University Student Aid Program (USAP) monies are allocated through the Financial Aid Office to support needbased grants, as well as loans and work-study awards to undergraduate and graduate students. The University Registration Fee is a mandatory fee charged to each registered UC student. The fee is set by the Regents of the UC and is currently the same amount for all students at all UC campuses (currently $300 per quarter). The Registration Fee is allocated through the Student Fee Advisory Committee (SFAC), a student majority advisory committee to the Chancellor. In addition to registration fees, SFAC reviews and makes recommendations on all proposals for new student fees and non-inflationary increases in existing fees. Income from the University Registration Fee is used to support those services that benefit students and complement, but are not directly a part of, the instructional program. These programs create a supportive learning environment and provide general student enrichment. The majority of Student Affairs units are funded through the University Registration Fee as, for example, the Community Programs Office, Counseling and Psychological Services, the Bruin Resource Center, the Career Center, and
Multiple campus departments
“We are all strongly commit-
pool their resources under the
ted to making sure our students
Team’s umbrella. Responses may
have the best possible educa-
include processing emergency
tional experience at UCLA,”
loans, reviewing financial aid
says Vice Chancellor of Student
needs, helping with finding on-
Affairs, Janina Montero. “We’re
campus employment, researching
taking a proactive approach
housing options, clarifying the
to supporting and helping our
food stamp process, and even
students, and looking for ever
providing an on-campus “food
better ways to be responsive to
bank” in the Community Pro-
students’ concerns and needs as
grams Office funded by campus
they arise and evolve.”
others. Student Affairs works very closely with SFAC regarding budgetary decisions for registration fee funded departments. Sales and service activities are non-profit campus-affiliated business enterprises that provide quality services and goods at rates that are reasonable and equitable. A number of Student Affairs departments have established sales and services accounts in their provision of services to our campus constituencies. For example, Cultural and Recreation Affairs, the Arthur Ashe Health and Wellness Center, and the Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars have established fees for some specific services. Sales and services fees provide the additional necessary funding to allow some Student Affairs departments to continue to offer the high quality programs and services that general funds or registration fees cannot cover. Student Affairs has started to rely more on individuals, foundations and corporations to contribute much-needed funding in support of student services and programs. These contributions come in the form of gifts or through contracts and grants. In general, gifts are awarded by individuals or organizations external to the University, without any expectation of a quid pro quo and without any contractual obligations imposed upon the University. By contrast, contracts and grants are typically awarded in response to a call for proposals from a sponsor, with specific performance expectations and an obligation that the University provide deliverable services on a particular timetable. Prior to budget reductions in fiscal year 2008-2009, Student Affairs began implementing efficiency and costs saving measures for the organization. For example, Student Affairs moved aggressively to consolidate those departments where duties and purpose would benefit from a common infrastructure. In addition, Student Affairs is working actively to identify additional external funding to bolster grant funding where appropriate. Finally, like most organizations, Student Affairs always reevaluates open senior positions and in most instances has reassigned duties to use the funding for operational needs. n
spring 2010 in focus magazine | 11
Active Minds An Interview with Kelly Hitch (current Executive Director) and Chan Y. Park (former Executive Director) of UCLA’s Active Minds By Kathy Wyer
UCLA’s Active Minds, a local chapter of a nationwide initiative dedicated to promoting awareness and understanding of mental health issues on college campuses, is affiliated with and sponsored by Counseling And Psychological Services (CAPS), a department within UCLA’s Student Affairs Organization. Originally established more than 35 years ago as the Peer Helpline, a telephone crisis hotline took calls from students in emotional distress, the organization recently transitioned into service as Active Minds, delivering a more extensive campus outreach effort which now hosts special events, workshops, and movie screenings. For more information, please visit: www.studentgroups.ucla.edu/psn
12 | in focus magazine spring 2010
active minds Q&A
Counseling And Psychological Services lends students support as a resource of information and expertise on mental health issues, and provides clinicians who advise student volunteers for Active Minds on a number of fronts. Although not officially sanctioned to serve as a peer counseling service, Active Minds offers material and other information related to many different issues related to mental health, including addictive relationships, coming out, stress management, test anxiety, and developing confidence. In Focus sat down with two outstanding students involved with Active Minds – former Executive Director Chan Y. Park, a fifth year student, and current Executive Director Kelly Hitch, who is in her third year, to learn more about this critical campus initiative:
What have been some of the challenges you’ve faced? Chan Park: The unfamiliarity with mental health on campus is probably the biggest challenge. Controversial issues regarding race, gender, and other concerns are talked about, but the seriousness of mental health on college campuses is something students don’t feel comfortable talking about. The stigma is a challenge; nobody wants to be seen as the “crazy” one. Kelly HItch: Because of liability issues regarding peer counseling, we’re unable to offer such services. So in order to maintain a personal and empathetic relationship with students on campus, we’ve come up with more events, workshops and meetings that give students the same sense of openness to talk freely about the issues they are facing.
