UC President Janet Napolitano Makes First UCSD Visit

UC President Janet Napolitano Makes First UCSD Visit

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Graduate and undergraduate student leaders met with Napolitano to voice concerns and discuss upcoming plans

UC President Janet Napolitano met with over 20 undergraduate and graduate student leaders from UCSD at a working lunch held in the Mandell Weiss Forum on Thursday, Oct. 10. Napolitano — who succeeded former UC President Mark G. Yudof on Sept. 30 — is touring all 10 UC campuses and visited UCSD as her second stop on her 11th day in office.

Notable attendees included Graduate Student Association President Rahul S. Kapadia, and UC Student Regent-Designate Sadia Saifuddin. Additionally, UC Provost Aimée Dorr also joined the meeting.

Interim Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Alan Houston asked participants to come prepared with a question for Napolitano, but the conversation shifted to when Napolitano expressed interest in giving participants the rare opportunity to directly voice their concerns to her.

The former Arizona governor and former U.S. secretary of Homeland Security asked attendees what they would do if they were the newly elected UC President, which led to an hour and a half discussion. Participants discussed issues such as campus climate, concerns for marginalized student populations and a lack of funding for niche departments, such as theater and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

The UC Police Department provided heavy security for the event due to the anticipated presence of protesters from the “NapolitaNO” campaign against Napolitano, whose appointment has been the center of political controversy among UC students. The event location was kept confidential, and no protesters were seen at the event site.

Saifuddin also visited the UCSD campus on Thursday, speaking about upcoming plans for the year.

“It’s an interesting year, especially because we have new leadership,” Saifuddin said. “[The regents] said that diversity is really important to them, and now it’s time to put their money where their mouth is.”

Disclaimer: Editor-in-Chief Laira Martin attended the working lunch as a campus student leader.

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