Porn, Special Election Take Spotlight at A.S. Meeting

    As most expected — and a few probably hoped — preparation for the special election that will take place in two weeks stood as the biggest item on the A.S. Council’s to-do list on Jan. 11. The election, which will decide whether or not to override the council’s decision to ban pornographic material from Student-Run Television, has been bitterly contested by both sides for months. This meeting featured the approval of the new special elections manager, who will oversee the election, and slight revisions of the A.S. election bylaws, though councilmembers voted down several additional bylaw changes.

    John Muir College junior Puneet Gupta was appointed as the special elections manager in an unanimous vote following a question-and-answer session that explored his qualifications, experience dealing with pressure and media scrutiny and Gupta’s likelihood to follow his predecessor, Muir alumnus Steve York, into the adult film industry. Also, the issue of neutrality came into play, with Gupta asserting that “I have no set opinion on the issue. I don’t intend to let bias interfere because there is no bias.”

    When asked by Muir College Council Chair Neil Spears why he wanted to be the special elections manager, Gupta responded, “I felt at the time that it was a serious issue that needed to be dealt with fairly.” Ultimately, the council agreed with Gupta’s qualifications and methods, approving his nomination by consensus with applause.

    The approval of the changes to the election bylaws proved to be a bit more difficult than submitter A.S. Vice President of Academic Affairs Harry Khanna appeared to anticipate.

    Although there was only one vote against the changes in internal committee, several senators proposed their own amendment to Khanna’s bill, stalling the process. Thurgood Marshall College Senior Senator Kate Pillon’s alterations to Khanna’s bill included creating an earlier deadline that would prohibit last-minute tinkering with election rules, to protect the A.S. Council from appearing “shady” in the eyes of the public.

    Pillon’s amendments were approved 17-2-2, in a discussion where the word “shady” was used at least six more times.

    One proposed, but rejected, amendment came from Sixth College Senior Senator Matt Corrales, who suggested the council change the description of the elections manager from “he or she” to “that person.”

    “I think it’s a shame our elections bylaws aren’t gender neutral,” Corrales said.

    When that comment was met with confused stares, Spears broke the silence.

    “I just don’t understand what you mean,” he said.

    “Some people don’t identify as either male or female,” Corrales responded.

    However, the change did not appear to be a priority of the council, which voted down the proposal 1-13-5, with Corrales the only vote in favor of approval.

    More to Discover
    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $200
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal

    Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    Donate to The UCSD Guardian
    $200
    $500
    Contributed
    Our Goal