New SOVAC Head Named, Council Revamps Bylaws

Kyle Heiskala began last night’s Council meeting with the same joke as last week.

“This week I am here as the SOVAC director; I’ve got my SOVAC hat on, if you hadn’t noticed,” Heiskala said. Unlike last week, however, he had an actual cap on.
He introduced his successor as executive director of SOVAC, Avril Prakash.

“I really want to strengthen the relationship between SOVAC and A.S.,” Prakash said. “I see a lot of great opportunities for voter registration, voter education and empowering students.”

AVP College Affairs Meena Kaushik then made a presentation explaining her office and changes she would like to see. Unsurprisingly, she expressed the need to expand her office and increase revenue by referenda. She also presented ideas for “instilling a sense of pride and spirit,” including class councils.

“It will allow us to create new traditions that are class-specific, like senior prank and senior ditch day,” Kaushik said. “It will address a lot of issues that unify a class.”

She also suggested that, at events like Spirit Night, classes compete the way that colleges currently compete, like at high school rallies. Although her ideas suggest a strong desire to go back to high school, her next point did accurately illuminate the current dreary state of campus pride:

“The thing with Spirit Night is everyone remembers which college won, not whether UCSD even won the basketball game.”

Her ideas were inspired by student governments at other schools with college systems, including Rice, Yale and UC Santa Cruz.

“Fun fact: three of the colleges at UCSC are called College 8, College 9 and College 10,” Kaushik said. “So Sixth College, you guys have some homies over there.”

Later, President Andy Buselt admitted that he expected Kaushik to present actual language for how a new College Affairs office would be structured. He asked for volunteers interested in constructing and writing the language for a new office, to no avail. Sorry Bylaws Committee; looks like this one’s on you.

Next, debate ensued over new bylaws and whether academic senators should be elected or appointed. The argument for appointing the position is that an election could essentially turn into a popularity contest.

“I take issue with the point that it’s a popularity contest, and it’s just about the best colors or the prettiest face,” Revelle Senator Soren Nelson said. “Because then what the fuck are we all doing here? That’s how we got here.”

After general counting confusion during voting — causing one vote to be carried out by each voter counting off aloud — the amendment failed. The positions will be elected by people from the majors within the division of each academic senator.

Before voting to pass the document as a whole, the amendment was made to ensure that academic senators do not run associated with any slate. The amendment passed 20-7-0.

Finally, Freshman Senator Rushil Patel announced that Freshman Council will be holding a Cub Garden, an under-21-friendly spin-off on Bear Gardens.
“We’re first years; we don’t drink at all,” Patel said. Ensue nervous chuckles.