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Sunday, October 24, 2021

Senate bill in support of affirmative action passes at Oct. 22 Senate meeting

Public commentary raises concerns about cancellation of PE program

Last week’s ASUCD Senate meeting was called to order at 6:10 pm on Thursday, Oct. 22. ASUCD President Kyle Krueger was absent, as were Senators Samantha Boudaie, Roberto Rodriguez Ibarra and Juan Velasco. Remaining vacant Senate positions are the External Affairs Commission Chair and the Judicial Council Chair. 

The meeting began with a confirmation of the Refrigerator Services Director position of Julianna Christofi, who was elected by unanimous consent.

Food Service Director Darin Schluep then presented about the status of the Coffee House. Assistant Ombuds Jenny Xia, of the Ombuds Office, gave a presentation on conflict resolution and how the Ombuds Office can help people resolve the intergroup and interpersonal conflicts they may have. 

Then, Gaurav Kappa, an undergraduate at San Jose State University, gave a presentation on the science of climate change and climate disruption. Kuppa also spoke about an upcoming climate disruption event he is hosting, which will include a panel of leaders from academia and the private sector. 

During the second half of the meeting, Gender and Sexuality Commission Chair Jane Casto was absent. 

During the public discussion period, Paul Medved, a UC Davis alumnus, spoke about his frustration over the UC Davis Administration’s recent decision to discontinue the PE program on campus. 

“PE is important not only for student wellness, but it’s an essential component of the Intercollegiate Athletics Program [ICA],” Medved said. “Since the early 1990s, student fees have gone to ICA on the basis that it would continue to fund and offer credit-bearing PE classes. Currently, there is a petition with 3,000 signatures that was sent to both the Chancellor and the Provost. It may very well take more than that.” 

No new legislation was introduced. The meeting then moved into consideration of old legislation.

Brooke Isrow, a second-year political science-public service major, gave a presentation about Aggie Mentors, which provides mentoring for new students at UC Davis. 

“We have seen the positive impact that Aggie Mentors has had on the lives of new students in just the couple of months that the program has been active,” Isrow said. 

Senate Bill #2—designed to pass the Aggie Mentors programmatic committee (AMC)—then passed via unanimous consent. 

Senate Bill #6, which adopts changes to Unitrans’ budget, was also passed. External Affairs Vice President Maria Martinez authored Senate Bill #7—which supports the reinstatement of affirmative action in the state of California—and Senator Khalil Malik motioned to consider emergency legislative procedure. According to Martinez, California is one of only 9 states that has banned affirmative action. 

 “[Affirmative action] will affect our day-to-day lives as students and our day-to-day lives when we graduate and go into the job market,” Martinez said. “The barriers we were facing to [SB 7] were at an institutional level, in terms of getting answers about what ASUCD could and could not vote on. Thankfully, our business manager Greg was able to jump through a lot of hoops and help us get this [on the table].”

A proposition regarding affirmative action is on the California ballot this election season, and Martinez noted the importance of making sure students know about it. 

“We want to give students as much time as possible to make informed decisions when they’re going to the voting booth or mailing in their ballots,” Martinez said. 

Senate Bill #7 passed unanimously. 

Past meeting minutes from Aug. 13, 2020 and Oct. 15, 2020 were approved with unanimous consent. 

Internal Vice President Emily Barneond adjourned the meeting at 9:43 pm. 

Written by: Rebecca Bihn-Wallace — campus@theaggie.org

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