Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager-Dove hosts the UCLA champions on the floor, with Assemblymember Jose Medina helping hold the hardware. (photo courtesy UCLA Athletics)
2017-18 NCAA Championship teams were recognized by members of the California State Assembly and Senate
Article by Liza David of UCLA Athletics.
Senior Alex Roelse and associate head coach Jason Falitz represented the men’s water polo team, which won its 11th and UCLA’s 114th NCAA title in December. Seniors Christine Peng-Peng Lee and Rechelle Dennis and associate head coach Chris Waller represented the gymnastics team, which won its seventh and the Bruins’ 115th NCAA title in April. First-time champions and UCLA’s 116th champions, the beach volleyball team, was represented by juniors Megan McNamara and Nicole McNamara and assistant coach Jenny Johnson Jordan.
The champions were treated to a VIP tour of the Capitol building, which included a visit to the governor’s office and a climb to the top of the Rotunda for a view of the city, led by UCLA alumnus and Assembly Member Vince Fong.
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The advocacy team enjoyed meetings with a number of legislators including Sen. Holly Mitchell. (photos by Ramona Cortes Garza and Nicole Madani)
Chancellor Gene Block and a group of students took an urgent message to Sacramento in April.
UCLA educates more undergraduates now than it did in 2010, yet total state funding has decreased significantly. To maintain the quality of a UC education, more funding is critical.
“My biggest concern was, where do students come into this conversation, who is voicing our concerns?” USAC president Arielle Yael Mokhatarzadeh said. “When it became clear that there was an opportunity for students and administrators to come together, I felt like it was important to try to forge that relationship and network as early as possible.”
Mokhatarzadeh, transfer student Dayshawn Louden, and Community Programs Office Student Association Chairperson Elizabeth Lizardo ended up forming the student coalition that brought this message to state legislators with Block.