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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Senators discuss police relations, heard quarterly reports at Nov. 17 meeting

The Elections Committee reflects on recent ASUCD election during their quarterly report, referencing low voter turnout and technical difficulties 

 

By RACHEL GAUER— campus@theaggie.org

 

Vice President JT Eden called the meeting to order at 6:10 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 17. After roll call, he recited the UC Davis Land Acknowledgement.

Next, Perry Eggleston, the executive director of Transportation Services (TAPS), gave the department’s quarterly report. Eggleston said that they have been working to convert some of the A parking zones to C+ zones to allow more access to parking on campus for students. 

Following the presentation, the Senate moved to public comments. Several senators spoke on the impact that the academic workers’ strike has had on undergraduate students. 

“A bunch of students are turning in work and submitting assignments and taking exams, [which] puts an onus on the university to be grading the exams and grading midterms without the crucial labor of the TAs,”  Senator Stephen Fujimoto said. 

Next, four ASUCD committees gave their quarterly reports. First, Chairperson Rashita Chauhan gave the quarterly report for the Sexual Assault Awareness and Advocacy Committee (SAAAC).

In her report, she asked the senators for assistance with SAAAC membership interviews, community outreach and awareness. Additionally, Chauhan said that going forward, the committee hopes to make it possible to report sexual assault cases through an online platform they will create. 

“The goal is to make a platform that is just a little more friendly so that if you are someone that chooses to report, you will feel like your claim is something that will be taken seriously and be accounted for,” Chauhan said. 

Next, the Elections Committee gave their quarterly report, during which Chairperson Pendar Salemi discussed the recent ASUCD election that had a 5.53% voter turnout. She recounted several issues the committee faced during this quarter’s elections, most of which she said were caused by lack of control over the election website. 

Salemi said that students also faced some issues trying to sign petitions in support of ASUCD candidates’ campaigns before the elections.

“I received multiple emails that when people, especially transfers and freshmen, tried to sign a petition, they got an error message saying they were not registered as an undergraduate with the school,” Salemi said. 

Although the elections website experienced several issues during the fall elections, Salemi said that future elections will likely not have the same issues due to a change in ownership over the site. 

“We are going to have complete control over the elections website which is 100% the biggest step in the right direction,” Salemi said. “That is the main way anybody can get information about elections.”

Next, Chairperson Ashley Chan gave the quarterly report for the Gender and Sexuality Commission (GASC). In the report, Chan spoke about their recent reproductive rights panel, which had 40 attendees. The committee plans to spend the remainder of the quarter planning their winter events, according to Chan. 

Finally, Chairperson Mackenzie Field gave the Environmental Policy and Planning Commission (EPPC) report, in which she described future projects the committee hopes to complete. 

After committee presentations concluded, each elected officer gave their individual reports about weekly activities.

No legislative business could be conducted due to a vacancy on the Judicial Council, which has persisted for four weeks.

Next, open forum commenced. During this period, senators discussed the recent Pass/No Pass survey, as well as their opinions on relations with the UC Davis Police Department. 

“We need to have good morale with them,” Police Accountability Board Chairperson Megan Chung said. “We need to be able to speak with them. It is not conducive if we completely shut off any communication with the police chief.”

Fujimoto suggested having a separate meeting outside of the weekly Senate meeting to continue discussions about the police. 

“I don’t feel comfortable having [a discussion about this] here in the Senate meeting, but I do recognize the importance of having [this] dialogue to make any reform that we can,” Fujimoto said. “Maybe a meeting outside this meeting […] is something we can consider.”

Eden adjourned the meeting at 9:54 p.m. 

 

Written by: Rachel Gauer — campus@theaggie.org