Lengthy debate ensues over applicant to Elections Committee position at Senate meeting

CAITLYN SAMPLEY / AGGIE

With Fall Elections around the corner, bylaw suspended to confirm chair

The ASUCD Senate meeting on Oct. 4 began with the confirmation of the Picnic Day unit director. Fourth-year double major Elise Pohlhammer was for the role.

Polhammer said Picnic Day was what convinced her to come to UC Davis. She has volunteered with the unit since her freshman year.

Senator Alisha Hacker then began the Elections Committee Chair confirmation. She described the position as a “hot potato” because of the challenges the association has faced filling it.

Rodney Tompkins, a third-year psychology major, served as interim elections committee chair for three weeks last spring and was the only applicant for the 2018-19 position.

Hacker motioned to suspend a bylaw which requires the position remain open an additional week if only one candidate applies. With Fall Elections around the corner, President Michael Gofman said it was imperative the position be filled immediately.

Senator Ko Ser Lu Htoo said the association would have received more applications for the position if it had been publicly advertised as an open seat. Htoo said the lack of publication was done on purpose and alleged “possible collusion or partiality.”

To this, Hacker stated that not every position is shared on the ASUCD vacancy website.

“We can’t get off the ground and have new people on this Table without a new Elections Chair,” Gofman said. “Calling the interview process has corruption and collusion behind it isn’t productive, has no evidence and for a theory there has to be evidence.”

After an additional line of questioning, Senator Simran Kaur said she thought Tompkins had “answered enough questions for long enough.” He was confirmed as Elections Committee chair without objection.

Following this, the senators commented on rules for allowing questions; they said questions regarding issues or qualms outside of the Senate table should not be brought into the confirmation process.

Fourth-year biology major Anne Marie Adachi was then confirmed as unit director for The Pantry. Adachi has volunteered at the Pantry since freshman year and said the unit will focus on fundraising.

Members of the Ethnic and Cultural Affairs Commission and Business and Finance Commission were confirmed.

Two new senate bills, SB #10 and #5, were introduced. The former deals with staff positions in the ASUCD Executive Branch and the latter would reimburse airfare for an undergraduate representative to attend the Federal Title IX lobbying trip in Washington, D.C.

Third-year English and cognitive science double major Anna Maria was confirmed as the Sexual Assault Awareness Advocacy Committee chair. Maria wants to reach out to the campus community and publicize the existence of SAAAC. Additional SAAAC members were later confirmed.

Proposed budgets for Creative Media and the Bike Barn were both approved.

A discussion ensued on whether ASUCD should allocated $1,000 to fund Safeboat, a program instituted to ensure first aid and medical attention is available during houseboats, an annual event on Lake Shasta filled with alcohol and partying.

Gofman explained the association’s allocation of money to continue funding Safeboat is a move to “endorse safety” not endorse partying. Vice President Shaniah Branson, however, raised concerns about the allocation of money to the program. Branson encouraged the table to close the budget and look into finding sponsors to fund Safeboat.

The 2018-19 ASUCD budget was then closed. After ex-officio and elected officer reports, the meeting adjourned at 9:58 p.m.

Written by: Aaron Liss and Hannah Holzer — campus@theaggie.org