University of California Students Association

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University of California
Student Association
Founded February 11, 1971
Employees 7 staff members
Members Over 220,000 UC Undergraduate, Graduate, and Professional Students
Formerly called The UC Student Lobby
References: Member of United States Student Association and National Association of Graduate-Professional Students

The University of California Students Association (UCSA) is a higher education student advocacy group organized to voice the interests of students attending the University of California system. It has been noted for its opposition to education funding cuts[1][2] and increases in student fees[3][4][5] and for its support of affirmative action in enrollment policies.[6] The association mobilizes students via voter registration campaigns; it recorded 26,000 new voter registrations in 2006, and added 12,300 new registrations in 2008 for the California Democratic and Republican primaries.[7]


The University of California Student Association (UCSA) is a coalition of students and student governments that aims to provide a collective voice for all students through advocacy and direct action. UCSA participates in the shared governance of the University of California system, and seeks to advance higher education by empowering current and future students to advocate on their own behalf for the accessibility, affordability, and quality of the University of California system.


In 1960, the California Master Plan for Higher Education mandated that the University of California should be free and its population should reflect the diversity of the state of California. Throughout the 1960s, UC students developed a culture of organizing by engaging in the Free Speech Movement, Civil Rights Movement, and Anti-Vietnam War Movement that were sweeping the nation. In response, administrators, UC Regents, and elected officials tried to find any way they could to crack down on students’ freedom to organize.

In 1968, Governor Ronald Reagan dealt a heavy blow by creating tuition in what was supposed to be the “free” UC system, and calling it a “student fee.” Students responded by mobilizing more than 3,000 to the state capitol in protest of the cuts. But this was only the first in a series of attacks on students. Soon, UC students realized they needed a permanent organization to provide a voice in the California State Capitol and organize students on campuses, and the Student Body Presidents Council created the UC Student Lobby, which would later become UCSA.

Throughout the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, UCSA fought for the access, affordability, and quality of UC education, winning battles to freeze and roll back student fees, to increase UC diversity, to protect crucial student services, and to expand financial aid. UCSA has won many victories for students, including creating a student voting position on the UC Board of Regents, getting the Regents to repeal SP1 and SP2, and winning fee freezes or rollbacks in 8 of the last 15 years.

Today, UCSA continues to fight for students, using a range of tactics to win our issue-based campaigns and build student electoral power. It is going to take many students working collectively to restore the promise of a free education and a truly diverse University. Together, through grassroots organizing and direct advocacy, we can win victories that change students’ lives. The first step is to join in.

Student Association Membership[edit]

UCSA is a student-run, student-led organization with a Board of Directors composed of students elected or appointed by our member student governments. UCSA's Board consists of one voting member per association, usually the Executive or External Vice President (EVP). Additionally, each voting member may appoint two non-voting board members, a Campus Organizing Director (COD) and Legislative Liaison (LL).

UCSA was founded on the principle that, together, UC students have the power to make change. As a membership-based coalition of undergraduate and graduate student governments of UC campuses, UCSA strives to invest and engage many students in our work.

UCSA is the recognized voice of all UC students to the UC Office of the President, the UC Regents, the California legislature and the Office of the Governor.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jacoby, Pat (2007-05-17). "Marco Murillo, New President of UC San Diego Students, Credits Preuss School With Opening Scholastic Perspectives". Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  2. ^ Schevitz, Tanya; Kevin Fagan and Matthew Yi (2008-04-22). "Nearly 2,000 protest college spending cuts". Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  3. ^ Avila, Theresa (2008-05-15). "The Daily Bruin - Fee hike leads to protests". Retrieved 2009-02-10. 
  4. ^ Miran, Aria (2008-01-18). "Regents To Postpone Increase in Student Costs - Daily Nexus". Retrieved 2009-02-10. [dead link]
  5. ^ Jacobson, Jennifer (2003-09-19). "The Chronicle: 9/19/2003: Students Sue States Over Tuition Increases but Face an Uphill Battle". Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  6. ^ "The Board of Regents, September 1998". Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  7. ^ Galio, Katalina (2008-01-23). "12,300 UC Students Registered in Time for Primary - The Daily Californian". Retrieved 2009-02-10. 

External links[edit]