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Davis, California

Monday, June 10, 2024

Senators hear antisemitism training, discuss ASUCD elections

Unitrans representative also discusses potential collaboration between different ASUCD units and the buses 


By JORDAN POLTORAK — campus@theaggie.org


The April 25 meeting was called to order at 6:23 p.m. by Vice President Aarushi Raghunathan following a roll call and land acknowledgment.

Senators Jacob Klein and Gabriel Gaysinsky presented a training on antisemitism to the Senate. The presentation was broken into three segments which included explaining Jewish identity, defining antisemitism and addressing common misconceptions regarding antisemitism. 

“[Antisemitism is] a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred towards Jews,” Gaysinsky said. “Jews make up only three percent of California’s population but make up 8.6% of hate crimes. Nationwide, Jewish people are two percent of the population yet are the target of 60 percent of religious hate crimes.” 

Gaysinsky asked for examples of left-wing and right-wing antisemitism.

 “In the spaces I’m in, as a left-wing person, I have to educate people on left-wing antisemitism, because there is so much misinformation about Israel and Palestine,” Senator Yara Kaadan said. “People unknowingly engage in antisemitic rhetoric. People across the political spectrum are not immune to bigotry including antisemitism.” 

Gaysinsky then discussed misconceptions regarding antisemitism. 

“[It is] uniquely pervasive, because it is seen as punching up and punching down at the same time,” Gaysinsky said. “We are seen as both oppressors of non-white people as an entire community and also diluting and replacing the white race at the same time. If you’re confused, good, so am I.”

“Not everything about an entire community can fit in 20 slides,” Klein said. “This is meant to serve as a continuous dialogue, and we are always open to talk about this.” 

External Affairs Vice President Celene Aridin then read public comments regarding budget concerns and criticism of lack of transfer student representation in the Senate. 

Senator Dani Antonio responded. 

“The OTSR [Office of the Transfer Student Representative] is doing valuable work,” Antonio said. “They have been planning events, reaching out to transfers and lobbying. Transfers do see it. In terms of representation, the OTSR has hosted events surrounding that, to get more people on the table who are transfers to have that representation.”

Then, ASUCD Elections Officer Sriya Batchu made an announcement that the election turnout was 17.3% at the time of the meeting. 

“These are the highest numbers since COVID,” Batchu said. “I would love to get the numbers as high as we can — help us end off strong.”

Next, Jonah Messinger, the advertising sales representative for Unitrans, presented his proposal for a “Moo-vin Moo-seum.” The bus chosen for this would feature a bus wrap advertising ASUCD and the artwork inside the bus. 

“The possibilities are unlimited for this project,” Messinger said. “All of the growth and expansion of this project will be tied to ASUCD. It directly engages students and people are going to want to be engaged. The Unitrans buses provide high visibility for ASUCD to show what they provide for the Davis community.”

Aridin responded. 

“Besides art, play KDVS in the background as a way to plug in some of our units,” Aridin said. “To incorporate [The] Pantry and Basic Needs, put resources on the bus. These things will make it iconic. Think big, because this is something worth the investment.” 

The new legislation introduced was SB #84, which transfers $5,000 from the Entertainment Council to Black and Arab student organizations. These funds would be used for the Empowered Arab Sisterhood Banquet and Black Student Union’s end-of-year BBQ. 

Lastly, the table moved into an open forum where Kaadan asked what to do if an ASUCD worker had been wrongfully terminated for political beliefs. The 30-minute ASUCD lawyer was suggested. 

The past meeting minutes were approved, and the meeting adjourned at 7:49 p.m.

Written by: Jordan Poltorak — campus@theaggie.org


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