The AGS External Committee has had a busy summer and start to the Fall Quarter. UCI now plays an outsized role in the UC Graduate and Professional Council, the systemwide graduate student advocacy organization. AGS VP External Connor Strobel was elected UCGPC President, AGS President Shane Wood was elected Vice Chair, Amy Shine was elected Treasurer, and Maryam Asghari was appointed Campaigns Director. This is a testament to the impact UCI advocacy has made over the years in systemwide and state advocacy. 

The AGS External Committee is run by VP External Connor Strobel, Legislative Director Eric Hernandez Barraza, and UCGPC Liaison Maryam Asghari. Our committee consists of both members of AGS Council and other graduate students interested in making change at the systemwide, local, state, or national level. 

VP External Connor Strobel has attended the bimonthly Regents meetings in July and September. The UC Regents are the board which helps set the direction for the UC on everything from cost of attendance through diversity, sustainability, and more. He has had the opportunity to speak to the Board about better ways for calculating housing affordability, cohort-based tuition, and the need to focus on the overall cost of attendance when discussing tuition. He will be attending the November Regents Meeting later this month. 

VP External Strobel and LD Hernandez Barraza attended the SAGE Fall Summit. Students Advocating for Graduate Education (SAGE) is a nationwide organization of public R1 universities that share best practices and advocate on common issues. LD Hernandez Barraza will be Co-Chairing their Financial Aid and Affordability Working Group. AGS will work with SAGE periodically to learn how other student governments have been able to better serve the student body. 

VP External Strobel is Co-Chairing the Student Advisory Committee for the selection of the next UC President. We look forward to helping shape the criteria and review of potential successors to President Janet Napolitano. 

With the California legislature in its recess, the External Committee will be drafting legislation to give to members of the state legislature in hopes of proactively influencing state policy. All are invited to our Committee!

As the year goes one, we will be training and sending students to Sacramento and DC, and pushing the UC Office of the President to do more for graduate students. Stay tuned.