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Davis

Davis, California

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

ASUCD Senate passes emergency resolution regarding encampment, protests on May 16

A constitutional amendment to institutionalize an ASUCD hiring committee also passed 

 

By SYDNEY AMESTOY — campus@theaggie.org   

 

The ASUCD Senate held a town hall session in the CoHo on May 16, giving students the opportunity to ask the table questions. The session was called to order at 6:20 p.m.

However, there were no questions presented from any member of the public, so senators and chairs were asked to give a brief report on their work from the quarter to those in attendance. The session was closed at 6:40 p.m., and the Senate moved to the Mee Room to call the Senate meeting to order.

The meeting was called to order at 6:56 p.m.

Next, the Senate addressed an emergency Senate Resolution, SR #10, authored by Senator Yara Kadaan. SR #10 asks the Senate to affirm the protest and demands of the Davis Popular University for the Liberation of Palestine (Davis PULP). 

“Things are developing very quickly both here on campus and in Gaza, Palestine and neighboring countries in terms of the aggression […] in the genocide that they are facing,” Kadaan said. “There is no time for us to wait, the negotiating team from the encampment is already in talks with the administration. We don’t have time to sit back and watch this happen or mull it over more, things are moving very quickly out there and we have to be caught up to it to the best of our ability.”

A vote was held to consider SR #10 as emergency legislation, which would require it to be addressed during that meeting. In the initial vote, there were seven yes’s, four no’s and two abstainments. The resolution would need a two-thirds majority to be considered an emergency, which wasn’t met in the initial vote and would push the debate on the resolution to next week’s meeting.

Internal Vice President Aarushi Raghunathan then moved the Senate to consider other legislation.

Constitutional Amendment (CA) #90, which seeks to institutionalize the hiring committee for interim senators, was discussed first. After a short debate, CA #90 passed with a vote of eight yes’s, two no’s and three abstainments. 

The meeting then moved to the quarterly report from the ASUCD Judicial Council (JC).

JC plans to update some judicial codes as positions within the council have all become paid roles. They also announced that for the remainder of spring quarter, judicial council meetings would be every Thursday on the third floor of the MU, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

With the conclusion of the quarterly meeting, the Senate moved into the consideration of SB #90, which seeks to allocate $1,658.75 to the Student Health and Wellness Committee (SHAWC) for an earthquake emergency kit building event on May 31 on the MU patio. 

After brief debate regarding the possibility of not all supplies being used, SB #90 passed unanimously. 

The STEM Committee then gave its quarterly report. The committee has been trying to increase equity within STEM, sponsoring STEM-related events and posting opportunities for STEM students on their Instagram. 

As the quarterly reports concluded, the Senate moved into public discussion.

Various anonymous members of the public came to announce their disappointment in the tabling of SR #10 until next week. 

“[The Senate] tabling a piece of legislation because you want to be nitpicky and sit with it longer is not okay anymore,” one anonymous speaker said. “You have students out there [in the encampment] risking everything.”

Public speakers were given two to three minutes to voice their opinions and concerns to the table. Discussion between the public and the Senate remained focused on SR #10 and continuing the encampment in the MU Quad.

“I have been at Davis for two years, and I’ve been here way too many times, defending the fact that I deserve to be alive, that I deserve to be defended and my existence is valid,” another anonymous speaker said. “I’m sick of it. The people who said that we should table this bill for next week, you’re ignorant, you’re cowards. [Students are] sitting on the ground. They’re not showering for days. They’re skipping their classes. They’re skipping their midterms to defend the fact that Palestinians should not be genocided off the face of the earth.”

There was discussion regarding recent sweeps of other encampments by law enforcement at other schools, including recently at UC Irvine and UC Los Angeles, and the fear of something similar occurring at UC Davis.

According to Kadaan, the decision to send in law enforcement is made by the UC Regents and the UC Office of the President.

Discussion of SR #10 ultimately led to a motion to reconsider the resolution as emergency legislation, which passed unanimously.

The Senate then moved into a brief Senate discussion on the resolution.

After a call of hands to see how the table members would vote, a motion was made to pass SR #10. With a total of seven yes’s and two abstainments, SR #10 passed unanimously. 

The Senate then moved into a closed session at 10:12 p.m., with all members of the public leaving the meeting. 

 

Written by: Sydney Amestoy — campus@theaggie.org

 

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