Council Considers New Election Methods, Fee Hikes

Last night’s meeting began with a cash-strapped A.S. Council approving a temporary freeze on pulling money from its mandate reserves.

The freeze will prevent the council from tapping into the reserve funds, as they have been doing this quarter.

For example, on Oct. 27 they pulled $32,153 from mandate reserves to fund Triton Television.
A.S. President Wafa Ben Hassine said a large portion of the reserves was used to pay off debt from the Grove Café, a student-run business council shut down last year.

“We’ve been pulling from our mandate reserves too much,” Ben Hassine said. “We have been exceeding our real bandwidth, so to speak.”

Official business was unusually light, and the floor was quickly opened up for special presentations.

Associate Vice President of Student Advocacy Arohi Sharma gave a presentation about how the office helps students who have run afoul of academic integrity rules. Sharma worked the room with all the energy of infomercial saleswoman, skipping across the Forum to hand out prizes to councilmembers who answered her quiz correctly. She used a scene from the short film “Busted: A Citizen’s Guide to Surviving Police Encounters” to address the need for students to know their rights. Busted is a dime-budget educational movie complete with aggressive police, a reckless stoner and an innocent girl caught in the middle.
Sharma’s tone turned serious when she addressed the council about the revised Student Code of Conduct.

“I would deeply, deeply encourage all of you to seriously read the new code that’s being proposed because it is scary,” Sharma said. “It’s scary in terms that it is very over-broad, very vague, very ambiguous.”
Warren College Senator Mac Zilber asked the council to rethink the election process for senators.

“A lot of [our electoral processes], from the perspective of somebody who studies electoral structure, are incredibly janky,” Zilber said.

He explained that the elections use a model called At-Large Plurality. In this model, eight votes for senator must be used on eight different people. Zilber proposed a system of cumulative voting, where all eight votes could be used on any candidate. If the voters wanted, they could use all eight votes for one candidate, or split them however they choose. He also recommended randomizing the name order of candidates on each ballot.
The meeting closed with Vice President of External Affairs Michael Lam showing a video of students protesting in the United Kingdom. Crowds of students pushed against British police officers as a few rocks and bottles sailed through the air.

Once the lights went up, Associate Vice President of Local Affairs Matthew Vu announced that student fees had tripled. The presentation was a rebuke to UC President Mark Yudof’s proposed 8-percent fee increase.
“Students have the power when we come together,” Lam said.

Vu ended the meeting by announcing a fee increase protest at the Chancellor’s Complex on Nov. 18.

Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$2505
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$2505
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal