Ben Hassine Not Impeached, Council Preps for Divestment

This week’s council meeting started off much louder than usual; public seating was nearly full (with two seats taken by myself, my laptop and the Panda Express I didn’t have time to eat).

Public input began with announcements from a representative from the Community Law Project and John Condello of the Committee on Non-Affiliate Speech, who was respectfully asked to use gender neutral language by Campuswide Senator Elizabeth Elman.

Associate Vice President of Enterprise Operations Brian McEuen’s project “Triton Outfitters Mobile” will be selling Sun God merchandise on Library Walk through Week Seven.

Social Sciences Senator Rena Zuabi and Fred Qafiti of Students for Justice in Palestine gave a special presentation prefacing a resolution that is planned to be on next week’s Orders of Business. The resolution requests UCSD’s divestment from companies such as General Electric that they feel are “non-neutral.” The presentation attracted a crowd of approximately 30 spectators and supporters, some of whom took seats on the ground.

Council went into closed session to discuss the impeachment of President Wafa Ben Hassine. Although Ben Hassine was able to secure her position, council remained in closed session for over two hours, which gave me the time to chat up California Review Editor in Chief Alec Weisman. (My Red Bull was wearing off at this point. Ben Hassine left the meeting right after closed session with flowers in hand.)

Upon returning to public session, council did what it does best: members argued particular diction in several resolutions, amendments etc.

As the meeting hit the fourth hour, council continued to debate the word choice of single clauses and the meaning of “principles of community.”

The ever present Israeli-Palestinian elephant in the room was reexamined when Campus-wide Senators Anish Bhayani and Elizabeth Elman discussed issues of “alienation” and their opposing opinions on council’s involvement in worldly issues.

AVP of Student Organizations Carli Thomas asked council to read and ponder the “principles of community” when making council related decisions.

Council finally entered into the New Business portion of the meeting when the two-digit time slot hit around 10:15 p.m.

Muir College Senator Lynne Swerhone encouraged councilmembers to speak up in session, which she does not shy away from due to what she calls her “gigantic testicles.”

Transfer Senator Samer Naji read a message from Muir College Senator Ryan O’Rear, who had to leave early, in which O’Rear suggested that Council “read the fucking order of business.”

Elman left the meeting in tears, praising Zuabi for her efforts to create a resolution to divest non-neutral funds and expressed her sentiments for those staying on council, reminding them that they are the future.

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