Constitutional Ambiguities Open Time Warp to Days When Colleges Dueled

    Last night’s council meeting began with a healthy dose of
    social awareness but later gave way to an hour-long debate about the
    appropriateness of using A.S. Council funds for college-specific matters.

    A presentation by members from the Student Affirmative
    Action Committee alleged that UC management is not negotiating fairly with
    representatives from the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal
    Employees, which represents more than 20,000 service and patient care workers
    throughout the university system.

    The speakers stressed the long hours and low wages that
    AFSCME service workers endure at UCSD, saying that UC negotiators made student
    observers wait for three hours before ultimately refusing to begin talks with
    AFSCME while students were present.

    After the presentation, the council approved a resolution
    expressing support of the 2007-08 contract campaign.

    Next up was a resolution criticizing the county’s response
    to last month’s wildfires. It was motivated in part by the plight of a family
    of undocumented immigrants that was detained, and later deported, after being
    accused of stealing supplies from the evacuation center at Qualcomm Stadium.

    The resolution advocated the suspension of immigration
    enforcement during crisis relief and the dissemination of emergency information
    in multiple languages.

    The council approved the resolution and was met with rounds
    of applause from the audience.

    Later in the meeting, Earl Warren College Senator Peter Benesch
    took the floor to school the council on UCSD’s impending parking crunch.

    “Over the next five years, there’s going to be a steady
    decrease in the number of parking spots [for undergraduates], but the
    university is growing,” he said. “It’s going to get bad.”

    In exploring ways to alleviate the parking problem, the
    council considered increasing bus services, promoting bicycling and carpooling
    and restricting freshman parking.

    The night’s most contentious event, however, originated with
    a $63 funding bill sponsored by Sixth College Senator John Cressey, who
    requested the funds for Sixth College pride buttons.

    Though financially insignificant on its own, the bill came
    to symbolize an unresolved question from last year’s A.S. constitution
    overhaul.

    The bill’s most vocal opponents, A.S. President Marco
    Murillo and Vice President of Student Life Donna Bean, argued that the limited
    budget and council’s campuswide scope essentially deferred funding of
    college-specific matters to individual college councils.

    However, Thurgood Marshall College Senator Kyle Samia
    supported Cressey: “The college experience is irrevocably linked to the
    university experience … I’m really disappointed in some of the officers for
    excising the colleges.”

    The funding measure passed with applause, but Samia observed
    that the cause of the dispute remained unresolved.

    “Bring your soapboxes next week because it’s going to get
    settled,” Samia said.

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