UCGPC is a non-profit organization that advocates for graduate and professional students at University of California.

10 campuses,

1 UC system.

UCGPC bridges each UC to stakeholders, decision-makers, and organizations:

UC Office of the President, UC Systemwide Committees, Grad Caucus in DC, National Association of Graduate and Professional Students, Federal and State Legislators and more.


UCGPC programming encourages the participation of graduate and professional students in key decision-making spaces for graduate education in the University of California.

Apply to the Student Advocates to the Regents (StARs) Program

Annual Grad Summit

Learn more about our Advocacy Days: Day on the Hill and Sacramento

Grad Summit
Advocacy Day

Read our legislative analyses, comment letters, and resolutions.

Get involved as student representative!

Grad Summit 2023

Missed us? Fret not. Catch the livestream on YouTube.

Be a StAR!

Student Advocates to the Regents voice graduate student issues at the UC Board of Regents meetings. Contact us to learn more about the program: info@ucgpc.org.

Learn more about the StARs program here.

Get to know the past StARs.

Past Student Advocates to the Regents hailed from UC Davis and UC San Diego and talked about what matters to graduate students at their campuses.

Hayden Schill, UC San Diego

Hayden was the 2022-2023 UCGPC President. At the September 2022 Regents Meeting, she spoke about the need for clear and intentional mentorship standards for graduate students.

Victor Wang, UC San Diego

Victor is a PhD Candidate at UCSD and was the UCGPC council chair last academic year, 2021-2022. Victor is passionate about mentorship standards and putting a stop to workplace bullying between PIs and GSRs. Victor was a StAR at the September and November 2022 Board of Regents Meeting.

Paulina Rojas, UC Davis

Paulina is a PhD Student at UCD. Paulina addressed the UC Regents about Solano Park Family Housing at UC Davis. She is passionate about advocating for equitable treatment of graduate students who are parents or heads of households.

Executive Officers

The officers of the council are elected and appointed annually by ex officio council members. Each officer has an integral role in representing and leading the UCGPC in multiple spaces.


Ryan Manriquez, a first-year Master of Public Policy student at UC Berkeley, is the newly elected UCGPC President for 2023-24. He aims to prioritize graduate and professional student conditions and opportunities throughout the UC system and believes in the value they bring to UC's core missions. Ryan's collaborative approach to advocacy involves working with campus leaders, UCSA, and Council of Presidents to amplify student voices to UC administration and state and federal legislators. He is committed to centering the voices of historically underrepresented campuses in UC advocacy. Connect with him at president@ucgpc.org to learn more.


Tori Porter hails from San Diego, California, shaped by the resilience of a single mother. Tori holds dual Bachelor's degrees in Gender, Sexualities and Women’s Studies and African American Studies from the University of California, Davis, and a Master's in Organization and Leadership: Higher Education & Student Affairs from the University of San Francisco. Integrating queer theory, Black feminist thought, and critical race theory, Tori envisions education as a realm of compassion, universal access, and liberation, exploring the intricacies of diversity and inclusion. Currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of California, Riverside, Tori challenges the establishment, demanding accountability for injustices against Black transgender students. Recognized as a luminary in Black transgender scholarship, Tori aims to advocate for marginalized students, whether as faculty or pioneering researcher, in the unwritten chapters of their remarkable journey. Connect with Tori at councilchair@ucgpc.org.


Mohit Saraswat, is a third-year Ph.D. student researching at Livermore national lab. His home campus is Merced and has close ties to all UC campuses. He has held leadership roles advocating for international student affairs and graduate student needs in more than one out of state schools. He brings diverse experience to UCGPC with exceptional skills in budget management and advocacy. In addition to the Treasurer at UCGPC, he also volunteers to serve as the graduate representative for Student health advisory committee and affordable transport work group. Connect with him at treasurer@ucgpc.org.

