Financial Woes Take Precedence Once More at Council Meeting

    Last night, the A.S. Council was graced with the presence of Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Penny Rue, who opened the meeting with a special presentation and welcomed questions from councilmembers. She came before the council to discuss the concerns of the Student Affairs office and to ask for the council’s help in planning for UCSD’s 50th anniversary.

    Rue was greeted with a plethora of questions from councilmembers regarding everything from the Loft to the RIMAC Annex to the free-speech policy.

    “One of the benefits and detriments to being part of a 10-campus system is that problems of other campuses get promulgated to all campuses,” Rue said of the recently implemented systemwide free-speech policy. “That solution given was for a problem that didn’t exist on this campus.”

    Revelle College Chair James Lintern asked Rue about what she perceived as the biggest improvement in unifying the campus community since her arrival.

    “I’m a huge fan of the Triton statue,” Rue said. “It’s a small thing, but it’s visual. A lot of building community has to do with symbols.”

    In addition, when grilled about her stance on the impending fee referendum, she declared her support for the idea, though she felt that the language was too binding for future leaders to work with.

    During oral reports Associate Vice President of External Affairs Lisa Chen announced the final results of the CalPIRG and Associated Students voter registration drive. The numbers were greeted with a drum-roll and applause.

    “The final number is 3,936 new registered voters,” Chen said. “All the UCs together have 40,000 new registered voters, and we are fourth in the nation for registered voters.”

    After Rue’s departure, Associate Vice President of Programming Garrett Berg requested that the council allow a special presentation regarding the perilous financial situation of this year’s Sun God Festival. He proposed to move $80,000 from A.S.-mandated reserves to fill the gaping black hole of funds for the festival.

    “Even if the referendum passes, we do not have enough money for Sun God this year,” Berg said.

    Discussion of the council’s tired, unfinished business of the referendum trailed the two presentations. The issue of the Loft, its need for programming funds and whether it should be included in the proposed activity fee referendum sparked substantial debate.

    “If [the University Events Office] needs the money, they can make their own referendum,” Associate Vice President of Student Advocacy Frank Carroll said. “Does the Loft need the money? Apparently not because Penny Rue came in and said it will survive; student orgs may not.”

    The discussion was truncated by the council’s discovery that the Social and Environmental Sustainability Committee’s proposed referendum addendum could not be voted on because no charter was ever conceived for the organization.

    Since the proposal has been requested to be tacked onto the A.S. referendum, neither one could be voted on and were begrudgingly tabled for yet another week.

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