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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Senate discusses university policy on unit control of websites, e-commerce at Feb. 12 meeting

They also considered compensation for Entertainment Council members working at Senate-hosted events

 

By SONORA SLATER — campus@theaggie.org

 

The Senate meeting on Thursday, Feb. 12, was called to order at 6:12 p.m. Senate Recorder Rose Kazempoor called roll, and Vice President JT Eden read the UC Davis Land Acknowledgement.

First on the agenda was the confirmation of new members to the External Affairs Commission (EAC). Second-year political science major and EAC Chairperson Daniel Mojica recommended all eight candidates for confirmation, and the floor was then opened to questions and comments.

After each member introduced themselves, why they wanted to join the committee and some ideas they had for the team, President Radhika Gawde moved to confirm all nominees. 

With no objections, second-year political science major Joshua Smith, third-year sociology major Greta Foehr, first-year political science major Naomi Ramirez, second-year political science and economics double major Rafay Waqar, first-year undeclared major Rishikesh Kalyan, first-year political science major Jonathan Ng and third-year sociology and communication double major Rowan Lai were confirmed as members, while first-year data science major Freddie Kiessling was confirmed as an alternate. 

Next, the Senate table moved into the confirmation of second-year English major Cindy Nguyen to the Gender and Sexuality Commission. Nguyen noted that should she be confirmed, she wants to use the position to help promote awareness of sexual assault issues on campus. She was confirmed with no objections.

KDVS General Manager Cate Hatcher then gave the student-run radio station’s quarterly report. Hatcher spent the majority of the report discussing continued issues with the station’s website, which ASUCD Creative Media has been unable to help them resolve. They requested freedom to create their own website, independent of typical ASUCD restrictions. SB #56, which would’ve allowed them some degree of this freedom, was vetoed in the week prior.

Senator Shrey Gupta apologized for their website issues and said that he would work with the unit director of IT to address issues from that side. 

“I have a short list of student coders who can create a fully functioning website that can do everything Creative Media apparently can’t do,” Hatcher said.

Hatcher went on to mention issues with Creative Media Director Alex Park, saying that they don’t feel comfortable around him. Previously, a Senate Resolution of No Confidence in Park was passed unanimously.

“If this body does care about the [sexual harassment] issues they just confirmed someone to GASC for, they would want to do something about this,” Hatcher said. 

Fujimoto expressed a desire to speak further with Hatcher about Park’s behavior and move toward action, saying that “behavior that makes employees uncomfortable is completely unacceptable.”

Hatcher also noted that KDVS’s annual music festival, Operation Restore Maximum Freedom, will take place on April 29.

After the KDVS report, third-year neurobiology, physiology and biology major and SAAAC chairperson Rashita Chauhan gave the quarterly report for the Sexual Assault Awareness Advocacy Committee (SAAAC).

According to Chauhan, their current and upcoming projects include working with the Student Health and Wellness Committee to dispense safer-sex products in the Memorial Union bathrooms, collaborating with Ashley Chan and Emma Tolliver to propose stricter Title IX sanctions for survivor safety and collaborating with Senator Priya Talreja and student organization Girl Up to offer more self-defense classes in recognition of sexual assault awareness month in April.

Next up was third-year psychology major Julianna Christofi, the chairperson of the Entertainment Council (EC), to give the council’s quarterly report. She first gave a recap of recent events, including open mic nights, a vinyl painting event and the February “Brain Freeze” concert featuring singer Raveena, before mentioning challenges that they’re facing currently.

While the EC generally charges units like Picnic Day or the World Earth Festival for equipment rentals, they don’t typically make a profit from attending or assisting with Senate events, according to Christofi. She asked if it would be possible to increase their budget or create a “uniform mutual understanding” of the general policy on when and how much the EC is paid for events like these. 

Fujimoto offered the possibility of introducing a spending bill that would use money from Senate reserves to compensate the EC for the recent student-worker listening session that he organized, which used equipment from the council. Other senators also expressed support for EC members receiving compensation for their work. 

Controller Derek Neyer explained that, technically, all money within ASUCD belongs to the Senate and is lent to other units. He said that he believes the best solution would not be for one unit to pay another, but rather for the Senate to discuss increasing the EC budget, with a new line item allocated to running sound for Senate events. 

The Senate table then heard the quarterly report for the Office of the Transfer Student Representative (OTSR), presented by TSR Logan Ueno. 

OTSR’s recent outreach has been toward student parents, re-entry students and veteran students, according to Ueno. This has included work on a student-parent priority registration initiative to help them build their schedules around childcare. 

The Senate table then took a break. The meeting was called back to order at 8:32 p.m., at which time they moved into elected officer reports.

Eden said that during the past week, he hosted the volunteer scholarship award ceremony and champagne awards, meant to recognize the work of volunteers within ASUCD. He also noted that plans to hold this year’s undergraduate commencement ceremonies at the Golden One Center in June are on track, except for the potential concern of an interruption if the Sacramento Kings make it to the NBA finals.

The Senate then moved into the consideration of old legislation, at which point some senators asked for clarification on why Gawde vetoed SB #56.

According to Gawde, the bill went against university policy by allowing people access to running e-commerce sales, or links to e-commerce sales through a website, without requiring these people to complete a certain type of training that the university requires anyone involved in credit card transactions tied to the university to complete. She went on to say that she would support the bill if it were reintroduced with modifications to make it more clear that the bill would be subject to campus policy.

“I need us to take a high-level approach to this and realize that everything we do affects the services and resources we can provide to students,” Gawde said. “Everything we do has very real consequences.”

Some senators expressed a desire for the policy to be made more clear and more easily available. Neyer acknowledged that “it’s something [they] can push for more clarity on,” but that in the meantime, he believed that they should simply reintroduce the legislation with the disclaimer previously discussed. 

“They’re who validates our compliance, so there’s a legitimate threat to our ecommerce credit and acceptance,” Neyer said. “I don’t think it’s a big lift [and] I think that in our bylaws it’s important that we make it clear to units that operate more independently what the restrictions are.”

The motion to override the veto failed, with a 2-5-5 vote. 

SB #60 was withdrawn, and SB #53 automatically failed under the bylaws, moving the Senate out of consideration of legislation, and into approving past meeting minutes and then open forum.

Eden adjourned the meeting at 10:53 p.m. 

Written by: Sonora Slater — campus@theaggie.org