As graduate and professional students, there are several ways we can be involved in external affairs that impact each campus and the UC system as a whole. The GSA’s External Vice President has a seat on the University of California Graduate and Professional Council (UCGPC) along with the GSA Legislative Affairs Officer. The UCGPC is a graduate and professional student-led committee that advocates on behalf of all UC graduate and professional students alongside it's undergraduate counterparts in the University of California Student Association (UCSA). UCGPC has members across all the UCs and meets monthly to discuss important issues and legislation that impacts the UC system, meets with government leaders to advocate for graduate and professional students, meets with the administration of the UC Office of the President (UCOP), helps select the UC Student Regent, appoints students to system-wide opportunities, and much more.
UCGPC also has a program with UCSA, the Student Advocates to the Regents (StARs), who are funded to travel to the UC Regents meetings to provide public comment on pressing graduate and professional student issues. Graduate and professional students are highly encouraged to apply prior to the next Board of Regents meeting (https://www.ucgpc.org/star). UCGPC and UCSA both work in coordination with the UC Council of Student Body Presidents (UC-CoP) and the UC Council on Student Fees (CSF) to
Another way to be involved is having the seat of the UC Student Regent, a voting member of the Regents of the University of California. They serve a one-year term as Student Regent-Designate and then a one-year term as the official UC Student Regent. The Student Regent attends all meetings of the Board and its Committees. Fun fact, all mandatory University fees and tuition are waived for the Student Regent during the academic year of their term! The Regents looking for a new Student Regent every year, so keep an eye out for this position! (Learn how to apply to be the next Student Regent.)
If you’re interested in joining the union, UAW 2685 is always looking for volunteers! UAW 2685 represents all 19,000+ Academic Student Employees—Teaching Assistants, Teaching Fellows, Graduate Student Instructors, Tutors, and Readers—across the University of California system. They have several areas that they are working towards which you can find on their website, https://uaw2865.org. There is a section on their website where you can join to get involved as well as look up your rights as an academic student employee at the University of California. Are you a fellow or Graduate Student Researcher (GSR)? Check out the website of UC Student Researchers United - UAW to get involved and/or follow their unionization campaign as well as negotiations with UC for a fair contract at the bargaining table.