Director of Legislative Affairs and Outreach

Ernesto Arciniega is the Director of Legislative Affairs and Outreach at UCGPC and a Ph.D. candidate in Hispanic Literatures at UCLA. He graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Spanish and Latin American Literatures from UC Berkeley, where he was a Phi Beta Kappa member, and holds a Master’s in Spanish Literatures from UCLA. Ernesto’s research interests include Contemporary Latin American, Mexican, and Chicanx Literatures and Cultures, Border Studies, Immigration Law in the U.S., the History of California, Urban Art, and the interplay of Artificial Intelligence in writing Literature and History. Recognized as a UC National Center for Free Speech Fellow, a Mellon-EPIC Fellow, and a five-time recipient of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, Ernesto is a strong advocate for environmental justice, immigrants’ rights, mental health, and student basic needs. He has served as a board member on the ASUCLA Board of Directors, as Student Advocate (StAR) to the UC Board of Regents on multiple occasions, as GSA Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement, and as Vice President of External Affairs at the UCLA Graduate Student Association during the 2022-2023 academic year.

Ernesto initiated his career in student advocacy as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley in 2014 and became involved with UCGPC in 2020. Over his nearly four years with UCGPC, he has served in various capacities, including Student Director of Outreach, Vice Chair, Director of Outreach and Organizing, and currently as Director of Legislative Affairs and Outreach. At UCGPC, Ernesto focuses on amplifying students’ voices and needs at the UC, state, and national levels. Additionally, Ernesto served as an elected Councilmember for the North Westwood Neighborhood Council in Los Angeles for four years, where he advocated for improving public transportation, building student affordable housing, and supporting Westwood’s disenfranchised communities. His most recent publication is titled “Lighting the Way for Undocumented Students at UC: Free Speech, Civic and Political Engagement.” In his free time, Ernesto enjoys traveling, learning new languages, watching queer films and series, and spending time with his friends in West Hollywood.

Executive Director

As the Executive Director, Patriccia directs and controls all of UCGPC’s business operations and ensures its success through strategic planning, cost-based thinking, and a creative vision. Patriccia is the sole full-time staff at UCGPC.

Patriccia Ordonez-Kim (she/her) is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Riverside’s School of Education. She earned a Master of Arts degree in Educational Administration in Higher Education and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from California State University, Northridge. She served as the Interim President and Vice President of External Affairs of the Graduate Student Association at the University of California, Riverside from 2021-2022 and was an invited guest in Bill Gate’s inaugural session of Gates Notes Deep Dive on May 2021.

2022-2023 Board Committees

The Board of Directors may, by resolution adopted by a majority of the directors then in office, create any number of committees, each consisting of two or more directors, and only of directors, to serve at the pleasure of the Board (each, a “Board Committee”). Appointments to any Board Committee shall be by a majority vote of the directors then in office. Board Committees may be given all the authority of the Board, except [certain decisions]. (Article IV, Section 1)

Board Committee on Conferences

Board Committee on Budget and Fundraising

Board Committee on Bylaws and Legal Compliance

2022-2023 Advisory Committeess

The Board of Directors may establish one or more advisory committees to the Board (“Advisory Committees”). The members of any Advisory Committee may consist of directors or non-directors and may be appointed as the Board of Directors determines. On matters requiring Board authority, Advisory Committees may not make decisions on behalf of this corporation, but shall be restricted to making recommendations to the Board of Directors or Board Committees, and implementing Board of Directors or Board Committee decisions and policies under the supervision and control of the Board of Directors or Board Committee. (Article IV, Section 2)

  1. Advisory Committee on Mentorship Experience: design survey, collect data, present and/or publish findings, collaborate with relevant stakeholders, and conduct general outreach regarding graduate student mentorship

  2. Advisory Committee on Student Mental Health: maintain stream of communication with and attend SMHOC UCOP meetings, in addition to maintaining partnership with Engaging the Academy Taskforce, increase access to long-term mental healthcare, formulate and recommend accessible, safe, and protective rather than reactive approaches to student mental health.

  3. Advisory Committee on Basic Needs, Housing, and Healthcare: collaborate with UCOP Basic Needs committee, outreach to legislation and UCOP, CalFresh education/advocacy, secure direct services/basic needs grants, research an

  4. Advisory Committee on Civic Engagement, Sustainability, and Legislative Advocacy: legislative research and analysis for elections and advocacy days. Organize Sacramento Advocacy Day and Day on the Hill. Voter education and registration. Systemwide policy education. Draft resolutions in support or against issues. Research UC sustainability efforts. Engage with systemwide sustainability committees. Outreach to campus sustainability groups.

  5. UCGPC Alumni Advisory Committee


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