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Friday, October 22, 2021

ASUCD violates its own bylaw with CampusCred agreement

In January, ASUCD signed a profit-sharing agreement with CampusCred without the proper senate approval required by ASUCD bylaws.

The agreement states that CampusCred will pay ASUCD 3 to 8 percent of its profits in exchange for use of the ASUCD logo, said Mark Champagne, ASUCD business manager. ASUCD was unaware of the problem until the DavisWiki community pointed out that Champagne had approved the agreement instead of the senate.

Section 1601(A) of the ASUCD bylaws states that the logo should not be used in any way that implies ASUCD’s endorsement of a movement, activity or program, unless approved by a majority vote of the senate in the form of a senate resolution.

“Our internal codes say that the senate has to approve this – I wasn’t aware of that and Jack [Zwald] wasn’t aware of that,” Champagne said. “We have a lot of internal rules at ASUCD – 17 chapters of rules, and we have a constitution in addition to those rules – so sometimes we don’t know about a rule that’s there.”

CampusCred is a student-run company that provides the UC Davis community with vouchers to various Davis businesses for at least 50 percent off. ASUCD President Jack Zwald was interested in a deal with the company because of its benefits for the students and for the association.

“There are two reasons for why a deal with CampusCred would be beneficial,” Zwald said. “The first reason would be it’s a stream of revenue that would benefit ASUCD in that we’re looking at more money for services and to expand different programs. The second is that CampusCred, as a business, provides students discounts within the city so it saves students money.”

Champagne noted that the terms of the agreement are relatively low-risk and low-cost. ASUCD’s only obligation to CampusCred is allowing the company to use its logo, and the reward may only be a couple thousand dollars.

The senate now has a 90-day period to choose to discontinue the agreement after May 2, Champagne said. Until then, the agreement is still in effect and cannot be voided before that date.

In the mean time, CampusCred is entitled to use the ASUCD logo up until May 2 and beyond that date if the senate agrees to continue the deal, Champagne said.

Nikhil Sheel, Davis CampusCred director and a junior statistics and economics double major, said that CampusCred was founded by a small group of students and that use of the logo would best convey the company’s interest in helping students save money.

“[Campus Cred] wanted to be closely tied with [ASUCD] because we are only for the students and not for anyone else,” Sheel said. “We feel that ASUCD is the most important representation of the students since they are essentially their voice. There’s no other real motive behind our agreement with ASUCD – we want to keep the lines of communication open with them.”

CampusCred is currently working with Ryan Meyerhoff, a junior political science major and senatorial candidate, to draft a senate resolution to get this issue resolved, Sheel said.

Zwald noted that the issue was based off of a misunderstanding.

“It was an oversight,” Zwald said. “I think it’s been corrected and I think we’re going to move forward from it.”

MARTHA GEORGIS can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

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