Senators Votes to Approve Pay for 2010-11 Successors

This year’s outgoing A.S. councilmembers celebrated their last council meeting last night, tying all loose ends left over from earlier in the year.

For the second time in two weeks, a large public audience showed up at the meeting. To avoid crowding, the discussion was relocated to the Price Center East Ballroom.

For its first order of business, the council argued over whether it should allow constituents — who came to address council over the controversial divestment resolution — to speak during a public-input period. The line for the podium was long, and councilmembers who agreed that last week’s discussion was unproductive — namely, AVP Academic Affairs Jordan Taylor — argued that an unmoderated conversation wouldn’t go anywhere.

The council passed a motion to listen to every person in line, but after an hour and a half, it seemed that both Israel supporters and Students for Justice in Palestine representatives remained divided over the issue.

Senior Adam Teitelbaum pleaded for more cooperation between the two groups.

“I want to talk about improving the lives of all global citizens,” he said. “I am pro-Israel, I am also pro-Palestine, and I am pro-peace. Let’s open up the lines of communication — there is suffering on both sides.”

During her member report, President-elect Wafa Ben Hassine expressed discontent with the council’s deliberation over whether to accommodate all members of the public wishing to comment on the divestment resolution.

“If the public makes an effort to come out to meetings, then I’m willing to stay here all night to listen to them,” Ben Hassine said.

She might be the only one.

Members of the Da Real Punjabiz dance group asked council to give them $6,000 for traveling expenses to a May 8 competition.

Sound familiar? A few weeks back, the UCSD ZOR dance team asked for a similar amount for travel, and was acquiesced.

Vice President of Finance and Resources Peter Benesch scolded the council for setting an irresponsible fiscal precedent.

“Bad financial decisions costs you tens of thousands of dollars, but does get you reelected,” Benesch said.

The vote to fund the dance team’s latest travels passed 16-7-5.

Vice President of External Affairs Gracelynne West gave a number-heavy presentation on the 2010-11 UC Student Association budget. The proposal included adding a full-time media and communications director to staff and opening an office in Southern California..

In a rather lighthearted presentation, Advocate General Parminder Sandhu described the attendance of associate vice presidents in one word: atrocious. He submitted 11 impeachments this year, two of which were passed by the council.

Councilmembers also voted to establish a stipend for senators. Those in the position next year will receive $10 per week.

Campuswide senator Tobias Haglund presented his A.S. Store budget to council, and — after much debate — the council passed it.