A.S. Council Column 2/8

Hello friends! Another quick meeting this week.

A.S. Council passed a resolution this week calling for a divestment from Energy Transfer Partners, one of the companies behind the Dakota Access Pipeline. The University of California, as of June 30, 2016 (when the UC Retirement Plan holdings report was released) has both an direct and indirect investment in ETP either from directly investing, or having a stake in banks that then go on to fund the company.

The resolution states that “ASUCSD urges the University to remove all financial investments it provides to Energy Transfer Partners as well as the following banks that invest in ETP such as  Sunoco Logistics, Citibank, Intesa SanPaolo, Suntrust and Wells Fargo and banks that offer credit lines to ETP such as ABN Amro Bank, Bank of America, Barclays, Compass Bank, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, UBS, Morgan Stanley and Royal Bank of Scotland.”

The resolution also goes on to say that “ASUCSD urges the University to remain accountable to its announcement made on Sept. 9, 2015 that it will absolutely divest current investments in coal mining and oil companies as well as companies that invest in coal mining and oil companies.”

If you wish to read the resolution in its entirety, contact your college senator, and I’m sure they would be happy to email it to you.

The Triton Food Pantry Expansion is prepared to open on Feb. 16, 2017.

A.S. Council is still in the process of interviewing candidates for the currently vacant vice president external affairs position. Candidates participated in a question and answer session on Feb. 7 which was open to the public. Assistant vice president of health and wellness interviews should be finished as this article goes to press.

There are plenty of applications open for various positions on the A.S. Senate. Open positions include out-of-state senator, physical sciences senator, biological sciences senator and off-campus senator. I highly recommend that anyone who wants to get involved with student government apply. But you better act soon as applications close on Feb. 15, 2017. Applications can be found online on as.ucsd.edu. In addition to open positions on the senate, A.S. Council is also looking for an elections manager. Anyone interested should contact A.S. Council President Daniel Juarez.  

To wrap things up Adán Chávez, the assistant vice president of local affairs, who has been serving as interim vice president of external affairs, gave a fantastic presentation in A.S. Council on the “State of External Affairs.”

In the presentation, Chávez gave updates of where the office of external affairs has been, where it is now and recommendations of the direction the office should orient itself going into the future.

Some of the key takeaways from the presentation: The Student Lobby Conference is going to happen Saturday, March 25 through Monday, March 27. Applications will open by the end of week five.

In light of the U.S. president’s executive orders, a public website has been introduced that includes statements from UC campuses and also includes resources and links for those who may be affected. The website can be accessed at www.universityofcalifornia.edu/immigration.

Chávez also noted that he was briefed on the Governor’s Budget, which shows the allocation of funding for the UC system. The budget provides an increase of $131.2 million General Fund representing a 4‑percent increase in funds consistent with the existing agreement between the Governor and the UC President. Assuming current federal funding to California stays the same (which it may not considering Trump cuts), the increased funding should offset some of the cost of the tuition hikes. Due to the nature of the budget proposal, the increased funding for UC schools will increase the funding for Cal Grants so that it is able to nullify the effects of the tuition cost for its recipients. Unfortunately, this funding allocation will also see the phasing out of the Middle Class Scholarship. Starting in 2017‑18, awards will be renewed only for the 37,000 students who received awards in 2016‑17, with no new awards for the program. By 2020‑21, this proposal will reduce annual General Fund costs by $115.8 million.

That’s all for now! Happy week six, and good luck with midterms!