The sixth Senate meeting of Spring Quarter was called to order on May 11 at 6:11 p.m. 10 out of the 12 chairs were seated with Senators Julie Jung and Simran Grewal absent.
The Senate meeting started with a special visit from state Senator Bill Dodd, who discussed at length health care reforms, maintaining sanctuaries for undocumented students, deterring the spread of fake news and the recent UC audit. Dodd mentioned several of his championed senate bills (SB) including SB 6, which will provide $13 million in funding to help undocumented students; SB 135 to promote “media literacy” and help young school kids better identify fake news and SB 577, which would allow teaching credentials to be obtained at community colleges to make the pursuit more accessible to lower-income individuals.
Following Dodd’s report, several ASUCD units gave presentations to the senators. First, the Ethnic and Cultural Affairs Commission gave an update and mentioned working together to empower cross-cultural interactions and an upcoming initiative to create narratives about individuals from people all around the U.S. The next report was from the Club Finance Council (CFC) whose representatives presented a PowerPoint and gave everybody in the room a free banner pen that promoted the CFC. The Business and Finance Commission gave its report and took questions from senators who had budgeting concerns. The final unit report was from the Tipsy Taxi director, who gave a general report of the service and mentioned an increase in ridership.
Next, Noah VanderVeer-Harris, a first-year theatre and dance major, presented to the ASUCD senators in hopes of getting ASUCD to endorse Zeta Beta Tau’s upcoming event, Green Light Go. VanderVeer-Harris explained that the event, put on by his fraternity, will promote sexual consent education. ASUCD Vice President Adilla Jamaludin said that she would work with Zeta Beta Tau to take the proper steps to get ASUCD endorsement for the event.
The meeting proceeded onto the Picnic Day unit’s report. The Picnic Day chair, Chelsea Hernandez, a fourth-year design major, proceeded to give an overview of the work that the unit did to put on Picnic Day Pre-week and Picnic Day itself. When questioned by the Business and Finance Commission Chair Alex Mirov regarding how the unit planned on retaining its sponsors, Hernandez responded that this was a difficult issue and something the unit has been actively working on.
Next, two new members, Sahah Patel and Henry Meblin, both first-year economics majors, were sworn in to the Internal Affairs Commission. Three students were also sworn into the Gender and Sexuality Commission.
ASUCD President Josh Dalavai led a discussion on the Committee on Committees Assignment. The Senate and executive branches considered how Davis can continue to function as a sanctuary city for undocumented students. Internal Affairs Commission chair Nick Flores said that he felt there should be more transparency on this matter, as the Senate had previously allocated funding to work with vendors to improve community partnership.
Following a brief break, the meeting resumed at 9:01 p.m. with all senators and commission chairs present. Senate moved to go onto the introduction of new legislation. Five new bills were approved to go to commissions next week, including one that would allow ASUCD to support students protesting the upcoming UC tuition hike.
The meeting then moved onto the consideration of old legislation. SB 91, which would remove the position of the ASUCD historian, was called into question by Senator Sam Chiang, and the motion was seconded then approved unanimously. SB 93, a bill to withhold all funding from the ASUCD Entrepreneurship Fund, was considered next and called into question by Senator Daniel Nagey. The motion was seconded and unanimously carried. SB 95, which would allocate $297.00 in ASUCD funds to the Startup and Innovation Panel to be held May 28, was then discussed. This proved to instigate a lengthy debate regarding allowing the Startup and Innovation Panel to have access to the funds. Chiang expressed that this would set a precedence of senate giving new clubs money and said that this would be funding projects that senators did not run on.
Shaitaj Dhaliwal, a former ASUCD senator and president of Startup Hub at UC Davis, argued that by putting on a successful event, Davis could be placed on the map and compared to programs like Stanford and Berkeley. Chiang moved to divide the house. Six senators voted yes, four voted no and two abstained. The divide in the room carried. After more consideration, Nagey moved to divide the house again, which was seconded. Nine senators voted yes, one voted no and one abstained. Nagey then called SB 95 into question, which was approved with 10 votes.
After a presentation by Entertainment Council and ex-officio reports, the meeting was adjourned at 10:54 p.m.
Written by: Lindsay Floyd — firstname.lastname@example.org