University of California Students Association

University of California Students Association

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notability=March 2008
original research=March 2008
tone=March 2008
unencyclopedic=March 2008
Unreferenced=January 2008
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The University of California Students Association (UCSA) is a student advocacy group organized to voice the interests of students attending the University of California system. [cite news
url=http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/04/22/MN6R109EJM.DTL
title=Nearly 2,000 protest college spending cuts
publisher=sfgate.com
accessdate=2008-04-23
last=
first=
]

UCSA's MissionThe University of California Student Association (UCSA) is a coalition of students and student governments that aims to provide a collective voice for all students through advocacy and direct action. UCSA participates in the shared governance of the University of California system, and seeks to advance higher education by empowering current and future students to advocate on their own behalf for the accessibility, affordability, and quality of the University of California system.

UCSA's HistoryUCSA's history parallels students' broader struggle for social change. In 1964, the Free Speech Movement marked the beginning of a new era of student demands for participation in the governance of the University. This coincided with campus unrest due to the Civil Rights Movement and the escalating Vietnam War. In the 1960's and early 1970's students confronted authorities both on campuses and in the halls of the State Capitol.

Student Body Presidents' CouncilThe need for systemwide organizing became apparent as UC students resisted an onslaught of punitive measures directed at them as a result of their increased activism. Student leaders responded by forming the Student Body Presidents' Council (SBPC), which was composed of all the undergraduate and graduate student body presidents. The purpose of SBPC was "to serve the collective interests of students of the University of California by promoting cooperation between various student government associations of the several campuses of the University, and by representing these interests to the Regents of the University, the Administration, and the State Legislature." SBPC laid the foundation for the Universitywide student association which eventually evolved into UCSA.

Meanwhile, lobbying efforts at the State Capitol remained sporadic even though then Governor Ronald Reagan sought to raise student fees and legislators introduced dozens of bills to punish campus radicals and the "lenient" University. Students found it difficult to maintain the ongoing presence necessary to lobby effectively against such measures.

UC Student LobbyOn February 11, 1971, SBPC established the UC Student Lobby to ensure students a permanent voice in the State Capitol. The UC Student Lobby, with professional staff, served as the advocacy arm of SBPC, and each campus set up a Lobby Annex to organize grassroots campaign efforts. Within a few years, the UC Student Lobby won several significant budget and legislative battles on behalf of students, and developed ` a reputation as an influential lobbying organization in Sacramento.

UCSA Emerges from ReorganizationAs SBPC and the UC Student Lobby's effectiveness and visibility increased, so did confusion about their relationship with each other. Campus student governance began to demand greater attention of Student Body Presidents, and, over time, membership of SBPC shifted primarily to representatives appointed by the Presidents or elected by the student body. Soon the name "Student Body Presidents' Council" did not accurately reflect its membership, although its purpose remained the same.

In addition to its identification problem, SBPC was overshadowed by the UC Student Lobby, which captured the attention of the campus media and student body, in part because its name was clearly associated with UC students. Many students and others did not understand that SBPC governed and directed the UC Student Lobby.

Therefore, in 1985, as part of an effort to consolidate all systemwide lobbying efforts under one title, SBPC changed its name to the University of California Student Association. SBPC members became members of the UCSA Board of Directors. By Regental action, the University recognized UCSA as the official systemwide association of campus student governments. In the process, the UC Student Lobby name was shelved although some legislators still refer to UCSA as "The Student Lobby." The UC Student Lobby became the UCSA Sacramento Office and remained the statewide headquarters for UCSA. At the campus level, the Lobby Annexes were referred to as UCSA Campus Offices.

Member Schools

The student associations represented by UCSA include both undergraduate, graduate, and professional student representatives.

* University of California, Berkeley - Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC)
* University of California, Berkeley - Graduate Assembly
* University of California, Hastings College of Law - Associated Students UC Hastings
* University of California, Irvine - Associated Students UCI
* University of California, Irvine - Graduate Student Association
* University of California, Los Angeles - Undergraduate Students' Association Council (USAC)
* University of California, Los Angeles - Graduate Student Association
* University of California, Merced- Associated Students UCM
* University of California, Riverside - Associated Students UCR
* University of California, Riverside - Graduate Student Association
* University of California, San Diego - Associated Students UCSD
* University of California, San Diego - Graduate Student Association
* University of California, San Francisco - Associated Students UCSF
* University of California, San Francisco - Graduate Students' Association
* University of California, Santa Barbara - Associated Students UCSB
* University of California, Santa Barbara - Graduate Students Association
* University of California, Santa Cruz - Student Union Assembly
* University of California, Santa Cruz - Graduate Students Association

UCSA is also a member of the United States Student Association.

External links

* [http://www.ucsa.org/ UCSA Official site]


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