Photo Credits: JUSTIN HAN / AGGIE / ASUCD held their quarterly town hall at Coffee House on October 17, 2019.
Town hall format different from previous years
The ASUCD Town Hall, which took place in the CoHo, was called to order at approximately 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 17. The meeting was presided over by President Justin Hurst and Vice President Shreya Deshpande.
Participants broke into groups and discussed questions posted at different tables. In previous years, town hall meetings consisted of an open mic panel discussion, rather than breakout groups. The questions focused on ways that ASUCD can proactively address student needs.
Both Senator Sean Kumar and Filip Stamenkovic, chair of the Business and Finance Commission, spoke about the need to address ASUCD’s $400,000 deficit, which was partially caused by the loss of revenue during the Camp Fire in Nov. 2018. For example, in April 2019, the Experimental College closed due to financial losses it experienced.
“[Closing the Experimental College] was an absolutely necessary step and otherwise we wouldn’t have had a budget, but it could have been avoided,” Stamenkovic said.
He stressed the importance of ASUCD units updating quarterly reports so that they remain aware of their financial status and don’t have to seek help at the last minute.
“It was personally very painful for me,” Stamenokovic said, referring to when he informed some units that they were closing. “[These groups] came up to us and they said they didn’t know they were in trouble. They had only three weeks to resolve the problem.”
Food insecurity was also a frequent topic raised during the meeting.
“[I hope for] continual education and understanding from our Senate that what we’re doing for basic needs is vital,” said Ryan Choi, chair of the ASUCD Pantry.
Other topics covered included increasing student voter turnout, being proactive rather than reactive and improving communication between members of ASUCD and the public.
Written by: Rebecca Bihn-Wallace — firstname.lastname@example.org