Public presents petition with 343 signatures in favor of keeping service
The Senate was called to order by ASUCD Vice President Shreya Deshpande on May 2 at 6:10 p.m.
Senate began with the confirmation of Interim Senator Karolina Rodriguez, a first-year Chicana/o studies and political science double major. Rodriguez will finish out the term of former Senator Noah Pearl through Spring and Fall Quarter. Pearl resigned from the Senate on April 11. With a short time on the senate table, Rodriguez is unsure whether she can effectively deliver on any specific platform promises. Rodriguez previously ran on the BASED slate during the Winter 2019 elections. Rodriguez was confirmed and sworn in without objections.
Before moving on, the table held a minute of silence for the recent victims of the Poway synagogue shooting, students impacted by the North Carolina University Chapel Hill shooting as well as the Sikh family who was recently shot and killed in their apartment in Ohio.
The Senate then moved into member confirmations for several administrative advisory committees. Students were confirmed to the following: the Arts and Lectures Committee, the Disability Issues Administrative Advisory Committee, the Media Board, the Staff Committee, the Status of Women at UC Davis Committee, the Transportation and Parking Administrative Advisory Committee and the Course Materials and Services Fee Committee.
The DREAM Committee, The California Aggie and The Pantry delivered their quarterly reports. The Senate confirmed the new director for Aggie Reuse.
Next, the Senate began discussion of Senate Bill #77, which would dissolve Student Transportation Services (STS)/Tipsy Taxi, a service that offers free, door-to-door, late-night rides for students. Tipsy Taxi has taken measures in the last year to reduce ride cancellation down to 10%, unlike Safe Ride which ranges from 40-60% cancellation rates. However, with the Senate’s growing budget deficit, senators stressed the need to cut some units despite improvements.
Currently, the UC Davis Police Department provides $71,650 to fund STS/Tipsy Taxi services.
“If Tipsy Taxi were to begin charging, even with 5,000 annual riders to cover labor costs that would be $14.33 per person/ride,” according to SB #77. “ASUCD could be better off served by partnering with the UC Davis Police Department and redirected funds toward costs that affect ASUCD budget such as paying for a summer position for the Pantry which is currently not staffed, $14,000 toward paying for security costs for Whole Earth Festival, staffing security on Unitrans buses for late night riders, etc.”
The senate also suggested reallocating STS/Tipsy Taxi funds toward Safe Ride and potentially partnering with companies like Uber or Lyft going forward.
Members of the public presented a petition with more than 343 signatures to oppose the dissolution of Tipsy Taxi. After a lengthy discussion between senators, members of the public and employees of Tipsy Taxi, the Senate voted on the bill.
Senate Bill #77 passed with nine votes in favor of and one against, dissolving Tipsy Taxi. Senator Sean Kumar voted against dissolving the unit while senators Sahiba Kaur and Richardo Zapardiel abstained.
No new legislation was introduced, and the Senate moved into public discussion, public announcements, ex-officio reports and approval of last week’s meeting minutes.
The Senate meeting adjourned at 10:45 p.m.
Written by: Ally Russell — email@example.com