Hello friends! And an especial hello to all you UCLA Bruins, as well! With student governments elections here at UCLA this week, it’s been a whirlwind of campaigning around campus. There are two slates on campus vying for the coveted slots—Bruins United and Students First. These students campaigning have a particular opportunity to make a difference on campus by representing the needs and desires of the entire student body. There’s one candidate in particular that I am especially supporting after I heard his campaign speech, emphasizing the importance of happiness at UCLA. Daniel Chikanov is running for to be the next General Representative and I think that he would be extremely successful in the position. I can’t wait for you to hear what he has to say, and please, vote for him and his Bruins United running mates today! I know I did!
Go here to learn more about the platforms of the other candidates: http://bruinsunited.com/
1. You are currently running to be a general representative with Bruins United. Can you tell us about some of your platforms that you plan to implement if you’re elected?
I have been working on strengthening the relationship between the Career Center, Alumni Association, and USAC in order to increase their exposure and accessibility to students. Many people don’t even know of the services the Career Center and the Student Alumni Association have to offer or even that they exist in the first place. Students will be able to acquire valuable knowledge and tools to attain the dream job they desire.
My second platform centers on revamping UCLA transportation and biking. Thousands of students get around campus and Westwood on bikes, skateboards, and scooters. The pavement around UCLA linking the campus to Westwood needs to be refurbished along with an installation of more bike racks to facilitate storage. By better integrating the local cyclist community this platform has the added benefit of increasing an environmentally friendly alternative to transportation needs in the area. In addition, to increasing cyclist safety, it will also give pedestrians the security of using the safer furnished pathways. Overall it will benefit all parties by simultaneously promoting campus safety and the freedom to choose one’s own method of transportation.
2. What about UCLA makes you happy?
This energized campus has never failed to bring a smile on my face every day. As I walk to class, there is always something to do, something to explore, something to learn, great weather, great people, and it really has made me feel like I’m at home. It’s a paradise.
3. How do you think you can make UCLA a happier place?
USAC has been doing much better in reaching out to students, but I want to expand it more. In doing so, I want to bring USAC to the students by strengthening the relationship between USAC, the Alumni Association, as well as the Career Center to provide easier accessibility to the resources available at UCLA. Rather than stressing about finding the resources, they’re able to find a resource at a relaxed pace. Along with my plan on a UCLA’s own laugh factory, not only will it give students a chance to crack some jokes, but it’ll give them a chance to bond on an emotional level where they have a share of happiness.
4. What do you think is one of the greatest challenges facing UCLA and how do you think you can improve it?
The biggest challenge would have to be equal representation. With having an immigrant as well as a disability background, I am familiar with the adversity that the underrepresented communities face. As a General Representative, it is my job to make sure that every student is being equal represented as well as having a voice in the student government because after all, they are the ones who are the backbone of UCLA. With that, I plan to reach out to various underrepresented communities and empower them.
5. How has the campaign experience added to your happiness?
Every day that I am out there, I meet someone new, I learn something new about life. It is that learning experience that people have been providing me that really has been helping me improve both my auditory as well as verbal skills greatly since they have been a challenge for me due to my hearing loss. For example, last week, we had a candidate debate and I have never participated in the debate before since I always had the fear of mispronouncing a word or not making any sense. This fear had kept me from running for any student government position, even in high school when my counselor wanted me to run for the president of student body. However, to this day, I have regretted not giving myself a chance to experience the political side of life or to overcome the fear and so with that I’ve decided to push through and overcome my fear. Along with the rigorous academic schedule adhered at UCLA, I put in a lot of hours into practicing my speech to prepare for the debate. When the day of the debate came, I went in knowing that I am a step closer to accomplishing my lifetime goal. I went in, delivered it, and never felt so confident. That feeling was definitely the best feeling I’ve had and I couldn’t be any more excited and happy to campaign because I definitely want to give students the chance to accomplish their goals since happiness is the key to life.
The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook