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Davis

Davis, California

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Five pieces of legislation passed, quarterly reports heard at May 26 Senate meeting

The Disability Rights Advocacy Committee, the Office of the International Student Representative and others gave reports on this quarter’s activities and plans for the future

 

By JENNIFER MA — campus@theaggie.org 

 

The Senate meeting on Thursday, May 26 was called to order at 6:20 p.m. by 2021-2022 Vice President Juliana Martinez Hernandez, who then recited the UC Davis Land Acknowledgement. 

Shortly after, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Phil Kass presented to the Senate table. He discussed faculty promotion initiatives such as the Step Plus system, which is currently in place at UC Davis and, according to Kass, is now spreading to other UCs.

Within this system, when a faculty member is eligible for a pay raise or a promotion, the candidate is considered for advancement of 1, 1.5 or 2 steps based on their record of professional accomplishments. The department that the faculty member is part of votes on all Step Plus options with no knowledge of or regard to availability of funding. Kass said that the goal of Step Plus is to prioritize hiring and promoting researchers at the university who are also passionate about and good at teaching.

Fair Trade Committee Chairperson Itzel Gallardo provided her recommendation for nominees Noreen Auyoung and Elise Gustilo as chairperson and member of the Fair Trade Committee (FTC), respectively. After discussion of their qualifications, Radhika Gawde, who was the President pro tempore at the time of the meeting, moved to confirm the nominees with Senator Harris Razaqi seconding the motion. With no objections, Gustilo is now a member of the FTC, and Auyong was chairperson of the FTC until he decided to step down a few days after the confirmation.

2021-2022 Chairperson of the Research and Data Committee (R&DC) Stephen Fujimoto provided his recommendation for nominee Jahanvi Narwal as chairperson. Senator Ambar Mishra moved to confirm the nominee and Senator Razaqi seconded this motion; Narwal is now the chairperson of R&DC.

Chairperson for Environmental Policy Planning Commission (EPPC) Mackenzie Field provided her recommendation for nominees Laila Penny and Benjamin Hodgson, Meron Gebre, Mateo Alliende, Ivy Schlosser, Mina Bedogone, Daphne Crother, Kelly Abey, Leo Hecht, Lydia Rice, Sarah Pando and Annie Kanjamala as Unit Director and members of EPPC, respectively. Senator Rashita Chauhan moved to confirm the nominees, Senator Razaqi seconded this motion and with no objections, the nominees are now EPPC Commissioners.

Sarah Theubet gave a quarterly report on behalf of the Disability Rights Advocacy Committee. Training for the UC Davis English department, an Aggie Studios project and a peer support group were all projects that the group worked on this quarter, according to the presentation. 

Issac Ocampo of the Sexual Assault Advocacy Committee also presented a quarterly report. The committee collaborated with Senator Owen Krauss and Senator Chauhan in raising awareness about sexual assault by posting on Instagram, according to the report. They have also been working on reforming the Harassment & Discrimination Assistance and Prevention Program (HDAPP) to work toward a stated goal of fostering a safer community for students. Ocampo went on to say that the committee’s future goals are to rebuild a connection with the UC Davis Center for Advocacy, Resources & Education and the Women’s Resources and Research Center, as well as continuing to work on the HDAPP reform project. 

Maya Jones, Huda Saleh and Vivek Shome from the Club Finance Council gave a presentation explaining what the council does and how they can help fund certain aspects of clubs. The representatives reported that, this quarter, they were able to distribute more than $50,000 to 89 student organizations.

Dhanya Indraganti presented the Library Committee quarterly report, stating that the committee struggled to get new members during spring quarter, and as a result, did not have many projects going on. 

The Senate table then moved into public comments. Senator Krauss suggested a vigil for the student who lost her life on campus in a traffic collision on May 25, and Senator Sergio Bocardo-Aguilar asked if everyone could send in their complaints about the dining commons ahead of a meeting he was having with administrators from Student Housing and Dining to try to tackle relevant issues.

After public comments, the Senate table went back into quarterly reports with Fujimoto presenting for the R&DC. They continue to have a large membership, according to the report, with 15 members staying on. The committee has administered 10 surveys this year that have garnered more than 2,800 responses. Looking ahead, their stated goals include monetary efforts like making committee chair a paid position and securing funds for volunteer appreciation. 

Field presented the EEPC quarterly report. She announced that they have completed a recycling guide for laboratories and will send it out soon. Their social media and website team have been posting for events, vacancy information and general sustainability tips, according to Field, and the events team organized the sustainable cooking workshop, the textile recycling drive and the clothing swap.  

Chairperson JT Eden gave a quarterly report for the Internal Affairs Commission (IAC). The IAC has authored 12 pieces of legislation this quarter, including SB #67, SB #70 and others. They will also be hiring a new chairperson soon. 

Logan Ueno presented the quarterly report for the Office of Transfer Student Representative (OTSR). The OTSR is currently working on their website to make sure it has relevant resources for all transfer students and is easy to navigate, according to Ueno. They also held a transfer student survey that received 260 responses, and, according to the report, findings showed that first-generation transfer students were more likely to feel academically unprepared than non-transfer and non-first-generation peers.  

Lastly, Keven Zhou presented the quarterly report for the Office of the International Student Representative (OISR). This quarter, they have been working on translation of the Unitrans boarding instructions into Korean and Japanese, and making sure that everything they do is multilingual. The office is also planning an international student orientation which will focus on how to become academically successful, how to adjust to life in America, how to access resources on campus and so on. In the future, Zhou said that the OISR’s goals include increasing outreach with WeChat and collaborating with the international undergraduate admissions team to help incoming first-year students. 

This was followed by elected officer reports, where elected officers detailed what they did during the week. 

The Senators then moved on to introduce new legislation. 

SR #32 urges the UCs to divert funding from the design and fabrication of parts and systems for nuclear weapons, and instead direct funding toward lowering the recently imposed tuition increase, for the UCs, as well as calling to designate UC Davis as a nuclear weapons-free zone. The resolution passed unanimously.

SB #86, which dissolves Refrigerator Services as an ASUCD unit, passed unanimously. 

SB #87, which amends the ASUCD Elections Code to address immediate concerns with the signature gathering process, passed unanimously. 

SB #88, which dissolves the Aggie Public Arts Committee and Undergraduate Student Parent Committee, passed unanimously.

SB #89, which seeks to improve the reach of the Quarterly Town Hall by including virtual options for attendance and engagement through social media, passed unanimously. 

Martinez Hernandez adjourned the meeting at 11 p.m.

 

Written by: Jennifer Ma — campus@theaggie.org