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ASUCD senators discuss Turning Point USA protest at Oct. 27 meeting

The Senate also heard quarterly reports, in which Unitrans announced significant progress on driver staffing 

By KAYA DO-KHANH — campus@theaggie.org


On Thursday, Oct. 27, at 6:15 p.m., Vice President JT Eden called the Senate meeting to order and recited the UC Davis Land Acknowledgement. 

The Senate then moved through Gender and Sexuality Commission confirmations without any objections.

The senators moved to public comments and then to quarterly reports. Eden gave a report from the Personnel Committee, which reviews the personnel policies of ASUCD and proposes changes to those policies, including those regarding employee compensation. 

The report included a list of recent accomplishments, one being that the senators are starting to gather volunteer tracking data after passing a bill to incentivize participation in hour tracking. The senators are hoping to receive a high number of responses. The Personnel Committee’s goals for the rest of the year are to propose new career-staff positions and create clear internal hiring guidelines to prevent unpaid labor.  

The Volunteer Award Committee, which gives out an award to ASUCD volunteers twice a year, and the Scholarship Award Committee, which gives out a scholarship to undergraduate students twice a year, gave their quarterly reports. 

Next, the Senate transitioned to elected officer reports, during which they gave updates on their weekly schedules and progress on various projects. 

General Manager Jeff Flynn then gave a quarterly report for Unitrans. In terms of cleaning and safe riding updates, the plastic barriers between riders and drivers installed during the pandemic remain in place, and they have a once-daily sanitizing procedure on all vehicles. 

Additionally, Flynn said that for the first time in two years, Unitrans took down their driver vacancy from the ASUCD vacancy listing. For full service, 175 drivers are needed, and as of Oct. 2022, there are 120 active drivers, 50 active trainees and 25 hires-in-process. There are plans to slowly restore services as the year progresses. As for ridership, fall 2022 has shown the highest ridership since March 2020, with 18,000 weekday customers on average. 

They then moved on to the status of previous legislation, which includes two Senate bills, SB #12 and SB #14, which were vetoed at the Oct. 20 Senate meeting by President Radhika Gawde.

Next, they introduced new legislation CA #79, which is a constitutional amendment which, in the case of a recall vote, would allow for the student body to vote on a replacement candidate at the same time as the recall vote. 

With the consideration of the consent calendar, SB #19, which allows the ASUCD Controller to call a meeting of the Board of Unit Directing Students to elect a chair, and SB #32, which amends the hiring and interviewing process for the Judicial Council Chairperson and members, passed unanimously.

Moving to the consideration of old legislation, there was a motion to endorse the Approval of the 2022 Guide to Placing a Student Fee Initiative on the Ballot that passed unanimously. 

SB #20, which ​​allocates hourly pay for the Student Advocate Office’s (SAO) Chief of Staff, was tabled. 

CA #80, which places a vote on the fall election ballot to ensure continuity in elections administration, and CA #81, which places a vote on the fall election ballot to allow for immediate enactment of student fee initiatives, passed unanimously.

            The senators approved past meeting minutes and moved on to open forum. 

The senators brought up the cancellation of the Turning Point USA (TPUSA) event at UC Davis in discussion. One of the senators said that some students have expressed wishes for TPUSA at UC Davis to be removed as a Registered Student Organization on campus. Another senator stated that because ASUCD Senate is federally funded, they must carefully adhere to the First Amendment right to free speech. According to the senators, if there was proof that TPUSA had violated California or federal law, there is a possibility that the campus organization would be disbanded. 

Eden adjourned the meeting at 8:42 p.m.

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