Photo Credits: CAITLYN SAMPLEY / AGGIE FILE
Multiple confirmations made to Academic Affairs Commission, Vice Controller position
The March 5 ASUCD Senate meeting was called to order at 6:17 p.m. by Vice President Shreya Deshpande. Senator Mahan Carduny and Business and Finance Commission Chair Filip Stamenkovic were absent. Senators Khalil Malik and Anna Estrada, as well as External Affairs Vice President Adam Hatefi, were late.
The meeting began with the Picnic Day quarterly report, during which Chair Nicole Deacon explained the many different moving parts of the event were moving forward as scheduled and that the board was approximately 90% of the way full.
Since this ASUCD Senate meeting, Picnic Day has been canceled.
KDVS’ General Manager Emmanuel Fernandez then gave the unit’s quarterly report. For the past quarter, KDVS has mainly focused on the passage of the Basic Needs and Services Referendum. Fernandez also spoke about other undertakings other than the fee referendum, such as the creation and subsequent hiring for a position that works in procuring sponsorships, a new emergency broadcast system, as well as the finalization of the date for their fundraiser: May 11–17.
After, three new Academic Affairs Commissioners were confirmed, followed by the Academic Affairs Commission’s (AAC) quarterly report. Chairperson Naomi Reeley outlined the many individual projects being worked on by commissioners such as a mentorship program, a donation drive for The Pantry, the creation and scheduling of workshops on the ins and outs of changing majors, double majoring and minoring and the introduction of a resolution that raises awareness to professors about Ramadan.
The AAC’s primary group project is the awarding of the Excellence in Education Award to outstanding professors, graduate students and lecturers. In addition to presenting the award, the commision has been planning a congratulatory professor dinner to connect students and nominated professors.
“This awards outstanding professors who really care about the academic success of students, and we want to make sure that they’re recognized,” Reeley said.
Following this, the table moved to ex officio and elected officer reports, where all of the senators and commission chairs present give a brief summary of their week. As many of the members of the table were nearing the end of their terms, much of their reports focused on the finalization of projects and tying of loose ends. Other commonly discussed topics at that night’s meeting included COLA and the coronavirus.
Following a glowing recommendation from Controller Kevin Rotenkolber and Deshpande, third-year Alexis Lopez was confirmed as vice controller.
The Senate then moved into the consideration of old legislation, starting with Senate Resolution #10, which called for a change of signage on bathrooms in academic buildings on campus to read “Gender Inclusive Bathroom” on every bathroom except one women’s and one men’s on the first floor of every building. This resolution was authored and introduced by Gender and Sexuality Chairperson Elena DeNecochea and has been in the works since this past October.
After author’s comments, slight grammatical and procedural edits, the table moved into public discussion of the bill, during which Senator Camille Randolph, Desphande and the Ethnic and Cultural Affairs Commission (ECAC) expressed their support for the bill.
After some discussion about the effects of gender inclusive signage on sexual assault, there was much debate about a line in the resolution which stated that “sex-separated bathrooms assume heterosexuality.”
In the end, all senators present at the meeting voted in favor of the bill and SR #10 passed.
Next, the Senate moved into the consideration of Senate Resolution #11, written to demand that UC Davis divest from companies complicit in China’s mass detention, surveillance and repression of the Uyghurs and condemn China’s actions.
The author’s comments described the atrocities currently being committed against the Uyghur people while in detention camps in China. Despite the majority of the Uyghur people who practice Islam, the Chinese government forces them to eat pork, drink alcohol, speak only in Chinese, sing the Chinese national anthem and forbid them from praying.
“It’s a systematic eradication of the identity of the Turkic people,” said the author of the resolution.
In addition to stripping these people of their cultural identity, the Uyghur people are subjected to physical, sexual and mental abuse, including torture, rape, forced abortions and medical experimentation.
UC Davis invests, has contracts with and sells products from companies in China that exploit the Uyghur people.
ECAC Chair Jonina Balabis expressed the commission’s support of the resolution, as did members of the campus community, including from the Davis College Democrats, Davis College Republicans and UCD for Hong Kong. Senators Landrum, Desphande, Hurst, Randolph and Boudaie also voiced their support for the resolution.
The Resolution passed unanimously with those senators present at the meeting.
Before moving into the final resolution of the night, ECAC gave its quarterly report. Members of ECAC attended the rally for lecturers and rallies in support of COLA. One of the main projects undertaken by ECAC within the last quarter was the cultural appropriation training for the Whole Earth Festival. Additionally, the commission was working hard to increase social media presence.
After this, the table moved to the consideration of Senate Resolution #12 to express solidarity with graduate students fighting for a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) throughout the UC system.
Authored by then ASUCD President Justin Hurst, the resolution voiced its support for seven out of eight UC Davis COLA demands, the last unsupported one being “Divest endowment funds from policing, surveillance, militarization, and occupation, specifically in alignment with the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israeli apartheid.”
Again, there was discussion about specific wording within the document, but largely overwhelming support from the table.
In the end, the resolution passed unanimously.
Deshpande then approved all items on the consent calendar and moved the table into a closed session of the Senate at 11:37 p.m.
Written by: Jessica Baggott — firstname.lastname@example.org