A.S. must exercise caution in lobbying

    UCSD¹s own A.S. Council is very much in the same boat, having spent long nights over the past year preparing to fight Prop. 54.

    The A.S. Council recently received word from university authorities that it cannot spend money on the campaign, and student activists who have been expecting reimbursements from the council for personal monies spent are now left out to dry.

    Student governments must be allowed to advocate on behalf of students ‹ if they cannot, what do they exist for? For this to happen, UC administrators must clarify policy guidelines to avoid these situations in the future.

    Although it¹s quite neglectful of UC policymakers to drag their feet when updating policy, the blame doesn¹t rest entirely on UC authorities.

    The A.S. Council should have been more aware of the consequences of political lobbying.

    So far, ASUCSD has done a good job of responding quickly to the legal crisis. A.S. Vice President External Harish Nandagopal has reorganized the campaign to ensure no student fees will be spent and has handed much of the financial responsibility to Youth Vote. He has also set up a system by which students can get pro-rated refunds for political advocacy with which they disagree.

    However, the fact remains that activist students, expecting reimbursements for monies spent, will not get their money back. The A.S. Council should have been more careful in planning the campaign. Any time the council considers spending money on a controversial political effort, it must take all possible measures to ensure that the money is spent legally. In the future, ASUCSD should pay closer attention to UC policy when deciding how to fight initiatives.

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