Council Looks Overseas to Haiti, Intl. Studies Curriculum

In light of the massive 7.0-magnitude earthquake that wreaked destruction on Haiti on Tuesday, the second A.S. Council meeting of the quarter revolved heavily around possible funding and relief efforts to support and aid Haiti in finding survivors and rebuilding their country.

Kenny Pettersen, a student who feels passionately about Haiti and has traveled there seven times, addressed the council in hopes they would allocate $5,000 to nonprofit organization Partners in Health to help fund relief efforts.

After nearly an hour of debate, the council decided the standing rules would not allow them to allocate $5,000 to an outside organization.

President Utsav Gupta reminded councilmembers to spread the word about the A.S. Council survey, in the hopes that it would help make the UCSD football team more than a farfetched dream.

Parminder Sandhu introduced himself as the new A.S. Advocate General, and addressed the growing issue of councilmember absences.

“I’m working on impeachment,” Sandhu said, though his facetious tone belied any real threat.

Social Sciences Senator Irfan Ahmed briefed the council on a plan to reduce the international-studies major tracks. Ahmed said the plan would solidify major and minor requirements, but marginalize much-needed diversity within the major. A career-services fair for social-science majors is also in the works.

A confrontation at last Friday’s New Boyz concert — in which a friend of an A.S. councilmember who was promised entrance was denied when the concert reached capacity — proved to be a source of stress for AVP Concerts and Events Alex Bramwell.

“Some were guaranteed by A.S. councilmembers that they would get into the [sold-out] event, but this reflects badly on council and makes my job miserable for the night,” Bramwell said.

VP Student Life Riscie Hernandez updated councilmembers on the services offered by the Office of Student Wellness. She announced that the previously vacant space between Price Center Theater and Jamba Juice finally has a new occupant: the new student wellness center.

It will be used as a small space for meetings, programming, yoga and meditation, set to open Spring Quarter 2010, she said.

Muir senators Ryan O’Rear and Lynne Swerhone talked about their first Muirworld radio show on KSDT last Tuesday. A total of nine people tuned in — a number that elicited cheers from councilmembers. They discussed adding a “Konstituent Korner” segment for next week’s show, during which students can call in and ask questions about Muir College or A.S. Council. The senators thought the ‘K’s gave the idea an extra edge.

As the meeting drew to a close, Campuswide Senator Bryant Pena voiced his frustrations with both the standing rules and councilmembers’ reluctance to act outside them.

“We tend to shut off ideas that have great potential…it is our A.S. and our university,” Pena said. “We represent the students. If we need to amend the rules to do whatever it is, then let’s make it happen.”