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Davis, California

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

UC Davis research project with ties to Elon Musk brought up in public discussion

Vice President Juliana Martinez Hernandez and senators agreed to draft a Resolution regarding the alleged mistreatment of monkeys in UC Davis primate research project 


By KAYA DO-KHANH — campus@theaggie.org


On Thursday, Feb. 17, at 6:10 p.m., Vice President Juliana Martinez Hernandez called the Senate meeting to order and recited the UC Davis Land Acknowledgement. 

Leslie Kemp, the director of the Aggie Compass Basic Needs Center, gave a presentation and navigated through the center’s website to provide information about where one could submit assistance requests for housing, food and other support. The center recently worked with Eat Well Yolo to provide free meals, which comes to campus on Tuesdays from 2 to 4 p.m. on the MU South Patio.

Next, Provost Mary Croughan gave a presentation about recent improvements, such as the Aggie Launch Program, which is focused on career preparation and exploration for undergraduate and graduate students. Croughan went on to discuss and answer questions about accommodations and academic flexibilities for learning during the pandemic. 

Next, Hibah Shafi, the chairperson of the Student Health and Wellness Committee, provided a quarterly report. Shafi discussed the election of new sub-committees and projects such as Wellness Wednesdays, which consists of activities to promote mental health. In terms of social media, the committee has regularly posted campus updates and policies regarding the pandemic on its Instagram.

The Environmental Policy and Planning Commission provided a quarterly report. The Environmental Justice Team has been working to create a survey to gauge environmental justice needs, and the Styrofoam Recycling Team is working on a way to recycle styrofoam to labs on campus. The social media and website team has been posting about on-campus sustainability efforts, and it plans to provide information about a clean-up competition the day after Picnic Day. 

Next, the senators moved to committee chairperson confirmations. 

Yoanna Soliman was confirmed as the STEM Committee chairperson and Tanya Chettri as the vice-chairperson with no objections.

Senate President Pro Tempore Radhika Gawde gave an update on the Student Advocate Office (SAO). Fourteen new members were recruited, and the office’s staff now totals 21 people. Chair of the Internal Affairs Commission Kabir Sahni brought up concerns about SAO’s hiring process, as applications were accepted via a Google Form rather than through the ASUCD Vacancy website. 

Marcos Lopez, the Aggie Housing Advocacy Committee chair, gave a Housing Presentation and explained the Housing Element, an eight-year housing plan outlining land use.

The senators transitioned into elected officer reports and gave updates on their weekly progress and then moved on to Public Announcements. 

Jackson Gould, a volunteer captain with CALPIRG, gave an update about the organization’s pledge drive. Gould said they are close to meeting their goal of 1,000 new pledges. CALPIRG is working on their Beyond Plastics Campaign and recently introduced AB #226 into the state assembly.

Vice President Juliana Martinez Hernandez then shared that ASUCD is working on launching a newsletter. 

In Public Discussion, Hernandez brought up the UC Davis primate research project funded by Elon Musk that is currently being sued over alleged mistreatment of monkeys. Hernandez voiced her sadness about the alleged mistreatment and said that she thinks the ASUCD Senate should take action. Hernandez and a few senators agreed to begin drafting a resolution.

SB #45, which will establish an ASUCD Board on Engagement and Outreach and implement noncontroversial formatting cleanups, passed unanimously. 

SB #52, which allocates $297.39 to the Gender and Sexuality Commission for an Identity based Open Mic event, passed unanimously. 

Martinez Hernandez adjourned the meeting at 10:27 p.m.


Written by: Kaya Do-Khanh — campus@theaggie.org



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