63.9 F

Davis, California

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Senator threatens to file a complaint against ASUCD President at Oct. 26 meeting

The senator’s complaint arises amidst a lack of completion with SR #1, which was supposed to state goals and priorities of ASUCD during the 2023-2024 school year


By LILY FREEMAN — campus@theaggie.org


Vice President Aarushi Raghunathan called the Oct. 26 senate meeting to order at 6:14 p.m. After roll call, she read the UC Davis Land Acknowledgement.

Next, Katrine Lee, a third-year political science and Italian double major, was confirmed as the Judicial Council Chairperson. Julia Miller, a third-year human development major, was then confirmed as the SHAWC Chairperson. 

The senate then moved into public comments. UC Davis Campus Organizer with the California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG) Marea Ayala discussed the organization’s primary campaign that they are focusing on this school year. 

“We actually have chapters across every single one of the UCs [University of California schools],” Ayala said. “We’re collectively working to get all of the UCs committed to 100 percent clean and renewable energy. They say we’re the first generation to actually feel the effects of climate change and the last to do anything about it. That’s what we’re doing — we’re doing stuff about it.” 

Ayala said that CALPIRG will be launching their membership pledge drive next week and encouraged both the senate and students to learn more on the CALPIRG website.  

Senator Erek Leschyn spoke next. 

“I want to say this out loud to everyone, but this is also directed at President [Francisco] Ojeda,” Leschyn said. “I know the president is expected to give a State of the Association twice a year. Essentially because SR #1 is where it’s at, potentially setting those goals and expectations for the future of what ASUCD wants to do verbally would be really cool to do before the end of this quarter.” 

SR #1 is an ASUCD Senate Resolution passed at the beginning of every school year to state the overarching goals, priorities and business strategies of ASUCD for the year, according to the language of the bill. This resolution is typically written by the ASUCD President and is passed during the first couple weeks of the quarter. This resolution was discussed further toward the end of the meeting. 

After a break, the Senate saw a presentation given by ASUCD Controller Allyson Francisco and Foodservice Director with the Associated Students Dining Services Darin Schluep regarding developments in the CoHo Beverage Pouring Agreement (BPA).

The CoHo is not a participant in the current BPA with campus, according to the presentation. Francisco and Schluep have been participants in the BPA Working Group to determine whether or not there is value in the CoHo participating in the next iteration of the BPA. 

“Right now, a significant portion of the funds that go [toward] the Beverage Pouring Agreement goes to athletics,” Schluep said. “I’ve been in conversation with [Student Affairs] leadership and we’re all on the same page that we feel like the operators, the ones who are selling the beverages on campus, if we were to participate in something like this, would get a bigger slice of the pie.” 

The presentation said that a vote will be held by the BPA Working Group a week after the senate meeting. This vote will determine which of the three options UC Davis will decide on in terms of signing another BPA: go out to bid for the BPA, negotiate new terms based on the Berkeley BPA — which will adjust to reflect UC Davis sales volume and marketing opportunities — or participate in no BPA at all. 

“If you all say that you still do not want anything to do with Pepsi from an exclusivity agreement perspective, then we can continue to do status quo,” Schluep said. “But I wanted to put out what some of our options are as we move forward.” 

Schluep said that the terms for the CoHo participation in any BPA are a significant ask. 

“We would be gaining a lot,” Schluep said. “I’m kind of skeptical that they will accept it to be honest with you, but I would at least like to put [my] foot forward and represent our interests to the best of our ability.” 

Schluep concluded by saying that if the CoHo’s terms are rejected, then the CoHo would continue to refrain from joining any BPA. 

Following the presentation, Senate President Pro Tempore JT Eden suggested that the senate write a resolution to reflect the table’s updated perspectives on the matter. 

Next, the senate unanimously passed an Emergency Senate Bill, which would allocate $3,118.91 to KDVS for 15 students to attend the University of California Radio Network Conference from Nov. 3 to Nov. 5. 

