Council Continues AVP Debate, Finally Closes Grove

As the clock struck 6 p.m. and the chairs around me creaked with the late arrival of councilmembers, my first foray in the world of A.S. Council officially began.

The meeting began with an emotional public input period. The incoming Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan Chair, Mar Velez, urged the council to side with MEChA and take a stand against the controversial Arizona immigration bill by passing a resolution that condemns the Arizona legislature.

Following last week’s associate vice president appointment drama — where the council tabled or voted down every candidate fledgling A.S. President Wafa Ben Hassine nominated for AVP positions — former AVP of College Affairs James Lintern offered his advice as to the most responsible way to decide on AVP candidates.

The resolution on the Arizona bill returned to the forefront of council, with repeated objections voiced by former AVP Academic Affairs Jordan Taylor regarding the wording of the resolution and its relevance to UCSD students.

Campuswide Senator Victor Flores countered Taylor’s arguments and said the resolution was pertinent to all students. He pointed out that any student at UCSD who would visit Arizona — Grand Canyon roadtrip, anyone? — could be stopped by police if any suspicion over his or her legal status arose. After a lengthy discussion, the council ultimately passed the resolution condemning the bill.

Finally, the familiar debate over the Grove Cafe arose for the last time in its tumultuous, 24-year history. In a move parallel to last year’s similar debate, members spent about an hour debating the relative merits of the eatery and whether it was the council’s responsibility to keep the space open despite its thrice-failed business plan and growing debt.

AVP of Enterprise Operations Brian McEuen and Vice President of Finance and Resources Andrew Ang — who jointly sponsored the legislation to close the Grove — both argued that the Grove would not cover from its nearly $180,000 debt and that closing the business would cut the council’s losses.

The council only paused for a brief respite in their discussion of the Grove to charge a committee to find other business options to replace the area.

Ultimately, in a decision opposite that from last year, councilmembers decided that keeping the Grove was not fiscally responsible and voted 17-2 to close the business by June 30.

Council then moved on to New Business, where it passed a resolution in support of the Iranian Non-Violent Student Movement for Democratic Reform, which affirmed the council’s support of the Iranian Green Movement fighting for human rights.

As I packed my bags, I made a mental note to bring snacks to the next meeting — especially when food enterprises are up for discussion.

So stay classy, avid A.S. Council followers — I’ll see you in the fall.

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