The number of students attending this week’s A.S. Council meeting greatly outnumbered A.S. councilmembers for the first time this year, as students came in droves to support the upcoming athletics fee referendum.
A.S. Commissioner of Athletics Kari Gohd put forth the referendum, which would increase students’ intercollegiate athletics fee by $78.04 per quarter to deal with the athletics department’s decade-long deficit and provide athletic scholarships to student-athletes.
Former A.S. presidential candidate and Earl Warren College alumnus Daniel Watts dashed to the podium just seconds after A.S. Vice President Internal Janine Dellomes opened the floor for public input, toting posters as gifts for councilmembers, including A.S. Vice President Finance Conrad Ohashi and A.S. President Harry Khanna, or, as Watts fondly dubbed him, “”Emperor Khanna.””
Eleanor Roosevelt College senior Joseph Gram challenged the council head-on, receiving a standing ovation from the surrounding crowd.
“”If you cared about your constituents, then you’d address the problems in the [Undergraduate Student Experience Survey] report,”” Gram said.
The council immediately moved to debate an amendment, supported by ERC Senior Senator Erik Rodriguez-Palacios, that would split the referendum into separate units: one to support the athletics department and the other for athletic scholarship provisions. The plan was a divisive motion for councilmembers and generated immediate dissent from the public.
“”By splitting it up, you’re buying into wishy-washy semi-support political decisions,”” Gram said.
In the end, the motion failed.
During the short-statured Ohashi’s address to the public, a councilmember suggested he stand, to which Ohashi responded, “”I am standing.””
After a 10-minute recess, John Muir College Senior Senator Matthew Bright announced that Muir Junior Senator Aida Kuzucan was impeached because of too many absences from college council meetings.
Kuzucan spoke up to ask for support of councilmembers in an appeal, but was interrupted by a point of order that Khanna confirmed. After a voice vote with few objections, Kuzucan was allowed to continue speaking.
Thurgood Marshall College Junior Senator Kyle Samia started asking Kuzucan a question, but was stopped by another point-of-order call.
As Khanna began to address the issue, Kuzucan stopped the debate herself.
Muir Sophomore Senator Meghan Clair reaffirmed the college council’s position.
“”Decisions were made by college council in college council closed session,”” Clair said. “”I don’t appreciate all this talk.””
Finally, after the marathon five-hour session, the meeting closed to an empty chamber.