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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Award ceremony held, new officers seated at Dec. 2 ASUCD meeting

The Senate awarded students for their contributions this quarter and swore in new officers

 

By JENNIFER MA — campus@theaggie.org

 

At 5:56 p.m., Vice President Juliana Martinez Hernandez called the Dec. 2 Senate meeting to order and recited the UC Davis Land Acknowledgement.

Shortly after, a ceremony commenced for the Champagne Award, Volunteer Award and Scholarship Award. The Champagne Award was designed to reward members of service units who are on payroll and have exhibited exceptional customer service initiative and teamwork. The Volunteer Award is given to volunteers for exemplary service within ASUCD. Lastly, the Scholarship Award recognizes undergraduate students who display ASUCD’s core values.

“[The ASUCD Scholarship Award] is a unique scholarship award because it definitely does not focus solely on academics,” said Senator Kabir Sahni, who presented the award.

This was followed by the seating of new officers. Kevin Zhou and Tariq Azim were both sworn in for the seats of International Student Representative (ISR) and Transfer Student Representative (TSR), respectively. Newly-elected Senators Radhika Gawde, Kelechi Orji, Celeste Palmer, Dennis Liang, Gaius Ilupeju and Sofia Saraj were sworn in. Lastly, Shruti Adusumilli was sworn in as External Affairs Vice President.

Senate Recorder Sanaaz Nourkhaladj, Senator Aidan Kato, Senator Michael Navarro, Senator Kristen Mifsud, Senator Maahum Shahab and Senator Kabir Sahni all gave their farewell addresses and shared advice to the new officers.

“Maintain a work life balance,” Shahab said. “You are students first, full stop. Know when to step back and give yourself and others space.”

Senator Ambar Mishra then nominated Senator Harris Razaqi for the position of interim Senate president pro tempore, and he accepted. Gawde moved to confirm Razaqi, and Azim seconded the motion.

Senator Sergio Bocardo-Aguilar presented as an adopted senator for the Student Health and Wellness Committee (SHAWC). The committee is currently working to promote resources on campus for both academics and basic needs through a website. He requested for his fellow Senators to send him potential resources that could be added onto the website.

“[First-years] are often the ones that face the most food insecurity because they often have to come from another state, another city,” Bocardo-Aguilar said. “We want to make sure there’s resources.”

SHAWC then moved on to committee confirmations where Hibah Shafi became SHAWC vice chairperson with no objections. Astha Soni became a committee member after Bocardo-Aguilar moved to confirm, and Mishra seconded the motion.

Nominees Mary Padilla and Sabrina Gelini were confirmed as Gender and Sexuality Commissioners after Chairperson for the commission Ashley Chan recommended them to the Senate.

Next, Chairperson Amanda Portier presented the Picnic Day quarterly report. The unit has been filling director positions and altering sponsor packages. It also released its theme for spring 2022: Rediscovering Tomorrow.

Additionally, Chairperson Sarah Theubet gave a quarterly report for the Disability Rights Advocacy Committee (DRAC). This fall, its members have been trying to build a community through social media and teaming up with the Research and Data Committee to create a survey on accessibility experiences on campus. Survey data will go to updating Unitrans’ disability training and accessible menus at campus eateries. Other projects have included an open letter to faculty about accommodations and asking the students with disabilities at UC Davis to share their stories for the Narrative Project.

“I really want to encourage, if anyone […] has any sort of chronic health, mental health diagnosis, neurodivergence, visible disability, invisible disability, anything, fill this survey out please,” Theubet said. “We want to make sure that our disabled student body has their voices heard.”

Azim then gave a quarterly report for the Office of the Transfer Student Representative. He mentioned that the staff and the office’s three adopted senators are all transfer students and provided statistics that included the office’s 92.55% approval rating. He also mentioned projects from fall quarter: a transfer resources sheet, AB 928 and AB 1111. The sheet is a frequently-updated, centralized resource with information about on and off campus resources. AB 928 requires the Intersegmental Committee of the Academic Senates (ICAS) to establish a singular lower division general education pathway for community college students, and AB 1111 requires course numbering across the 115 community colleges in California.

Chairperson Stephen Fujimoto provided the Research and Data Committee’s quarterly report. This fall brought the launch of the aforementioned DRAC survey, a food insecurity survey and a student government survey. The latter is part of a large year-long project on student labor in ASUCD but was specifically focused on volunteers this quarter. There also have been steps taken to increase transparency on campus, specifically by requesting and obtaining data from Equitable Access.

The Entertainment Council also shared its quarterly report. The council has been partnering with the Mondavi Center to work on marketing initiatives and train new staff on production equipment setup. The biggest project this quarter was Sunset Fest, where members of the council were responsible for the organization and production of the event.

Housing Advising for Undergraduate Students then provided its quarterly report. The unit is known for organizing Housing Day, where many different apartment complexes come together to provide housing information for students. This school year, Housing Day will take place in February. This fall, unit staff have been looking for ways to provide other resources to students and are in the process of creating a Discord.

In Public Announcements and Discussion, the Senate reflected on the six year anniversary of the San Bernardino terrorist attack that consisted of a mass shooting and an attempted bombing.

The senators then moved on to legislation. SR #17 calls for the acknowledgement of sexism in ASUCD and calls for measures of accountability to create a more inclusive environment for all female-identifying students. It passed unanimously.

SR #18 also passed unanimously. It urges the Academic Senate and Administration to extend the Pass/No Pass deadline to provide further academic flexibility.

Martinez Hernandez adjourned the meeting at 12:25 a.m.

 

Written by: Jennifer Ma — campus@theaggie.org

 

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