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Davis, California

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Last week in Senate


Vice Chancellor Kelly Ratliff presents on distribution of student fees; Senate confirms individuals to Administrative Advisory Committees

ASUCD Vice President Shaniah Branson called the weekly Senate meeting to order on April 26 at 6:10 p.m. in the Mee Room on the third floor of the Memorial Union.

Senate Pro Tempore Jake Sedgley called for a moment of silence for the passing of Susan Williams, 66, a distinguished professor of evolution and ecology. She died on Tuesday, April 26, in a car crash.

Kelly Ratliff, the vice chancellor for the UC Davis Office of Finance, Operations and Administration, delivered a presentation to the table alongside Assistant Vice Chancellor for Divisional Resources of Student Affairs Cory Vu. The presentation laid out the distribution of funds the university receives. Ratliff explained revenue sources as appropriations from the state, student tuition and student fees. Student fees are additional charges meant to fund student services, mental health and recreational services.

After Ratliff and Vu’s presentation, they took questions from the table. Senator Jumoke Maraiyesa asked about a cap on student admissions and whether ASUCD would “cease to exist due to no student fees.”

“It’ll create financial restraints on the entire university,” Ratliff said. “Salary increases, student wages, and minimum wage always go up. When it flattens we can catch up where we’re at but the bad news is our revenue won’t grow. There isn’t a magic source to bail out across anything.”

Sedgley asked Ratliff about the status of 12 mental health counselors the university planned to hire.

“When the Mental Health Initiative came out we looked at the projected funding,” Vu said. “The number of counselors we recommended was five, but we saw the funding and thought we could afford 11. We hired eight counselors and one is in progress right now and two for next year. In terms of how we ensure those people are hired, [Budget and Institutional Analysis], Student Health and others send reports on how we’re hiring those positions. BIA is monitoring us to make sure we’re using the funds appropriately.”

Vu justified the amount of time taken to hire counselors as a desire to train long-term career counselors rather than hire temporary ones all at once.

Next, Stacey Wong, the unit director of the Xperimental College, delivered the unit’s quarterly report. Plans are still in place for a new Zumba class and an updated window display.

The vice president, legislative director and organizing director for the Office of Advocacy and Student Representation followed with their quarterly report. Senator Atanas Spasov asked the unit about on a previous discussion regarding the director of OASR and whether the position should be elected or selected by the ASUCD president.

The unit acknowledged that while other UCs elect their OASR director, voter turnout at UC Davis is poor and their budget is lower than other campuses who hold elections.

Senator Alisha Hacker asked OASR whether they have a group of individuals specifically for lobbying as others UCs do; UC Davis no longer has lobbyists. According to the legislative director of OASR, the unit does not want to have “stock students” set in place to lobby for issues that do not pertain to them.

During consideration of old legislation, the table voted to see Senate Resolution #16,  emergency legislation in response to the charges against students who participated in a sit-in protest in Mrak Hall. The resolution condemns the charges and calls for changes in administrative policy on how they deal with peaceful protests.

The table addressed students who had protested in Mrak Hall in the past and faced no repercussions. The fact that there were fewer students in the recent sit-in was noted as an easier way to identify protesters for law enforcement to charge. The students have not been charged for protesting but rather for trespassing. The resolution passed.

Housing Advising for Undergraduate Students reported that they made $26,050 from Housing Day and hosted over 1,400 participants. The unit plans to implement walk-in office hours but cited difficulty due to a lack of office space.

The Green Initiative Fund received 29 applications for grant money to fund sustainable projects. $150,000 is projected to be given out this quarter for projects. The organization is in the process of searching for and hiring a grant manager.

A 10-minute break started at 8:22 p.m. and ended at 8:32 p.m.

A series of confirmations for membership to Administrative Advisory Committees followed. Members were confirmed into the Disability Issue Administrative Committee, Transportation and Parking Committee, Staff Diversity, Status of Women at Davis, Child and Family Care, Media Board, Arts and Lectures and the Council of Student Affairs and Fees.

Senate Bill #57, a “bill to create a Picnic Day (restricted) reserve,” was tabled for next week’s meeting.

Senate Bill #62, to “revise Chapter Eight (8) of the ASUCD Bylaws,” passed as amended.

The table held a discussion over Senate Bill #59, authored by Alisha Hacker. SB #59 “allow[s] students to serve on no more than three (3) subordinate bodies of the ASUCD Senate.” The house was divided over whether the allowed number should be two or three. Opposition to three was over possible oversaturation of the same individuals within ASUCD rather than opening up positions to more students.

The bill passed as amended after a roll call vote with 10 yes’s and two abstentions.

Senate Bill #63, “to move the Elections Committee from the Legislative Branch to the Judicial Branch and consolidate election oversight under the Judicial Council,” was tabled for next week’s meeting.

The meeting concluded at 11:59 p.m.



Written by: Elizabeth Mercado — campus@theaggie.org


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