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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Four pieces of legislation passed at Jan. 20 Senate meeting

The Senate confirmed commission and committee members and heard quarterly reports from Unitrans and two committees

By SONORA SLATER — campus@theaggie.org

On Thursday, Jan. 20, at 6:10 p.m., the Senate meeting was called to order by Internal Vice President Juliana Martinez Hernandez.

Following roll call and the reading of the land acknowledgement, candidates Amanda Clark and Kevin Andrew Liu were confirmed as members of the Judicial Council.

“I really like the community at Davis, and I want to give back to it the way it’s given to me,” Clark said.

Jaisey Grace Joseph was then confirmed as the Internal Affairs Commission vice chair.

Next, Stephen Fujimoto, the chair of the ASUCD Research and Data Committee, gave a presentation informing the Senate about student government volunteers, focusing on internal tracking issues and the possibility of instituting pay for current volunteer positions.

According to Fujimoto, the presentation sought to provide information about the potential benefits of paying volunteers and encourage the Senate to seriously consider pay, rather than providing a committee stance on whether volunteers should be paid.

President Ryan Manriquez responded to the presentation.

“We are having these very real conversations,” Manriquez said. “We want to make sure to explore avenues to make sure students are paid fairly, and students are paid for their time.”

Nic Riani, Christopher Tun, Kaytlin Kobayashi, Cynthia Juarez and Claudia Nava provided an update on CALPIRG, a student public interest activism group. They presented information on the organization’s activity during fall quarter, with a focus on 100% renewable energy, ending oil drilling and affordable textbooks, and plans for this quarter, with a continued focus on affordable textbooks and a push to ban unnecessary plastics.

Following the CALPIRG presentation, UC Davis Fire Chief Nathan Trauernicht gave a presentation on Health 34, a mobile, integrated health initiative that, according to Trauernicht, seeks to “deliver what people need, when they need it, right where they are.”

“We’re not therapists, we’re not psychologists, we’re just people who can come and be with you in a moment, and then introduce you to resources,” Trauernicht said. “Health 34’s goal is to remove barriers from people not getting the help they need.”

Next, Malerie Hurley was confirmed as a member of the Gender and Sexuality Commission upon recommendation by Chairperson Ashley Chan. Ellie Hanssler, Britney Sun and Alexis Vlavianos were confirmed as alternates. 

Hurley will seek to address issues of economic instability and lack of financial resources that face LGBTQ students. 

Nine members were confirmed as a part of the Research and Data Committee, as recommended by Fujimoto.

One of the new members, Anchal Lamba, noted that they aspire to “bridge the gap between data science analysis and social impact.”

Kavika Kapoor was confirmed as an Ethnic and Cultural Affairs Commission member by recommendation of Chairperson Jared Lopez.

Jeffrey Flynn, the general manager at Unitrans, provided the unit’s quarterly report. 

Winter quarter plans to restore 30-minute service on E and F lines and 15-minute all-day service on the West Village V line, as well as to launch a new line in West Village called the V Express, were put on hold after a return to remote learning and increased COVID-19 cases led to a significantly reduced available staff.

“A lot of the gains we made during fall have been completely erased, so as of now we are not going to be putting into place any of the improvements we planned for winter,” Flynn said. “Our goal is to try to keep fall service levels going for winter quarter starting the 31st. However, we may have to go back to summer service level depending on what the status of our workforce is.”

Flynn also gave an update on Unitrans’ ongoing transition to more sustainable operations, announcing that electric buses, which will replace the current gas buses over the process of 12 years, have begun production, but their arrival has been delayed to April 2022.

Mariah Padilla, the vice-chair of the Student Sustainability Career Fair Committee, gave the committee’s quarterly report. Padilla recapped the organization’s fall quarter activities, including various sustainability-based social media campaigns and an in-person networking event, as well as detailing plans for winter quarter. 

These plans include a continued online presence, welcoming new committee members, a virtual screening of “Coming Clean — A Demand for a Fossil Free UCD” and an Internship and Career Center Resume Workshop.

Brooke Isrow provided the AggieMentors Committee’s quarterly report, stating that the program has focused on remaining consistent throughout the school year so far. 

Isrow also announced that AggieMentors is looking to hire a temporary chairperson to fill her position while she travels abroad during the next academic year. 

After the elected officials provided individual updates about their progress throughout the week, the meeting shifted into Public Announcements.

Fujimoto shared that a survey asking students what mode of instruction and accommodations they want to see during winter quarter is now available.

The meeting then moved into Public Discussion.

Manriquez relayed feelings from the administration that the Senate table’s passage of resolutions may be too frequent. Members of the Senate then expressed opinions on the issue.

“I think a lot of times people don’t like to hear things, and I get that, but it is the Senate’s prerogative to write whatever […] we would like to write,” Senator Owen Krauss said. “So with all due respect, I will continue to write resolutions.”

Next, the Senate moved into reviewing the status of previous legislation. 

SB #35, which allocates $470.76 from the Senate reserves to the salary of the student advocate for winter quarter, passed automatically. Manriquez signed SB #36 which proposes changes to the ASUCD Champagne Award, and SR #19, which calls on faculty and the Academic Senate to not make use of proctored exams during remote learning winter quarter.

The table then moved into the introduction of new legislation. 

SB #37 calls to establish an executive board of the ASUCD Lobby Corps, and the bill went to commission.

The Senate then moved to consider old legislation. 

SB #32 passed unanimously. The bill will allocate $400 to Aggie Reuse for the purpose of making the EcoHub an occupiable space by funding a dumpster service to collect waste.

SB #38, which will provide a revised vision of the ASUCD Personnel Committee and further define its role, passed unanimously.

SR #20 recognizes January as National Human Trafficking Prevention Month. The bill passed unanimously.

SR #21, which urges UC Davis administration, faculty and staff to recognize the barriers that menstrual pains and complications can present to academic success and provide accommodations accordingly, passed unanimously.

Senator Radhika Gawde adjourned the meeting at 10:26 p.m.

Written by: Sonora Slater — campus@theaggie.org

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