Then, second-year computer science major and Unit Director for the Innovation and Research Lab (IRL) Shrey Gupta presented IRL’s quarterly report. 

Gupta said that IRL is still in the process of hiring for positions in both the software development and research and data areas. He highlighted that IRL’s goal for winter quarter 2024 is to be in full operation, with both of their branches being fully staffed and actively pursuing projects and collaborations.

Following this presentation, the senate moved on to consider old legislation. 

SB #8, which establishes the Equitable Parking Initiative by allocating $12,500 for parking subsidies and by establishing the Equitable Parking Oversight Committee (EPOC), passed unanimously.

SR #1 was then considered.

While the bill was authored by ASUCD Vice President Raghunathan and co-authored by ASUCD President Francisco, SR #1 has historically been introduced and written by the ASUCD President. 

“This is my best attempt at writing the goals and priorities and business strategies,” Raghunathan said. “I know there is a lot missing, but I really tried.”

“The untimeliness, lack of communication and transparency on SR #1 is an injustice to the students we represent,” Antonio said. “It is so disrespectful to everyone who has taken the time and effort to contribute or comment on this resolution that this has not been finished […] To my knowledge, this priorities resolution may be formulated and introduced by the President on week one of fall quarter. It was introduced, but it is incomplete.” 

Antonio then said that when ASUCD members have offered support in creating this resolution, there have been no follow-ups or communication as to how this resolution can be finished. 

“I’m sure we all understand that everyone is busy and has a lot of things to do, but saying this as a reason for the resolution being incomplete shows students that this is not a priority for them, despite this literally being the priorities resolution,” Antonio said. “It’s week four, and it’s not even 15 percent done.” 

Antonio went on to discuss the edit history of the document. 

“There have been extensive comments and suggestions for commission members and members of the legislative branch, while only a single space was made by President Ojeda,” Antonio said. “What does that say about our priorities as an association and our commitment?” 

Ojeda responded. 

“I apologize to all of the commissioners, commission chairs and the senators,” Ojeda said. “You all have been very understanding and I appreciate that […] I do understand the frustration.”

Ojeda went on to say that he is going to “fix the situation.” 

Antonio responded. 

“Just given the track record of what has been said and the commitments of making sure that it has been done, words mean nothing without action,” Antonio said. “This is just for full disclosure and I do not want anything to be under the rug, but if no progress is seen [on] SR #1 by Tuesday, I’ll file a complaint to JC [Judicial Council] on how this is not constitutional. I think we just need to hold ourselves accountable for the work that we do to make sure that this doesn’t happen again in future administrations.” 

Executive Affairs Commission Chairperson Daniel Mojica spoke next. 

“Thank you President Francisco Ojeda for apologizing,” Mojica said. “I also think the IVP [Internal Vice President] deserves an apology, only because this whole time she’s been at the front of this and we’ve been thrashing her for it. I just don’t understand why the IVP was given all this responsibility even though it’s supposed to be coming from you, our leader, the person who is representing not only us, but this entire campus. We know you have a lot of obligations, it’s just that you put yourself in this position of representing so much money and so many students. The fact that we can’t put together a single piece of legislation that sets out the goals for us as a body concerns me for the future.” 

Vice President Raghunathan elaborated. 

“I know SR #1 right now, as it stands, is trash,” Raghunathan said. “But I also know that I wrote the entire thing and I just feel like over the past few weeks, my personal reputation has been ruined because it looks like I messed up SR #1. I wanted to make sure that no one hates me and thinks it is my fault because I really tried […] I just wanted to say that this is not the [IVP’s] job. This is not my responsibility. I was trying to help. I was trying to cover. SR #1 is a big thing and it’s not my big thing.” 

Raghunathan went on to say that she feels as though many of her efforts have been diminished and the way people have talked about her work so far has been unsuccessful.

After more discussion, the senate agreed to table SR #1 until the next meeting. Raghunathan then adjourned the meeting at 11:30 p.m.


Written by: Lily Freeman — campus@theaggie.org


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here