Where do you see room for growth? CP: We need more active publicity through flyers and networking with other student organizations. With more publicity and efficient planning of events, we can grow to spread the word about mental health and its implications on our campus. KH: We would love to see a greater appreciation for mental health advocacy on campus. We hope to improve our student attendance at Active Minds events, as well as provide students with information and resources to further educate them about issues surrounding mental health.
What kinds of work do volunteers do? CP: There’s a variety of work volunteers can do. We are divided into three committees – workshops, events, and training – with different committee directors, and each volunteer can choose a committee they would like to work with. KH: We typically recruit and train new members one to two times a year and encourage all majors and ages to join. Aside from events we put on for the campus and community, we have several dinners, retreats, and social events we enjoy together as a chapter.
Do you have an accomplishment of which you are most proud? CP: “Post Secret,” which was part of an art exhibition in conjunction with the Hunger Project, where students posted secrets anonymously online and in “Post-Secret” boxes around campus. Although they were anonymous, some students would comment on others’ secrets, and it made me smile when I saw that students realized they weren’t alone in going through a tough time. KH: “Post Secret”– students were allowed to anonymously blog online about their deepest feelings. It is gratifying to see so many people take advantage of the event – we had close to 1,000 entries!
What would you like to communicate to the campus community? CP: It is important to understand that as much as will power is important, mental illness consists of biological and psychological components in a person’s life. People with depression can’t just snap out of it, and once such misconceptions disappear, there will be fewer stigmas for people with mental illness. KH: I was shocked to hear how prevalent depression and anxiety problems are among college age people. Yet students are not alone in dealing with such a large amount of stressors at this time in their lives, and there are many great resources on UCLA’s campus that improve mental health.
What kind of service work might you like to pursue in the future? CP: I enjoy working with people. Currently, I am also working as a peer counselor in AAP (Academic Advancement Program), and I would love to be involved in service work that involves counseling and interacting with other people. KH: I am pursuing a career in genetic counseling, a growing field that requires some of the same interpersonal skills that I have developed throughout my years as a member and officer in Active Minds. I would love to continue working with Active Minds, NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), and other mental health advocacy organizations.
Is there anything else you’d like to add? CP: Bad things can happen in life and at times we will be depressed and we will feel like we’ve lost balance, but if students can realize that they are not alone in this, that will encourage more students to seek the help they need rather than struggle on their own, without direction. KH: Active Minds receives a limited amount of funding from CAPS. Beyond that, we do our own fundraising events on campus. From bake sales to blood drives, we are always looking to improve our funding so that we may continue to carry out more and more events!
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In these challenging fiscal times, UCLA has looked to the added support provided by generous donors and benefactors who have helped advance students’ academic and personal growth by establishing scholarships and providing much needed additional funding for special programs and services. In Focus talked to several students who have benefitted from such donations made to two departments within UCLA Student Affairs – the Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars and the Office for Students with Disabilities – and who have experienced first hand the difference that these gifts can make. Here’s what they have to say: By Maria Wilcox and Kathy Wyer
14 | in focus magazine spring 2010
Trevor Finneman UCLA Law Student
I am hard-of-hearing, and the only such student in the UCLA School of Law. To be a legal advocate, I must first complete my legal education; through a referral from the Office of Students with Disabilities, I have received the Dr. Bernard Sanghyun Kim Memorial Scholarship Fund for the Hearing Impaired, which will help me accomplish that. It will help me to first empower myself so that I may in turn use my legal training to help empower other people with disabilities, by removing barriers to both education and employment. The scholarship has helped to fund the legal education that I need to be an effective and persuasive advocate. More notably, the scholarship benefactors have vividly demonstrated to me the importance of community service to empowering individuals with disabilities. They have reminded me that community service can change lives for the better. They have given me an example to follow. While I have in the past been an active advocate for people with disabilities, I hope now more than ever to empower people with disabilities with the skills and confidence they need to succeed as students, as employees and as members of a community.
Trisha Houston Fourth Year Student English Major
I have received two scholarships, one from the MacDowell Estate and another, the Dr. Bernard Sanghyun Kim Memorial Scholarship Fund for the Hearing Impaired, through a referral from the Office of Students with Disabilities (OSD). OSD is vital to my years at UCLA, and I couldn’t survive without them. They made sure I got the finest interpreters, since I’m an active listener and participant in class. I used their notetaking services for a class where it was difficult to focus on the interpreter, PowerPoint screen, and the professor. Not only that, but OSD has been able to provide me with interpreters for some off-campus services but that still relate to school, such as attending a lecture one of my professors gave at a museum, along with museum tours.
