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Sunday, August 1, 2021

Senate Bill #97 passed at May 20 ASUCD Senate Meeting

ASUCD senators voted to establish the Herbicide Free Committee (HFC) as a permanent committee under ASUCD

On Thursday, May 20, the ASUCD Senate meeting was called to order at 6:10 p.m. by Internal Vice President Emily Barneond. 

Senator Maahum Shahab, Tenzin Youedon, Michael Navarro and Annoushqa Bobde were all absent.

Adrian Lopez, the senior director of government relations, gave a presentation to showcase what the Government and Community Relations unit at UC Davis has been working on. 

“The ultimate goal is to be able to secure positive legislation policy change for the university and also to be able to secure state resources and federal resources,” Lopez said.

Lopez presented a budget overview of the campus in which $15 million was allocated for student basic needs as well as $1.5 million allocated for immigrant legal services.

Another key component of the budget was the $4 billion affordable housing grant program.

Next on the agenda was the Bike Barn quarterly report presented by the business manager, Clara Ginnell.

The Bike Barn reopened during July 2020 and has remained open ever since.

Ginnell explained that bike sales have been fairly consistent, making up 83% of the annual budget.

As for bike rentals, Ginnell explained that the Bike Barn has exceeded budget expectations.

 “We’ve seen an influx of rentals in the past couple of months as families and prospective new students come through to tour campus,” Ginnell said.

In preparation for the upcoming year, the Bike Barn recently went through a hiring process to aid in the transition of the next generation of Bike Barn employees. 

The former generation includes five senior employees who are set to graduate this spring.  

The meeting then moved into the Entertainment Council’s quarterly report presented by unit director Galit Sarai Hara-Salzberg. 

Hara-Salzberg explained that the Entertainment Council is looking to grow its relationship with the Mondavi Center.

“We want to give students more of a reference that the Mondavi Center can be a student space and plan on doing quarterly movie nights at the Mondavi in partnership with KDVS,” Hara-Salzberg said.

For the Entertainment Council’s largest event, over 600 students attended the “Come Hang with Phoebe Bridgers” event hosted on Thursday, Feb. 25

Looking forward, Hara-Salzberg mentioned the possibility of holding Sunset Fest in person for the upcoming school year.

Senator Kristin Mifsud questioned if there were any preliminary plans for Sunset Fest to which Hara-Salzberg replied, “We’re still trying to figure out the logistics, however, it has been accounted for in our budget.”

Commission Chair of the Environmental Policy and Planning Commission (EPPC) Sydney Cliff introduced and confirmed new commissioners to the EPPC.

“These commissioners are all very motivated and passionate about improving sustainability, both on campus and within the larger community,” Cliff said. 

Senator Lauren Smith motioned the meeting into confirmation of the EPPC commissioners. 

Barneond then pushed the meeting into Students Sustainability Career Fair (SSCF) Committee confirmations.

The chair of SSCF, Julia Pano, introduced the soon-to-be confirmed SSCF committee members. 

Senator Kabir Sahni made a motion to confirm Alana Webre, a third-year environmental policy and planning major, as the new chair of SSCF.

Sahni then made a motion to confirm the committee nominees as SSCF members.

Chair of the Transfer, Reentry and Veterans Committee (TRVC) Tariq Azim presented the committee’s quarterly report.

On Monday, May 3, the TRVC held a “Fall Planning Listening Session” which discussed issues affecting all students with an emphasis on transfer students.  

“Right now, freshmen and transfers have the exact same orientation which is useless for transfer students who already have a taste of the college experience,” Azim said.

For future outreach, Azim talked about TRVC collaborating with the Aggie Mentors Committee (AMC) to increase the number of transfer and reentry student mentors and mentees.

TRVC is set to be dissolved as Constitutional Amendment #70 was passed to create an ASUCD Transfer Student Representative (TSR) in the ASUCD Executive Branch.

Chairperson Julia Camilleri presented the quarterly report for the Sexual Assault Awareness and Advocacy Committee (SAAAC).

SAAAC is working to amend the existing Chapter 20 bylaw, which states ASUCD elected officials and ex-officio members receive training from the Center for Advocacy, Resources and Education (CARE). 

Camilleri said that, in reality, the training does not exist and “SAAAC is working to amend the bylaw right now to make sure it is sustainable and more importantly, that it is enforced.”

Education efforts throughout April, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, included the discussion of how sexual assault should be framed as a violent act and not a sexual act.

The last major project that the SAAAC is tackling includes identifying the lack of emergency blue lights on campus, especially with the City of Davis being poorly lit in general.

Co-chairs Arron Wright and Wanzhu Zheng presented the STEM committee quarterly report.

The interdisciplinary STEM panel is a project that the STEM committee is working on to motivate students to branch out and explore disciplines outside of their major.

“Steps that we’ve been taking include emailing professors with different research interests compared to the courses that they are currently teaching,” Zheng said.

Citlali Plaza, the unit director of the Housing Advising for Undergraduate Students (HAUS), presented HAUS’ quarterly report.

“We’ve had a lot of great meetings with different communities on campus as well as campus partners to assess the needs of certain student populations,” Plaza said. 

HAUS is continuing to work on posting information about move in and move out tips and has also sent out a survey to get an updated count of how many apartments in Davis have vacancies for the fall.

Barneond moved the meeting into public discussion, during which there were no comments. 

Senator Lauren Smith introduced SB #97, which would establish the Herbicide Free Committee (HFC) as a permanent committee under ASUCD as opposed to a special committee that automatically dissolves after one calendar year. 

During the following discussion, Sahni voiced concern about the bill and suggested that HFC exist under EPPC as a task force instead.

“I truly do not see a value in reviving a committee with two active members into a permanent committee of the ASUCD Senate,” Sahni said.

In response, Mifsud questioned Sahni’s argument to the bill.

“This bill seems very much in tune to the same Fair Trade Committee bill that was passed last week without any problems, and shares the same exact purposes that would ensure campus officials follow through with their promises,” Mifsud said. 

Smith voiced similar sentiments. 

“HFC’s purpose deserves to last longer than just one year, and I think ASUCD owes that to them and to our campus,” Smith said.

Senator Amanjot Singh Gandhoke made a motion to divide the house. 

Barneond motioned for a roll call to see who would vote in the affirmative to pass SB #97, to which six senators voted yes, 1 voted no and 1 abstained.

The responses given for this roll call vote to pass SB #97 are completely non-binding.

As a previous EPPC Chairperson, Hunter Ottman gave a historical rundown on why HFC was established as a committee. 

“HFC is an initiative that was started in order to get the UC system to limit and/or remove their usage of certain herbicides on [the] UC Davis campus,” Ottman said. 

After Ottman’s speech, Sahni clarified that he would be voting yes on SB #97.

Senate Bill #97 passed unanimously.

Barneond adjourned the meeting at 9:50 p.m.

Written by: Nicholas Murphy — campus@theaggie.org

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