Engineers Cry Foul as Council Discusses Sleepover Protest

With the cancellation of next week’s council meeting due to Veteran’s Day, A.S. councilmembers debated for an excessively lengthy amount of time regarding an allocation of funds for various access and affordability initiatives.

The meeting started off on a rocky note as Stephan Kemper, President of Triton Engineering Student Council, protested the treatment of his engineering constituents during public input. The issue was regarding a former engineering senator who traveled to India, and the fact that the council did not appoint anyone to fill that position until past the standard 15 standing academic days.

“The lethargy of the president has led to this council meeting six times without hearing the voice from the engineering community,” Kemper said. “This is a specific act of injustice…I’m appalled that students are not represented.”

During his report, President Utsav Gupta responded indirectly to the accusations made by Kemper.

“I don’t think there was anything wrong with the process; we’re looking at academic division councils in general in the standing rules,” Gupta said.

After some debate over whether or not the appointment bills of the new senators should be considered separately or as a whole, the council voted to close the meeting. After about five minutes, all who were not members of the council were allowed to return to the meeting. Councilmembers voted to appoint new transfer senator Adam Powers and freshmen senators Kevin Hoang, Thao Pham and Mariah Valentine.

As a council project, several councilmembers, including Gupta, worked towards creating a UCSD Sleep-In Protest the night before the Nov. 17-19 UC Regents meeting at UCLA.

“I think they strategically made it at 7 a.m. so that students wouldn’t want to go to UCLA that early,” campuswide senator Wafa Ben Hassine said.

Committee members stated their main goal: to gather an anticipated 200 students to flood the regents’ public comment period with personal testimonials.

Gupta made a motion to move the allocation of funds for the sleep-in protest to new business, since next Wed.’s meeting is cancelled.

Councilmembers went off on tangent after tangent, bringing up rather irrelevant issues such as the funding of food, to the original motion, which was to move the order to new business.

They questioned the validity of breaking solidarity with UCLA, as UCLA already planned transportation and housing for the night. Some councilmembers didn’t feel comfortable funding over $2,000 for food for the sleep-in protest.

Campuswide senator Adam Kenworthy summed up the debate succinctly.

“We are splitting the council by deciding where the money is going to go,” Kenworthy said. “This is stupid, guys…I don’t want to sit around and decide how this event is going to be planned out when its two weeks away. We need to decide how much money we need to allocate now.”

After another half hour of discussion, $6,000 was allocated for the event.