10/29 A.S. Council

After tonight’s roll call, the A.S. Office of External Affairs introduced its new staff. This is the first time in a few years the office has a new staff, so that’s great! Welcome everyone!

The first social presentation of the night was by Ricky Martorana to talk about the past ASUCSD budget and All Campus Transfer Association budget statistics. Only 0.38 percent, which went down to 0.21 percent, of the overall A.S. budget was given to ACTA, which was disproportionate to the transfer population which is increasing.

Tonight’s main event, though, was an open-forum discussion on the fate of the Che Cafe.

AVP Environmental Justice Affairs Sierra Donaldson explained that the university can ultimately decide to not pursue eviction. A.S. Council’s proposed resolution would form an official committee to handle the dispute. A.S. President Robby Boparai then opened a speaker’s list.

A UCSD biophysics alumnus came to speak in support of the Che Cafe. According to him, what we have in the Co-ops is completely unique and that it truly teaches people how to work together. He claims to understand the university perspective since he is a professor but encourages students to temper the university nontheless.

Then, core Co-op member Rene Vera invited students to attend the “Know Your Rights” event at the Che Cafe this Friday to find out more about what’s happening with the collective. He pointed out that students had once triumphed over the administration when it wanted to turn the Original Student Center into a faculty lounge.

Josh Kenchel also spoke and passed around a document to hopefully clear misconceptions about the Che, while Lee also spoke and encouraged a student-led review on the situation and more student participation overall.

Campuswide senator Parthu Kalva spoke about his first visit to the Che and that the location is very significant to the organization. He understood why people are so passionate about the space and wants to not only preserve it, but make it untouchable. Several other students spoke, including Armand and Janine Webb, who talked about how important it was to maintain spaces that are controlled by students for history and cultural purpose.

Graduate Student Association President Jonathan Monk said the decertification meeting was not actually small, with most members in attendance. He also brought up a letter with notices to the Che Cafe about the meeting to decertify.

VP External Allyson Osorio said she would like the GSA, A.S. Council and the Che Cafe to work together to clarify what happened work into what’s really going on. She supported creating a committee to do just that and was mad that no one met with the University Centers Advisory Board this week.

Lee Erickson said he doesn’t think anyone from the Co-ops wrote the resolution. He believed the university had every right to evict the Che, but agreed that any factual decision should be made only after collaboration between the three organizations.

Next, ASUCSD MOVES director Kyle Heiskala argued that it was A.S. Council’s ultimate duty to figure out what students will do to that space. He believed that the campus’ revitalization comes off as removing history. Heiskala concurred that there needs to be a student group to decide what’s to be done with the space because every year, the university takes away these student spaces, often repeatedly. The resolution would allow our input and allow for serious considerations.

UCAB Chair Claire Maniti sharply criticized A.S. Council for failing to initiate the conversation to get more information about the numbers involved in the renovations. She added that the university really doesn’t care about resolutions passed by A.S. Council.

After several amendments in the language, the newly renamed “Resolution to an Ad-Hoc Committee of ASUCSD to Determine the Future of the Che Collective and the Che Facility” was passed by a vote of 18-9-0. However, it was tabled by AVP Enterprise Operations Austin Peters until next week for the legislative committee to look over. Gah.

Due to fears that the university would evict the Che at any time, collective representatives presented another resolution to request a hold on university action until the new committee could issue a report. Donaldson wanted to start the discussion right after the Know Your Rights event. She believed this is the right step in order to deter the lease termination; it would be clear the university does not want student input if they evict the Che even after this resolution is passed.

After all this drama, campuswide senator Joey Giltner brought about some happy news, specifically the termination of that delectable waffle station at Cafe V.

Finally, AVP Concerts and Events Seraphin Raya encouraged Council to reach out to him about the still-quiet Sun God Task Force.