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Davis, California

Friday, April 19, 2024

Nov. 29 Senate: Resolution passed supporting ASL classes

Picnic Day, Internal Affairs, Ethnic and Cultural Affairs, Aggie Reuse give quarterly reports

The Nov. 29 the ASUCD Senate meeting was called to order at 6:48 p.m. in the Mee Room on the third floor of the Memorial Union. The meeting began later than usual due to the Anti-Defamation League’s Combating anti-Semitism training which was held in the same space and scheduled to run until 6:30 p.m. Roll call was taken and Controller Meital Machulsky was absent.

A vote was taken to adjourn the Senate meeting because of a rule in the Bylaw.

“There’s a Bylaw that says if we don’t hire someone for Judicial Council within four weeks of vacancy, we must vote by two-thirds majority on whether to continue holding a meeting,” Senator Alisha Hacker explained.

The vote was held and the meeting was not cancelled.

The Ethnic and Cultural Affairs Commission (ECAC) Quarterly Report was delivered.

ECAC Chair Rina Singh outlined the unit’s achievements which included recommending Senate Resolution #2 condemning the anti-Semitic fliers posted on campus, organizing a community action against anti-Semitic fliers and collaborating with the Mental Health Initiative to work toward mental health resources for students.

In her speech, Singh first delivered an apology if, at any time, her actions were perceived as offensive or hurtful. She then delivered criticisms of The California Aggie and ASUCD President Michael Gofman.

“The Aggie claimed in an opinion this quarter that ‘while university administrators and student government leaders might have good intentions with their responses, to not explicitly acknowledge or reach out to the group being chiefly targeted is incomprehensible,’” Singh said. “The claim that we didn’t contact Jewish student leaders is false. As a commission, we reached out to the only Jewish leader we knew — the President. The commission later found out that there are other members of Senate who are also members of the Jewish community, but this was only when the members disclosed this information after.”

Singh also noted that in a separate article published by The Aggie, it was noted that as a public institution, it is illegal for the university to maintain a record of its students’ religions.

“It was difficult for us to know who to contact as it is illegal for the university to collect any information on students’ religious affiliations,” Singh said.

In the questions following Singh’s speech, Senator Sydney Hack asked whether Singh reached out to organizations who knew how to get into contact with Jewish students.

“We learned our lesson in the sense that we should have done a better job at reaching out,” Singh said. “It doesn’t make sense how The Aggie and the President, after we’ve apologized, […] continue posting stuff about it when we don’t know about it.”

Senator Daniella Aloni, prefacing her question with the acknowledgement that anti-Semitism is not new to UC Davis, asked why connections with Jewish students and groups were not already established — “I don’t think you should expect communities to come to you,” she said. “You’re supposed to outreach to them.”
“We do apologize for not having those connections in the past,” Nora Abedelal, an ECAC member, said. “We have been outreaching to people and putting in the work. I don’t like going back and forth on accusatory statements, as I feel it’s counterproductive. We should talk about ways we can move forward. What are our next steps so we can show up for Jewish communities and other communities and organizations?”

The Picnic Day Quarterly Report was delivered next.

Elise Pohlhammer, the chair of Picnic Day, outlined the group’s achievements which included hiring 15 student directors over the summer. The group has coordinated with campus partners and administration, office hours began on Week One of Fall Quarter, and more than 80 assistant directors were hired.

The Aggie Reuse Quarterly Report was delivered by its director Angela Ruan.

In her report, Ruan first highlighted their yearly quota. She said that due to the campus closure, Aggie Reuse was behind by two weeks, but the unit is not concerned about making up the losses, as Spring Quarter usually earns “way over quota.”

Projects for the quarter included a silent auction, a plastic straw campaign and professional development. Future projects will include Venmo integration, a cart for delivery and community efforts.

Discussion moved forward into consideration of old legislation.

ASUCD Senate Bill #22, would “allocate $1,350.61 for KDVS to pay an outstanding balance to Yolo County for a license agreement from 2014-2018.” Jacob Engel, KDVS’ general manager, said, this is “a cost we can absorb if we have the foresight.” After further discussion, a vote was taken. The bill passed with amendments.

ASUCD Senate Resolution #4 would “support an accredited American Sign Language (ASL) class to be taught on the University of California, Davis’ (UCD) campus by the Spring of 2021.” The bill’s author Brooke Pritchard, a third-year political science major, said after petitions garnered thousands of signatures, this resolution would be show administration “we have complete student support.”

GASC Chair Joelle Barnard asked Pritchard whether she had reached out to the Sacramento community and whether a note could be added in the resolution calling for equity for deaf instructors.

Pritchard said she had not yet reached out to Sacramento but had contacted instructors elsewhere.

“We’re not able to take professors yet as we’re not paying them yet,” Pritchard said. “There will be advocacy and there will be a basis for the classes. We also have a TA who’s deaf.”

She also explained this course fulfills the language requirement. The resolution passed as amended.

The Internal Affairs Commission (IAC) Quarterly Report followed, given by the IAC chair Jacob Ganz.

Highlights from the report included mentioning the productive efforts to finish hiring a full commission and efforts during the quarter of “scrubbing remaining Bylaw chapters”.

This was followed by the introduction of new legislation.

ASUCD Senate Bill #25 would rewrite the Elections code; Senate Bill #24 would rewrite Chapter 1 of the ASUCD Bylaws; Senate Bill #23 would modify the requirement that Student Recruitment and Retention Center and Cross Cultural Center representatives shall be ex-officios of the DREAM Committee; Senate Bill #26 would alter the procedures regarding Robert’s Rules of Order as the governing procedure for ASUCD and Senate Resolution #5 would affirm support for transgender students

Next was confirmation that the status of previously passed legislation was signed.

Public discussion and public announcements were conducted. Ex-officio and elected officer reports followed. Approval of past meetings was recorded and the minutes from Nov. 8 was approved.

The Senate meeting adjourned at 10 p.m.

Written by: George Liao — campus@theaggie.org


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