Council Supports D-I Athletics, Senator Avoids Impeachment

The last meeting of the quarter finished in four-and-a-half hours.

Undergraduate Student Parent Organization member Alicia Kulikowski spoke during public input to request that council create a committee for undergraduate parents to address parking needs, disproportionate increases in rent and family-friendly amenities on campus.

Athletics Committee Chair and 2009-10 A.S. President Utsav Gupta urged council to pass a resolution supporting UCSD sports teams advancing Division I athletics. Council spent an hour debating whether the resolution should pass, given the necessity of student fees to support the effort and current state budget cuts.

President Wafa Ben Hassine felt it was irresponsible to pass the resolution when many students are unable to pay tuition. VP of External Affairs Michael Lam and Freshman Senator Baldeep Dhaliwal, among many others, voiced similar concerns.

Campuswide Senator Anish Bhayani noted that during last week’s meeting, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Penny Rue said that she and Chancellor Marye Anne Fox will look for funding outside of school if the students are interested.

Gupta said the resolution gives council the opportunity to ask students if they would be interested in the change and fee increase. He also said an approved resolution would not mean a fee increase, but council suggested an amendment to change the language to reflect that a referendum would be pursued. With the amendment, the resolution then passed.

Arts and Humanities Senator Shunya Wade was up for impeachment for 19.5 unexcused absences. Wade said she sent e-mails stating she had a class during the meetings she missed over the past two quarters. She apologized multiple times and began pausing for long periods of time in an effort to control her emotions. Council then went into an hour-long closed session to evaluate Wade’s performance. Ultimately, she was not impeached.

Council then discussed an issue brought up during public input by Maria Cardona from the Triton Engineering Student Council. TESC missed the funding requests deadline for Junkyard Derby and Cardona, on its behalf, asked council to make an exception. Council rejected the request, as it had for five other student groups who had also missed the deadline.

But Cardona pleaded for council to give TESC funding, saying “I am on my knees, begging you.” Sixth College Senator Parminder Sandhu and Engineering Senator Adi Singer supported TESC, saying council has made many exceptions in the past and the engineering community is a very important, but often overlooked, group on campus.

“We have rules for a reason,” Marshall College Senator Thao Pham said. Many councilmembers echoed similar concerns regarding the rules in place for funding student organizations. When put to the vote, councilmembers voted against funding the Junkyard Derby.