Campus closures prompt ASUCD to prepare for virtual Senate meetings
Outgoing ASUCD Vice President Shreya Deshpande called the March 12 Senate meeting to order at 6:16 p.m. The meeting began by swearing in newly elected Senators and presidential representatives under oath.
Thursday’s meeting was simplified and ended earlier, given health concerns over spreading COVID-19.
Heartwarming farewell speeches by outgoing senators reminded newly elected representatives of their crucial role in the lives of the current and future Aggies who depend on ASUCD.
“If you’re not going to speak up for others, there is no point in being here,” said Senator Shondreya Landrum in her farewell message.
Following ceremonial duties, the official meeting began at 6:24 p.m. Second-year student Elisabeth Huynh was confirmed as the Aggie Reuse Unit Director. Huynh expressed to senators that her goal for the upcoming year is to raise awareness about Aggie Reuse through social media.
Next, outgoing ASUCD President Justin Hurst was confirmed as a commissioner on the Academic Affairs Commission. Hurst explained his passion for academics and proposed a degree mapping project as his motivation to apply for the role.
Senate Bill #47 addressed ASUCD emergency procedures, given that “ASUCD has seen a significant number of emergencies in the past couple of years.” SB #47 allows ASUCD to declare a state of emergency in order to enact emergency procedures. The bill was motivated by last year’s wildfires and the current COVID-19 campus closures. Emergency procedures include virtual Senate meetings.
A member of the public raised questions regarding the public audience aspect of weekly Senate meetings if meetings were to be held through video chat. ASUCD Chief of Staff Francois Kaeppelin responded to this inquiry by explaining that ASUCD will link the meeting to the ASUCD Facebook page. Further discussion over accessibility for students with limited technology followed. Senate Bill 47 passed with no objections.
Entering public discussion, Student Advocate Ashley Lo addressed recent issues of xenophobia on campus related to coronavirus. Senator Camille Randolph joined Lo in reminding senators that partaking in xenophobic attitudes in person and online negatively reflects ASUCD’s morals. Lo and Randolph noted that, especially given UC Davis’ large international student population, campus leaders must remain professional and uphold the UC Davis Principles of Community.
Written by: Hannah Blome — firstname.lastname@example.org