ASUCD held its first senate meeting of Winter Quarter on Thursday, Jan. 1. ASUCD Vice President Abhay Sandhu called the meeting to order at 6:10 p.m. Senator Sam Park was absent and Senator Ricardo Martinez arrived late.
Senator Irveen Grewal was elected senate president pro-tempore. The president pro-tempore is the official representative of the ASUCD Senate and is elected each quarter.
Public discussion began with an appeal for Housing Day volunteers by Juliana Luna, director of the Housing Advising for Undergraduate Students unit. Environmental Policy and Planning Commission chair Sarah Fisher presented a proposal concerning the environmental impact of houseboats and was directed to a member of ASUCD administration.
Kevin Blue, the UC Davis athletics director introduced Dan Hawkins, the new head football coach. Hawkins gave a short speech about the campus, his experiences coaching football around the world and his desire to make a difference through football. He stressed the importance of the creativity and dedication in football and ensuring that players focus on both sports and academic excellence. The floor then opened to the senators to question Hawkins.
Internal Affairs Commission chair Nick Flores asked what football can do to engage students and increase school spirit. Hawkins proposed ideas of contacting Greek life, having camps or clinics or following a past strategy of marching football players through the campus and residential areas.
Gender and Sexuality Commission chair Alison Tam questioned how football players were educated on consent, sexual harassment and cultural competency. Hawkins responded that players were required to undergo a program when they come to campus and would be required to repeat it once they began football season. Hawkins concluded by stating that football players’ academic progress rate was very high and that football staff was very strict about keeping players on a path to academic success.
Next, senators were assigned to ASUCD committees and units. Senators nominated themselves or other senators for open positions, and roll call votes were held if there were more nominated senators than positions available.
Following presentations and assignments, legislation was presided over. Senate Bill #10, introduced by Joshua Dalavai, concerns giving marketing money to the Aggie Reuse Store. The bill was tabled.
SB #15, introduced by Internal Affairs Commissioner Jacob Engel, concerned a $1,000 ASUCD volunteer award. Senator Julie Jung wanted the bill to be an incentive to volunteer and a way to recognize volunteers of ASUCD without whom many ASUCD operations would not be able to function efficiently. SB #20, also authored by Engel, concerned awarding temporary/trial scholarships that do not fall under the ASUCD Bylaws.
After some corrections, the bills moved into public discussion. Controller Joe DeAngelo expressed concerns over both bills because senators have not been identified to sit on the committee and there was no outline to what method would be used to award money. There was concern over taking money from senate reserves that could be given to staff or misused. Additionally, certain committees and units that were not as active and had fewer volunteers were less likely to be recognized. After discussion by the senators, the bills were called into question by Senators Sofia Molodanof and Shaitaj Dhaliwal, respectively. SB #15 and SB #20 both failed with a vote of 0-11-1, with abstentions by Park.
SB #30, authored by Flores, asks to remove section 1410 of the ASUCD Bylaws titled: My Student Government Channel, as it was not in use. Senator Irveen Grewal moved to call SB #30 into question and the bill was passed 11-0-1, with an abstention by Park.
New legislation was introduced and will be sent to committees in the following weeks. There are bills to allocate $650 to the Aggie Public Arts Committee for its piano project, recognize the longstanding symbiotic relationship between ASUCD and the Student Alumni Association, change staff pay from hourly salaries to stipends for The California Aggie’s 2017 budget and incorporate UndocuALLY and Sexual Assault Bystander Intervention training into the ASUCD Senate’s mandated trainings.
After ex-officio reports and elected officer reports, the meeting adjourned at 7:47 p.m.
Written by: Jayashri Padmanabhan — email@example.com