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Saturday, May 25, 2024

SR #4 veto override failed at Dec. 10 ASUCD Senate meeting

A resolution opposing the elimination of the PE program passed 

The ASUCD Senate meeting on Dec. 10 was called to order at 6:10 p.m. The meeting began with a quorum roll call, followed by the farewell addresses of senators who finished their terms. 

New senate officers were sworn in, including Ryan Mariquez, Kristin Mifsud, Michael Navarro, Kabir Sahri, Lauren Smith and Maahum Shahab. 

Maria Martinez, the External Affairs Vice President, introduced the External Affairs Quarterly Report. Martinez noted working with the Davis Housing Element and ASUCD Housing Taskforce, introducing a bill to the state legislature on housing and a campaign to expand internet access to students in rural and low-income areas and working on the development of on-campus infrastructure to allow undocumented students access to federal internships. 

The Senate was then pushed into Gender and Sexuality Commission confirmations. Ashley Chan, a first-year political science major, Sabrina Gelini, a first-year communication major, and Mary Padilla, a second-year gender, sexuality and women’s study major, were all confirmed to the commission. 

The Pantry Director Ryan Choi talked about the services offered to students staying in Davis over winter break through its grab-and-go program, saying that it is an “opportunity to expand the net and catch students who are staying and provide basic necessities.”

Senator Juan Velasco brought up the legislations SB #66 and SB #65 that were passed last spring, in efforts to help the most vulnerable communities at UC Davis to receive emergency funding due to the pandemic. Velasco said that the Senate needed “to hold people accountable.”

Velasco said the Student Advocate, Ashley Lo, and Ethnic and Cultural Affairs Chair, Yalda Saii, as well as other members of the Senate did not show up to any committee meetings about this legislation. Despite the emergency bills being passed, the funds did not get distributed, according to Velasco. 

Senator Tenzin Youedon proposed the veto override of SR #4, which opposes the elimination of the PE program. 

“The only way PE will be restored is by means of passing Senate Resolution #4 and then sitting down at the table at a position of strength, whereafter hopefully the administration will rescind its decision,” said Paul Medved, a UC Davis alumnus and parent of a former UC Davis student-athlete. 

PE lecturers also emphasized the importance of the program.

“I couldn’t tell you the number of young ladies, young women, that come to me and tell me, ‘Coach, I would never go into a weight room by myself because it intimidates me, but the way that you present this to me makes me much more comfortable,’” said Mark Johnson, a PE lecturer. 

Ari Kelman, the interim dean of the College of Letters and Science, commented on the administration’s cancelling of the PE program. 

“I don’t think that the administration should be exerting pressure on ASUCD […] that’s not what I’m doing this evening,” Kelman said. “But, it concerns me when employees are coming into a meeting like this and urging ASUCD to use leverage on behalf of employees on what really is a labor-management issue.”

Kelman emphasized that this issue would further be discussed with some members of ASUCD through upcoming meetings. 

“These lines of communication are opened and are not going to be closed,” Kelman said.

 Previously, the UC administration cut the PE education program without any consultation with ASUCD. 

Youedon questioned Kelman on why these consultations with ASUCD were made following the decision to cancel the program. Kelman stated that he could not say for certain, but “only that [they] had a transition in leadership.”

SR #4 failed to be overridden with four senators voting no and five abstaining. Some senators said the resolution would strain the relationship between students and the administration, and some senators questioned the way it would be executed.  

“If we had a good relationship with admin, they would’ve told us they were making this decision […] when it first started months ago, and they wouldn’t be coming to us and having these conversations once we […] have written a resolution,” Youedon said. 

Youedon called for further “concrete actions” from the senators on the issue. 

SB #38, to establish an Undergraduate Student Parent Committee (USPC) passed unanimously. SB #45 to revise the adopted senator process also unanimously passed. 

The meeting adjourned at 10:59 pm. 
Written by: Annette Campos — campus@theaggie.org


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