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Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Members of ASUCD commissions gave quarterly updates at May 27 ASUCD Senate meeting

The seven commissions of ASUCD reported on their Spring Quarter updates and spoke on plans for Fall Quarter

Internal Vice President Emily Barneond called the Senate meeting to order at 6:10 p.m. on May 27.

    The meeting began with the introduction and confirmation of chair member nominees in the Administrative Advisory Commission and the Environmental Policy and Planning Commission. All nominees were confirmed with no objections. 

    “The interview and selection process for these nominees is very thorough,” Senator Kabir Sahni said. “I am fully confident in the selection of these candidates.” 

Next, the senate discussed the confirmation of Ashley Hicks for the Entertainment Council director. She was nominated by President Kyle Krueger after an interview process. She was confirmed in a motion by Senator Ryan Manriquez and a second by Sahni.

 The confirmation of Itzel Gallardo as the Fair Trade Committee chair was motioned by Sahni. The Fair Trade Committee member nominees Emily Moore, Angela Catan Cabico, Jasneet Raul, Hannah Devoe Bireschi, Rachel Callegari and Anthony Llorens were confirmed in a motion by Senator Annoushqa Bobde. 

Brittany Mason from the ASUCD Library Committee provided updates from the library including a survey that will go out to students analyzing how the library has been serving them. There will also be a blog post and video about library procedures for the fall. 

Each ASUCD Commission provided its quarterly updates regarding Spring Quarter.

The Environmental Policy and Planning Commission (EPPC) provided their Spring Quarter updates. In the fall, the EPPC plans to implement the ASUCD Sustainability Audit which will measure the sustainability of ASUCD projects over $1000. The Environmental Sustainability Student Coalition under EPPC created partnerships between environmental groups on campus. The update also included the introduction of the recently added Fair Trade Committee. 

This past Spring Quarter, the Internal Affairs Commission (IAC) had two major projects including election reform and internal reform through the creation of new positions. There was a new chair selection, and IAC membership decreased by four. For the future, the IAC has goals of hosting an annual Bylaw clean-up project, and IAC will increase membership to full capacity.

The Business and Finance Commission informed the Senate table in their quarterly update that the commission is going to be dissolved next year. Many members resigned throughout Spring Quarter. 

The External Affairs Commission (EAC) had accomplishments this quarter including Senate Bill #71 which will introduce resolutions at the next senate meeting. The EAC hosted Student Activism week during week five of Spring Quarter. In the future, they hope to bring in different speakers and continue the tradition. 

During Spring Quarter, the EAC implemented a new budget and expanded its social media presence. In the fall, the EAC plans to engage in a number of projects that focus on arts and cultural engagement.

During Spring Quarter, the Academic Affairs Commission (AAC) introduced legislation SB#12 and SB#95, two emergency resolutions. AAC has also been working this quarter to implement Syllabus to Schedule Builder, which is a program that will provide an opportunity for professors to upload their syllabi during course selections. This is a system modeled after current UC Irvine technology.

Commission members have met with members of Academic Senate to provide a revision for the GE requirements of ethnic and Indigenous studies starting Fall Quarter. Further planning by AAC for Fall Quarter includes the advocacy for continued extended P/NP deadlines. 

After the quarterly updates from commissions, the senate introduced new legislation. This included SB #108 which will strengthen the implementation of sexual harassment training, SR #15 which stands in solidarity with the Tibetan community, SR #18 which affirms the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and SR #19 which provides insight into students’ attitudes toward Equitable Access. 

In consideration of old legislation, Senator Tenzin Youedon motioned the emergency SR #20 which stands beside Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) and boycotts four major companies who support the Israeli occupation of Palestine. 

Speakers from the public were invited to present their arguments for and against the resolution. 

A select few students from the Jewish community on the UC Davis campus expressed concerns of an increase in anti-Semitism should the resolution pass. 

Senator Lauren Smith said that pro-BDS resolutions have been introduced before but have not passed because of the fear of repercussions for Jewish students.

Author of the resolution Alida Jacobs provided a rebuttal to Smith’s claim, stating that BDS resolutions have shown no evidence of a spike in anti-Semitism. 

Multiple students from the public stated that the presence of these companies on campus will be traumatizing for Palestinian students, as they are reminded of the experiences of their friends and family at home.

Senator Kristen Mifsud spoke out about the last three BDS hearings, stating that she saw increased anti-Semitism toward students in the UC Davis community after senate discussions. 

Seeta Chaganti, an English professor at UC Davis, said that standing with the boycott fights the status quo in a larger sense and “sends a strong and clear message about our opposition as a campus.”

Many brought up that all other UC campuses have adopted this BDS resolution.

“By voting yes on this resolution you are against the destruction of homes and lives,” graduate student Dahlia said.

In a point of information, Senator Mifsud sent wishes for the community to treat each other with respect after this debate.

To hear from all the members of the public and to have a vote on this resolution, there was a motion made by Senator Mifsud to amend the agenda to move the adjournment time to 12 a.m.

Any motion to amend the agenda does not prevent the presiding officer from adjourning the meeting at 11 p.m., Berneond said.

There was a motion to override the presiding officer by Senator Youedon to extend the meeting minutes to 12 a.m.

There was a motion to override the Bylaws in order to keep the meeting going by Senator Mifsud.

The meeting was adjourned with no vote on SR #20 at 11 p.m. by Barneond.

Written by: Emily Redman — campus@theaggie.org

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