On Thursday, October 30, the UCLA State Government Relations unit hosted Assemblymember Sebastian Ridley-Thomas from the 54th Assembly District as part of the “Legislator to Campus” program. UCLA happens to be a part of Assemblymember Ridley-Thomas’ district. His day-long campus visit included meetings regarding enrollment, campus budget and finance, development, residential life, and campus architecture.
Assemblymember Ridley-Thomas began the day by taking an executive tour of UCLA, led by Jack Powazek , UCLA Vice Chancellor of Administration. Ridley-Thomas also met with Janina Montero (Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs), Gary Clark (Director of Undergraduate Admissions), and Simone Rahotep (Director of Strategic Partnerships & Community Engagement) to discuss the UCLA application process, holistic admission and how UCLA has used innovative methods of engaging the community and recruiting potential applicants. Steve Olsen, UCLA Vice Chancellor for Finance, Budget, & Capital Programs, also met with the Member to discuss the importance of protecting the state budget for UCLA and the UC system. Additionally, the member met with Megan Kissinger, the Assistant Vice Chancellor of College Development for the College of Letters and Sciences, to discuss the importance of fundraising for the college and academic research.
The second half of the tour was located on the Hill, where Assemblymember Sebastian Ridley-Thomas met with Brian MacDonald, the Director of Residential Education in the Office of Residential Life, to discuss services within the UCLA housing system that foster a positive campus climate. The member also had the opportunity to meet with student leaders and obtain a first-hand account of their experiences at UCLA. The Assemblymember’s day ended with a meeting with Jeffrey Averill, a Campus Architect, at the UCLA Capital Programs Building.
By the end of the tour, the State Relations unit felt confident in knowing that Assemblymember Ridley-Thomas received an in depth understanding of the multiple facets that make up our university and why our partnership with him is a significant one.