Editorial Misunderstands Reasons for Council's Delay

Dear Editor,

I am writing this letter to address a few concerns and clarify a few issues brought up in the editorial: “Enough Excuses, Get Our Referendum Together,” published on Oct. 23.

The editorial gives a laundry list of reasons for postponing the vote, even going so far as to suggest the apathy of the A.S. Council. Quite the opposite — it is in fact’s the council’s invested interest in the referendum and its effects on the student body as a whole that has resulted in the carefully calculated and completely appropriate postponement.

To further clarify the delay, I will enumerate a few specific reasons.

1. The referendum must be approved by Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Penny Rue before it can be put to a student vote. UCSD is the only UC campus that requires this approval, as other UC campuses have committees with student majorities that specifically deal with referenda. Rue initially did not approve of the the referendum, which naturally resulted in necessary refinement and revision.

2. Doing its best to ensure the well-being of students, the council wanted to take measures such as visiting college councils and various student organizations to hold discussions about how the referendum would directly affect them. Gauging the response of the council and student organizations is not only vital to running a successful referendum, but it would be irresponsible to do otherwise.

3. With the addition of the Sustainability Resource Center to the referendum, the council did not comply with University of California Office of the President policy Section 82.00, as “the referendum process shall not be accessible to a Registered Campus Organization or any student group other than a student government.” The SRC was just presented to the council this quarter and time was needed for the council to assess whether or not the SRC should be included in the referendum (the decision was yes), find a place to put it in the A.S. infrastructure and draft up a charter.

To also address Daniel Watt’s letter, published Oct. 27, I would once again like to reiterate that there has not been an increase to the A.S. Campus Activity Fee since 1985. The previous increases that were referenced, especially noting the $7 last year that went directly to S.P.A.C.E.S, are not part of the A.S. operating budget.

One final clarification — the council now holds its meetings in the Price Center East Forum and not the Price Center Ballroom, as noted in “Lax Council Can’t Afford This Experiment.”

­­—Emily Chi
A.S. All-Campus Senator,
Director of Public Relations for the Office of the President