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Davis, California

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Senate Best Practices Meeting discusses room for improvement


Presentation highlights trends of unexcused absences, lack of communication

ASUCD Senator Pro Tempore Julie Jung, a second-year political science major, led the Senate in a Best Practices meeting on Nov. 9 after the weekly Senate meeting in the Mee Room of the Memorial Union adjourned.

The goal of the meeting was for current and future senators to present to “better understand the responsibilities and duties of an ASUCD Senator.”

Absent from the meeting was Senator Michael Swalberg, who was excused during his time out of the country. He will attend a makeup meeting on Friday, Nov. 17.

Four of the six candidates of the Fall 2017 ASUCD Senate election were present: Andreas Godderis, a second-year economics and computer science double major, Jacob Sedgley, a third-year economics and environmental policy analysis and planning double major, Bryan Perez, a second-year political science and managerial economics double major and Gaven Kaur, a second-year psychology and communication double major.

The two candidates on the UC Davis Unite Slate — Danny Halawi, a second-year computer science major and Jesse Kullar, a second-year chemical engineering major — were both absent.

Jung spoke to the table about general trends that ASUCD units, committees and the executive office have noticed with regard to the Senate’s performance. Trends included a high number of absences from weekly meetings. Senators had not given proper notice of absences beforehand and higher attendance at weekly meetings was demanded.

Certain instances of noteworthy senatorial absences included Senate meetings in which members from the general public sitting in outnumbered the senators present.

Vice President Adilla Jamaludin said that stricter disciplinary actions will be taken toward senators who do not communicate their reasons for absences ahead of time. Missing more than three meetings in a quarter would result in a closed session to review job performance.

Tech checks, instances when senators were on their phones or computers during presentations, were another common observation. The meeting’s itinerary also mentioned a lack of senatorial communication with ASUCD commissions and committees.

Other behavior issues included senators partaking in interpersonal arguments with fellow senators over social media, interacting with units based on predetermined biases, and not being proactive enough in attending meetings or events held by commissions and committees. Mandatory reports of communication between elected officials and units at weekly meetings were offered as a response.

“I am not excluding myself from the problem,” Jung said.

Jung went on to state that she thought the meeting was productive and hoped to see results.


Written by: Elizabeth Mercado — campus@theaggie.org


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