11/4 A.S. Council

A.S. Council members have become somewhat of celebrities in my mind. I was so excited to be walking behind A.S President Suvonnasupa, Senator Perez and Associated Vice President of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Juarez on my way to tonight’s meeting. I was also excited that both the President and I were rocking fresh new haircuts. And I couldn’t wait to see what Senator O’Neill had to say. My Wednesday is marked by two significant events: the attendance of an A.S Council meeting and a new episode of South Park. Unfortunately, these two often end up interfering with each other as the Council meeting goes on for hours. Today, I was out of there within an hour and a half, eager to write this column.

I should mention that my beautiful, flawless editor Kriti once again accompanied me to the meeting. This time, she was hauling a huge rugby bag belonging to none other than the Guardian’s Sports Editor Marcus Thuillier. Marcus was with the Office of Athletics and Spirit, along with Joseph Giltner and Nicole Farrales, who had come to introduce themselves to the Council. Marcus had been selected as the Spirit Night Coordinator. After their brief introductions, Marcus, his huge rugby bag and the other two ran out of the room. During this brief moment, I was jealous of Marcus Thuillier because he got to leave.

The first special presentation came from a Housing, Dining, Hospitality representative. Jason Andrews, dining services program analyst at HDH, introduced himself and mentioned the ongoing food drive Colleges Rock Hunger through which students can donate purchases made at HDH markets to the San Diego Food Bank and the Triton Food Pantry. He then immediately opened up the floor to questions from Councilmembers. Of course, Senator O’Neill’s hand was the first in the air. He asked what HDH is doing to adapt to a growing student body to which Andrews explained that HDH is having to spread its funds across more people and has no budget surplus. After this, the questions kept coming and coming, making up the bulk of the Council meeting.

Eleanor Roosevelt College Senator Katie Hosch mentioned the use of sustainable to-go containers at Cafe Ventanas and the possibility of expanding that option campuswide. Andrews explained that HDH first tried promoting the containers at Thurgood Marshall College last year, but only three students actively participated and reused them all year. At Cafe V, four to six people use the containers daily, so it is becoming a more popular service. Next, Marshall College Senator Tara Vahdani asked why Goody’s closes at 10 p.m. this year and whether or not HDH Dining Services had any plans to extend these hours. According to Andrews, HDH performed a simple cost-benefit analysis and determined that it was better to open Goody’s earlier, especially with the new breakfast options, than it was to close late.

Thirteen other members of Council interrogated Andrews for the next hour, with some focusing on sustainability and others proposing centralized facilities with longer hours. Finally Vahdani asked him about renovations to the dining hall in Marshall. Andrews explained that Regents Pizza might be coming to Marshall dining facilities. This was perhaps the most exciting part of the discussion. The renovated dining hall will have espresso, a bagel station and a station for kosher/halal friendly food.

The next special presentation came from former Associate Vice President of External Affair who now works for the State Treasury. She discussed her experience in the Capital Fellows Program, a program she took part in after graduation. If you are a senior interested in public policy with no plans after graduation, pay attention. The program is a year-long paid internship in state government in either the California State Assembly, the State Senate, the California Supreme Court or the Governor’s administration. The fellowship is looking for students who are interested in California politics and public service. The application deadline is Feb. 8. I encourage any interested seniors to look into the Capital Fellows Program.

This week, I was finally ready when they announced the Factor of the Week, Sen. Vahdani. As they played the music video for Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off,” Vahdani ran around the room, receiving high-fives from every council member except an oblivious Sen. O’Neill, who must have been too focused on Taylor Swift’s ballerina tutu. I hadn’t ever watched the “Shake It Off” music video, so now I have to finish it. After this, the Council moved into reports of committees. All I care to mention is that they approved the legislative committee’s appointment of Marcus Thuillier as Spirit Night Coordinator, the best decision of the night.

There won’t be an A.S Council meeting next week, and I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t miss it at least a little. But for now, it’s time for South Park. Until next time.