Mauricio Comas Garcia Ph.D. Student Physical Chemistry
A fundamental donation I’ve benefited from is the one given in support of the Dashew Center of International Students. I’m from Acapulco, México, and the Dashew Center has many programs that help foreign students integrate into UCLA and American society. I think without them, it would be really hard, and donations have created an amazing place to interact, learn and be part of UCLA. There is no way I can express my gratitude towards the people that work at the Dashew Center.
Christine O’Keefe Ph.D. Student Social Research Methodology
I have received several referrals through Office of Students with Disabilities (OSD), including to the Will Rogers Scholarship Committee, which has funded software purchases such as the Kurzweil Education Systems software, which converts text to audio. This has been indispensable for my progress through my graduate program. The OSD staff has been wonderful, and in particular, Dan Levitt has played a key role in my graduate career. His encouraging words and indispensable advice have been crucial in helping me get this far, and I cannot thank him, OSD, and the Will Rogers Scholarship Committee enough for their support. We are very lucky to have the OSD and the resources they provide.
“Donations are a crucial part of school and education life, and have helped every single student in some way.”
“Duncan” Konstantinos Palamourdas
Ph. D. Student Engineering
I am from Ankara, Turkey and have benefited both in academic and social aspects by donations that are given to programs. When I first came here, the Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars contributed in lots of ways for my adaptation here and for meeting new people. The orientation program that they have organized and the trips they have arranged helped me to adapt to both UCLA and Los Angeles, and I was able to make new friends and get used to life at UCLA. The opportunities that donations provide are priceless. Thanks to them, students have more research opportunities and can be more successful in their academic life. Also, the social resources that come from these donations provide relief from the stress of academic life and help students improve their social skills in different areas, and to have different views of life. Donations are a crucial part of school and education life, and have helped every single student in some way.
Ph.D. Student Mathematics, Logic
First and foremost, a huge part of my scholarship is coming from donations. And since that kind of financial support was absolutely essential to me in order to come and do research in the States, since I am from Greece, I consider these donations a generous academic gift! Secondly, the Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars was founded with the aid of donations. And the people in Dashew Center have helped me multiple times in many different ways, through visa issues, tax issues, and extracurriculum activities, etc. As a foreign student, there are a lot of bureaucratic issues that you have to deal with and lots of cultural/social differences that you need to overcome. The Center helped me with both, and provided the opportunity of developing a healthy network throughout their amazing social events! I am grateful for that.
–Yusef Yucel, Engineering Ph. D.
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UCLA STUDENT AFFAIRS ORGANIZATION
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2131 Murphy Hall Box 951405 Los Angeles, CA 90095-1405
Bruin Parents + Families An initiative of Chancellor Gene Block, Bruin Parents + Families is a recently established program formed to provide information to new Bruin parents and help them get involved in their college students’ campus experience. The program is a collaboration between UCLA’s Student Affairs Organization, the Division of Undergraduate Education, and the Department of External Affairs, all of which share an interest in creating a great relationship between UCLA and students and their families. Jacquelean Gilliam, Director of the Office of Parent and Family
Programs, oversees the program. “Parents have become engaged in a variety of ways,” says Gilliam, “There are a number of different things parents do – they reach out to faculty, help negotiate roommate conflicts, and offer advice. Getting involved also brings parents into the greater UCLA community, where they can become more familiar with the campus and all its services.” The program serves as a firststop for parents seeking campus information. Parents may call the Parent Helpline directly at (310) 794-6737, email: mybruinis@ ucla.edu, or visit UCLA Parents at
Facebook.com. The UCLA Parent & Family Association also provides an online newsletter – Bruinlink – which posts resources and other information that parents may find useful. Although the program serves as a primary gateway for parents seeking campus information, Bruin Parents + Families also engages in direct outreach to students and their families, including helping to establish a direct connection between UCLA and parents of students who may be the first in their families to attend college. Oftentimes, parents of first-generation students
may want to get involved or help their college-going child adjust to campus life, and Bruin Parents + Families provides a great place to start. The program is also exploring creating a number of new opportunities for parental involvement. In the past, Bruin Parents + Families hosted a series of Welcome Receptions, and a number of experienced Bruin parents opened their homes near various UC campuses to nearly 150 new Bruin parents. Parents may also get involved through volunteer opportunities at UCLA’s annual Parent Weekend, held in October of each year.