The Undergraduate Studies Council (UGSC) is the official representative student organization of the School of Undergraduate Studies, providing a platform for UGS students to explore leadership while planning beneficial activities for fellow students. In addition to currently enrolled Undergraduate Studies students, FIG peer mentors, Longhorn Scholars Program students, and Bridging Disciplines Programs students are also part of the Council. The Council deliberates and votes on Senate of College Councils legislation relevant to UGS, presents proposals and legislation on behalf of students to the Dean of Undergraduate Studies, hosts social events for School of Undergraduate Studies students, organizes town hall meetings with the UGS administration, and organizes projects in the Austin community. Currently, the Council has four officers, three of whom are enrolled in Undergraduate Studies.
All four officers agreed that the main issues UGS students face are planning a personal path through all of the possibilities at UT Austin, deciding on a major, and navigating a new, larger, overwhelming university and all of its resources. Walter Zamora, financial officer, pointed out that figuring out what they want to study is a major concern for many students entering college, but many UGS students are even more undecided. His advice is “…not to worry too much about it: like many things in life, the best way to approach this is to think in terms of the present; find something you really like and study that. Considering the great flow of information and constant change in today’s societies, I think that, most probably, what you do later in your career will have little to do with what you studied in college.”
Meet Our Officers
| Walter Zamora, Financial Director
Class of 2013
Major: Finance, but primarily interested in entrepreneurship
Interests: Music, exercise (especially swimming: UT’s aquatic complex is a resource I couldn’t be more thankful for), reading books that deal with philosophical questions, and astronomy. The universe itself, its immensity, and the great realm of possibilities for other life forms are some of the things that I’ve found to be profoundly intriguing throughout the last couple of years.
Hometown: San Salvador, El Salvador
I initially approached the council during Gone to UGS my freshman year. I felt that coming from another country and being in a new place with so many people would be a bit less overwhelming if I got involved in student organizations. As I spent more time with the council it really became a matter of wanting to learn how an organization as huge as UT is managed, while at the same time becoming the best resource I could for the school. UGS provides a great opportunity for many people who aren’t entirely sure of what they want to study, so I feel passionate about improving this place. I want to give more structure to the way the council works so that future officers have a concrete system to work with. We are a young school and council, so I think we have to focus on these basics before the council starts making big contributions to any aspect of student life.
| Alexandria Macias, Administrative Director
Class of 2014
Desired major: Health Promotion
Interests: Not worrying about time, dancing, being outside, and being with family and friends
Hometown: Ozona, TX
I wanted a community atmosphere, so I joined the UGS Council. While an officer, I hope to recruit and maintain new members, but more generally, to impact others’ lives. Undergraduate Studies is an atmosphere unlike any other, and the resources available to students are so great.
| Emily Smith, Senate Representative
Class of 2015
Desired major: Sociology & American Studies
Interests: Mostly studying! But music, attending concerts, seeing plays, taking photographs, reading, and spending time with friends
Hometown: Austin, TX
I was searching for some kind of club involvement and especially a leadership position just to challenge myself and grow, and was drawn to UGS council because I wanted to feel more involved with my school and with UT in general. During my term, I hope to do a great job of presenting legislation to the council, facilitating discussion and understanding, and also of representing us in the Senate of College Councils. I also hope to form friendships, encourage other members, and gain insight into what I can do to improve the council and the university.
| Stephanie Reyna, President
Class of 2015
Desired major: Environmental Law and Human Geography in some combination! Also plans to complete a Bridging Disciplines Programs concentration
Hometown: League City, TX