Freshman A.S. senators take office

The A.S. Council appointed its fifth and final freshman senator on Oct. 25. The freshman senators now account for five of eight voting councilmembers who did not run on the Unity slate.

The five were all present for the first time at the Oct. 31 A.S. Council meeting.

Because elections are held in the spring, freshman senators are appointed by each college council.

The new senators bring new opinions that “”fit in great with the dialogue between councilmembers looking at all sides of an issue,”” said A.S. Senate Chair Nick Lieberknecht. “”The councils did a spectacular job at finding incredibly dynamic people to represent the new class.””

He said he thinks that the freshmen will help balance the council.

“”Eight out of 20 senators will be non-Unity senators,”” Lieberknecht said. “”The dynamic will only improve and continue.””

Warren Freshman Senator Dina Randazzo has been a voting member since Oct. 10.

“”I never felt out of place [at A.S. Council meetings],”” Randazzo said. “”Everyone was really friendly. They are great.””

Randazzo said she has never felt that being outside of the Unity slate was a disadvantage at A.S. Council meetings.

Jargon used by more seasoned A.S. Council members was sometimes confusing at first, Randazzo said.

“”They used a lot of acronyms — for example, SAAC — and I didn’t know all of them,”” she said. “”After two full meetings, I am now comfortable.””

Randazzo said she plans on working with other freshman senators to implement meetings for the freshman class to exchange ideas with its senators.

Revelle Freshman Senator Joachim Lyon attended his first Revelle College Council meeting Oct. 24, and his first A.S. Council meeting Oct. 25.

“”Both groups are really amazing,”” Lyon said. “”In my attempts to get involved, I joined a group of people more interesting, kind, passionate and intelligent than I could ever have hoped to meet.””

Lyon’s commitment to his position led him to leave UCSD crew so he could focus entirely on his senatorial duties.

Lyon was appointed in time to vote on the RCC resolution in response to this year’s first issue of The Koala. He voted in favor of the resolution, which passed. The content of The Koala warranted a response, he said, because Revelle students were offended.

“”We must be careful not to sacrifice free speech while defending the feelings of those seriously offended by the article,”” Lyon said. “”Thus, the resolution essentially promoted free speech while hoping that in the future The Koala uses good judgment based on community-building in [its] own way.””

Muir College Council appointed Melanie Cohn to the position of freshman senator.

Cohn said she is interested in starting a freshman newsletter to facilitate communication with students.

She admits she is still adjusting to the idiosyncrasies of the A.S. Council.

“”I feel a little confused, but the other senators, especially those from Muir, have been really helpful in helping me understand what’s going on,”” she said.

Thurgood Marshall College’s freshman senator is Brian Israel.

Israel said he is currently working with the TMC dean’s office to establish a system of e-mail updates to which Marshall freshmen may subscribe — this in the hopes of keeping students informed.

Israel said he is also supportive of the idea of holding meetings to “”ensure the entire freshman class is kept abreast of what is happening at UCSD and that [it has] a voice in these happenings.””

Israel said he does not think being one of eight non-Unity members of the current A.S. Council will have any negative repercussions.

“”So far, working with the senate and [the] A.S. [Council] in general has been a wonderful experience,”” he said.

Eleanor Roosevelt College’s new freshman senator is Harish Nandagopal. ERC interviews all the candidates and essentially evaluates all those candidates holistically based on their different attributes, said ERC Senate Chair David Goodwin.

“”[We look for] someone who will analytically present [its] ideas to the A.S. Council and represent ERC well,”” Goodwin said.

Nandagopal said he is concerned by the fact that so many members of this year’s freshman class at ERC are so spread out, with students living in the residence halls, in the Pepper Canyon apartments, in Revelle College and off campus. He said he hopes to work toward solidarity within this geographically divided community.

Nandagopal said he does not foresee many problems in the future because of being appointed rather than elected like the rest of the A.S. Council, although he said he feels certain that there may be times when he will not totally agree with A.S. Council proposals.

“”I’m sure I’ll disagree with them on certain issues, but I won’t cower to disagreements,”” he said. “”I will represent the students at ERC to the best of my ability.””

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