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Davis, California

Thursday, February 29, 2024

ASUCD Senate Quarterly Report

Compared to Fall Quarter of last year, ASUCD Senate fell behind when it came down to writing legislation, ending with 20 bills versus last year’s 36. The senate’s progress is determined by each bill’s effectiveness and relevance to the student body, as well as the number of bills passed.

*Editor’s note: For Bills 1-5, please see our mid-quarter evaluation at theaggie.org.

Senate Bill #6

Senator Maxwell Kappes introduced a bill to amend Bylaw 412, thereby providing the Elections Committee with the discretion to choose how they would like to distribute sample ballots. Previously, Bylaw 412 required placement of the sample ballot in The California Aggie. This new amendment removes any direct reference to the placement of the sample ballot in The California Aggie. The amendment passed by a 11-1-0 vote.

Senate Bill #7

Senator Ryan Wonders introduced a bill to create a formal procedure for renaming current ASUCD units. The bill was put into effect due to the absence of any formal naming procedures in Senate Bill 93, which only created a procedure for creating or dissolving ASUCD units. It ensures that all units are referenced only by one official name. The bill passed by a 11-0-1 vote.

Senate Bill #8

Senator Tal Topf introduced a bill to make the points of inquiry during senate meetings consistent with Robert’s Rules of Order (a book widely used as parliamentary authority in the United States). Before the bill was enacted, only one point of inquiry — the Point of Clarification — was officially recognized by the ASUCD Bylaws. Even that point of inquiry was inconsistent with Robert’s Rules of Order. The new bill will therefore enact five points of inquiry consistent with Robert’s Rules of Order: the Point of Order, Point of Parliamentary Inquiry, Point of Information, Point of Clarification and Point of Personal Privilege. The bill passed by a 12-0-0 vote.

Senate Bill #9

Senator Maxwell Kappes introduced a bill to clarify the role of deferments as well as to place restrictions on them. In parliamentary procedures, deferments are intended to allow members — other than the original speaker —the opportunity to speak or ask questions without cutting into the time allotted to the original speaker. In the past, however, deferments have been used as a way to defer the conversation back to the original speaker, thereby granting them more time. Since this is not explicitly forbidden by Bylaw 105, the new bill will place restrictions on this type of exchange to limit any unfair gain of time by the original speaker. The bill passed by a 8-2-2 vote.

Senate Bill #10

Senator Armando Figueroa introduced a bill to clarify the language in Bylaw 801A. The bill will recognize that the ASUCD Commission responsible for authoring or introducing a particular bill is allowed to formally recommend its own legislation for consideration by the senate.

Senate Bill #11

Introduced by Senator Miles Thomas, this bill will allocate $2,500 from the ASUCD Senate reserve to Aggies of Color. The money will be used to fund student attendance to the 25th Annual Students of Color Conference (SOCC). The bill passed by a 7-3-2 vote.

Senate Bill #12

Senators Maxwell Kappes and Armando Figueroa co-authored a bill to allow for directed comments to both senators and other subordinate officials. This bill aims to hold elected officials accountable for their comments and actions while facilitating transparency within ASUCD’s body of elected officials.

Senate Bill #13

Senator Miles Thomas introduced the bill to amend Section 107 of the ASUCD Bylaws to change the average “10-minute break” at senate meetings. Initially, it was mandatory to take breaks approximately every hour after the start of each meeting. Section 107 was amended to change the allotted time to a minimum of 30 minutes before five hours have exceeded. It was thought to be more effective to have less short breaks frequently. This bill is still pending legislation.

Senate Bill #14

ASUCD Senators Miles Thomas and Maxwell Kappes authored the bill to consolidate ASUCD funding sources. In order to ensure fairness among the 500 registered student organizations, Club Finance Council (CFC), one of ASUCD’s largest programs, determines the amount of funding a student organization is able to receive. However, clubs have been disregarding the cap and going directly to the senate for more funding. Disproportionate funding has resulted from this “double-dipping.” SB #14 seeks to amend Section 604 of the ASUCD Bylaws so that ASUCD cannot allocate funding to any organization already applying or receiving funding from CFC and vice versa. This bill is pending legislation.

Senate Bill #15

Written by ASUCD Senator Liam Burke, SB #15 calls for a voluntary recital of the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of ASUCD Senate meetings. There should be an opportunity to show respect to the American flag as ASUCD’s governmental structure follows the federal government of the United States of America. Order of agenda at senate meetings is to include a voluntary recital after the call to order. This bill is pending legislation.

Senate Bill #16

Authored and introduced by ASUCD Senator Miles Thomas, SB #16 is to allocate $3,460.34 from Senate Reserves to supply AggieTV with two new cameras. AggieTV does not own any DSLR cameras and their $1,700 equipment budget is only enough to cover routine expenses. Producers have had to supply their own cameras. In return for acquiring new cameras, AggieTV is to increase footage quality, production turnover and revenue. This bill was passed in a 9-1-2 vote.

Senate Bill #17

ASUCD President Carly Sandstrom authored the bill to re-allocate Cal Aggie Camp money into the Stipend Positions and create two new positions. In order for volunteer camp employees to qualify as ASUCD stipend employees and continue to receive stipends, funds must be appropriated from the unit’s Services Rendered line item into General Assistance. Because Cal Aggie Camp counselors are not independent contractors and are completely directed by ASUCD, re-allocating is necessary to comply with federal tax law. This bill was passed in a 12-0-0 vote.

Senate Bill #18

The bill was recommended by the Internal Affairs Commission to make the hiring process of ASUCD associate justices and chief justices and the structure of the ASUCD Court more clear. There has been confusion due to the vagueness in ASUCD bylaws. SB #18 is to address and clarify the bylaws. This bill is pending legislation.

Senate Bill #19

The bill seeks to amend The California Aggie budget to accurately reflect the pay weeks worked by Aggie employees. The budget is written incorrectly and should be adjusted for each position to be paid for 30 weeks instead of 16. It will reflect its actual operations and make it easier when writing budgets in the future. In addition, it has been requested that the Art Director’s pay be raised from $40/week to $55/week because the position is just as demanding as the Design Director’s. Because it is no longer necessary for a second Assistant Business Manager position, the pay raise will be accommodated. This bill is pending legislation.

Senate Bill #20

ASUCD Senator Miles Thomas introduced the bill to implement a revised Long-Range Plan for the Campus Center for the Environment (CCE). CCE was created as a student-run organization to promote awareness of environmental issues, ecological health and environmental education. This bill is pending legislation.


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