Council Discusses Finance, Transportation, and Donuts

Council seemed extra upbeat today, which was interesting because I was extra tired. I don’t want to make any supernatural conclusions yet, but there is a definite correlation.

I was also warned by UCAB chair Sammy Chang, who took a seat next to me, that I was in for a long meeting; unfortunately, he did not disappoint.

The meeting began with public input that lasted for a solid hour, consisting almost entirely of concerns regarding appointments within the Office of External Affairs.

Multiple speakers pointed directly to VP External Affairs Vanessa Garcia, questioning decisions made in hiring the new legislative advisor — UC Student Association President Raquel Morales — and the two new Campus Organizing Directors.

Former Social Sciences Senator Emma Berdugo was especially angered at Garcia, coming prepared with over three pages of double-spaced allegations and concerns.

“I’m really disappointed in the EVP’s position,” Berdugo said.

Public Input also included short presentations by SOVAC, which urged council to participate in voter outreach, the Swipes for the Homeless Program and a committee on the behalf of UCSD service workers.

Council then moved on to special presentations — four, to be exact — courtesy of Matthew Mayeda, Teach for America, Sammy Chang and former VP Finance Bryan Cassella.

Matthew “The Wise” Mayeda was the first to present, giving sage advice to A.S. Council, asking councilmembers to cherish their journey and create real change. Following his speech was a presentation by Teach for America, complete with a video montage of cute children.

I don’t think I’ve ever been so touched during a council meeting.

However, I didn’t appreciate the fact that I couldn’t partake in the free sunglasses that were handed out by the Teach for America folks.

The same thing happened when Cassella brought doughnuts.

Twice in a row? Come on.

Just when I thought council was wrapping up, Sammy Chang came up to present on the history of A.S. Council since 1961.

Like, the complete history. I saw minds melting — perhaps out of awe and perhaps out of boredom.

In addition, after tonight, I think Sammy may be inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records for the most use of the words “percent,” “finance” and “committee.”

Former A.S. President Meggie Le went next to speak about transitions regarding transportation, the eternal hot-button issue.

According to Le, UCSD is the only UC campus that does not pay anything toward transportation, whatsoever.

Of course, that is slated to change due to Transportations Services’ enormous deficit.

“TPS has been in the red for years,” Le said. “Expenditures have increased; revenue has stayed the same.”

Le also said that TPS may make changes during the summer — without the disturbance of student input — and introduce the new policies in September.

That’s a little scary, I have to admit.