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Friday, April 19, 2024

Push for ASUCD antisemitism training discussed at Feb. 16 meeting

The Senate also covered how to increase voter turnout, a new app to help students find roommates, a survey to gather information about students’ use of equitable access and more


By LILY FREEMAN — campus@theaggie.org 


Vice President JT Eden called the Feb. 16 Senate meeting to order at 6:11 p.m. After roll call, he read the UC Davis Land Acknowledgement.

Next, The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) spoke to the Senate, noting that continued funding for their organization will be on the ballot as a student referendum fee during the spring 2023 ASUCD election. They utilized their presentation time to ask the Senate how they can work together to raise voter turnout, as the fee referendum will only go through if there is at least 20% voter turnout, regardless of the referendum’s popularity. 

In response, Eden talked about one way ASUCD is seeking to improve voter turnout, which was about 5.5% in the fall, in the spring.

“We just recently appointed an elections officer who runs all of our elections and manages outreach,” Eden said. “He has a pretty robust plan in place to address election engagement and turnout.” 

Eden went on to explain the recent addition of an elections committee under the Senate, which was created to improve election turnout. 

Following TGIF, Aggie Works gave a presentation discussing a potential partnership with ASUCD in the future. Aggie Works is a student-run organization of product designers, software engineers and product managers building software products for UC Davis students. 

During the presentation, Aggie Works product manager Michelle Tran, a fourth-year economics and cognitive science double major, explained their latest project, RoomMe. 

“RoomMe is essentially Tinder for roommates,” Tran said. “It is a modern mobile roommate search solution built for college students, by college students.” 

Tran said that the app has features including dating app-style matching, a similarity quiz, search filters to find roommates with similar interests and a one-on-one chat room. 

Aggie Works concluded their presentation by discussing how they can work with the Senate to ensure that this app reaches as many UC Davis students as possible. They said that the app is set to officially launch during the upcoming spring quarter. 

Next, the Senate moved to public comments. First, Senator Jacob Klein talked about the need for antisemitism training in ASUCD. 

“In recent years, UC Davis has had an extensive amount of antisemitic incidents occurring on campus,” Klein said. “ASUCD specifically needs antisemitism training not only because it represents Jewish students, but because they have a pattern of subjecting Jewish representatives to common stereotypes.”

Senator Stephen Fujimoto spoke next. Fujimoto said that the Research and Data Committee is doing a survey on Equitable Access and physical textbook access to help Aggie Reuse collect data for a potential textbook rental program. He encouraged the Senate and all students to take the survey. 

Following public comments, Unitrans General Manager Jeff Flynn gave the unit’s quarterly report.

Flynn highlighted the additions of new sweeper buses on the weekdays to reduce overcrowding and bypass and the six new electric buses that were added in the fall, He also noted a large staffing shortage at Unitran and discussed said the safety concerns at the Silo bus terminal, which Unitrans has been focusing their efforts on resolving. 

Next, ASUCD Creative Media presented their creative report. 

Creative Media discussed recent accomplishments, such as completing designs for the ASUCD HAUS Housing Week and working with The Pantry and the Mental Health Initiative to create merchandise and various vinyl projects in collaboration with ASUCD. They also outlined its design plans for spring 2023 ASUCD elections with the goal of increasing voter turnout. 

The Internal Affairs Commission (IAC) then went on to provide its quarterly report. ThuyAnh Truong, the chair of the commission, explained what the commission has done this quarter. 

Truong said that the IAC resumed working with the Judicial Council Advisory and worked on the creation of their website. IAC also introduced 13 pieces of legislation over the course of fall quarter, and Truong said that they have reviewed and considered quite a bit more than that. 

Following quarterly reports, the Senate moved on to consider legislation. 

SB #60, which introduces a motion for round-robin discussion and creates guidelines for the duration of speaking periods when it is being proposed, was tabled until the Feb. 23 Senate meeting.

SB #65, which would dissolve the ASUCD Donation Drive Committee, was tabled until the March 9 Senate meeting.

SB #69, which amends the Senate bylaws to raise the threshold for establishing a new unit, a new committee and to pass emergency legislation to a ¾ vote, failed with nine voting in opposition, one voting in favor and two abstaining.

The senators approved past meeting minutes, and Eden adjourned the meeting at 10:24 p.m.


Written by: Lily Freeman — science@theaggie.org