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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

ASUCD holds first Senate meeting of the quarter

Senators elect Senate President Pro Tempore and debate respectful communication at Oct. 5 meeting

By LILY FREEMAN — campus@theaggie.org

Vice President Aarushi Raghunathan called the Oct. 5 Senate meeting to order at 6:14 p.m. After roll call, she read the UC Davis Land Acknowledgement.

Next, Zahar King, a third-year English and design double-major, was confirmed and seated as an ASUCD senator. 

Senate President Pro Tempore elections followed this confirmation. JT Eden, third-year international relations and environmental policy double-major and ASUCD interim senator, was nominated by Senator Dani Antonio. 

“Senator Eden has shown confidence, efficiency and deep knowledge of the ASUCD operations since his term as [internal vice president] and now interim senator,” Antonio said during the nominations. “I have only personally known Senator Eden for two months, but it is in these few months that he has earned my respect and trust inside and outside of work.” 

Following Antonio’s nomination, Eden was elected to the position with a unanimous vote. 

Next, the Senate confirmed Zach Boggeln, a fourth-year philosophy major, as the new Internal Affairs Commission chair. Then, Jonathan Ng, a second-year political science major, was confirmed as the new Aggie Mentorship Committee chair. Lastly, Jordyn Kosai, a fourth-year sustainable and environmental design major, was confirmed as the new chair of the Student Sustainability Career Fair committee.

Several commissioners were then confirmed for the Internal Affairs Commission, the Environmental Policy and Planning Commission and the External Affairs Commission. 

Following the confirmations, the senators moved into senator adoptions, where each senator chooses a few ASUCD units and/or committees to adopt for the fall quarter. These adoptions allow for senators to collaborate with and provide support to the ASUCD groups of their choice.  

Next, the Senate opened the floor to public comments. There was one comment made by a UC Davis student.

“I learned very recently that participating in [the UC Washington program] or any other program where students leave Davis, like study abroad, students sacrifice their guaranteed student housing,” the student said. “This, in my opinion, is entirely inequitable. When signing on with Davis, I felt secure knowing I could live at the Green for my two years here. Now, I am left with a risk of going to DC and risking my home and thus my livelihood when I return. Furthermore, the fact that this practice was subtly hidden within the Green’s lengthy housing contract and not mentioned at all in the Washington Program housing contract is very troublesome.”

Raghunathan then assigned specific senators to work on the issue raised by this public comment. 

Then, the Senate introduced seven new pieces of legislation, however, there were no bills voted on during the meeting. Next, the senators approved past meeting minutes and moved into open forum. Raghunathan raised a question regarding the dinner that was provided for the Senate during the meeting. 

“Did everyone like the Beijing beef [from Panda Express] or are you actually very strongly against it and want orange chicken instead?” Raghunathan said. 

After two senators voiced that they would prefer orange chicken, the senate debated on the comparative qualities of the orange chicken and Beijing beef from Panda Express. 

Senator Gaius Illupeju then expanded on the difficulties of coming to a consensus about foods provided at the meeting. 

“I think you’ll find that ordering food is kind of difficult,” Illupeju said. “No one is on the same page about what they want. You’ll find that when you go to buy Mexican food [for the meeting], it is expensive… Students provide the table with food every quarter, and I tried to make the best choices that I could. I think the fact that we’re debating between Beijing beef and orange chicken shows the dilemma [Raghunathan] is bound to be dealing with every week. I’ll be praying for you.” 

Raghunathan went on to raise an issue that she has experienced in the Senate as ASUCD vice president.

“Please set boundaries,” Raghunathan said. “I am a student, and also a person, not a robot… I, in fact, do not live here. Please don’t text me at 2 a.m. on a Saturday about work, because I am not going to respond to you… I have a social life. I have responsibilities. I don’t live and breathe ASUCD. I am a person. Calm down. No weekend texts, please. We are very busy people, please keep that in mind.”

Raghunathan continued. 

“Please also be respectful,” Raghunathan said. “I have noticed especially that we say things over and over and over. We know what we’re talking about, [and] we’ve been in the meetings to talk about this… We know what we’re doing. You guys get the very end, and then still people argue with us about every little thing. [However], the second a man says the exact same thing, everyone shuts up. Please just don’t argue and just be talking to a wall until a guy says the exact same thing. Be respectful.” 

Following open forum, Raghunathan moved to adjourn the meeting. With no objections, Raghunanthan adjourned the meeting at 9:48 p.m..

Written by: Lily Freeman — campus@theaggie.org

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