2/4 A.S. Council

2/4 A.S. Council

Running (not literally because I literally cannot even run a mile right now) on four hours of sleep and no coffee made my first A.S. Council meeting an interesting one. The meeting tardily began at 6:07 p.m. and came with a warning: The meeting would be cancelled if there is hostility and disrespect among the council members. Wouldn’t that be exciting?

First up was Public Input, and it all pertained to the Che Cafe. Several alumni and current students mentioned that the Che Cafe’s vibrant history is a vital part to campus life and students’ experiences at UCSD. Many also emphasized that the Che is a safe space for students that is not as administratively organized as other places on campus and that these types of student spaces have great value for many students and even non-affiliates. Furthermore, many speakers voiced their disapproval of the way A.S. Council is handling (or not really) this issue: A.S. Council members represent the student body — and members are not administrators. And the interest of the student body should be at the heart of every decision the council makes. I hope you heard those testimonials, Council, because from the looks of it, you looked as bored as I am tired.

In a continuation of last week’s discussion, AVP Environmental Justice Affairs Sierra Donaldson noted that the Graduate Student Association’s VP of Diversity is interested in moving forward with the Resolution for Calling for Joint Recommendations from ASUCSD by having a “joint recommendation” between ASUCSD and the GSA. This goes along with the Council’s passing of a resolution for the university to refrain from taking immediate action regarding the Che Cafe so that A.S. Council and GSA could obtain an accurate idea of what the student body truly wants. AVP Enterprise Operations Austin Peters, however, commented that “it is a misunderstanding procedure to create a resolution calling for a resolution.” It passed with a 27–0–1 vote.

Next, Jeremy Snyder, the Triton Food Pantry student manager, presented on Food Security Initiatives at UCSD and the other UC schools. The Triton Food Pantry will be opening next Monday, and organizers of the food pantry have partnered with UCSD Housing, Dining and Hospitality; Swipes for the Homeless, Feeding America, among others. For now, food from the pantry will be purchased from an outside agency and will be available for UCSD students with their school ID. Other UC schools have stricter stipulations for obtaining items from the pantry. UC Merced, for example, requires users of the pantry to fill out extensive paperwork to prove that they have need for it. UCLA, on the other hand, uses the “honor system” and allows anyone to use it. Snyder remarked that he does not want to over-publicize the pantry because he does not want it to become a casual hangout spot. The long-term goal of the Triton Food Pantry is to “prevent the causes of food insecurity and not just fix one of the symptoms,” according to his presentation. He also hopes to get consistent funding in the future.

After that discussion, I was ready to put my feet up on the chair in front of me, and I did. Am I allowed to do that? Also, every time I saw someone take a drink from their bottle or cup, it looked like they were pretending to take a shot. Or maybe that was just my imagination. I’m really tired.

Next, President Boparai presented on “Transition Alignment with the Other UC Campuses.” Basically, he proposed to move the term start date for Council from Week 5 of Spring Quarter to Week 10, which is similar to the term start date for the other UC schools, with the exception of a couple of schools. Ultimately, this would create a longer transition period between the outgoing and incoming council members and would allow the new members to adjust to the swing of things. Also, a retreat involving the incoming members before their term starts will allow them to get used to working together. Campuswide Senator Brandon Kim mentioned that he liked the idea of having a mock meeting involving the new members. This would allow the newbies to understand the dynamics and organization of council meetings before their term starts.

This proposal would extend the current Council’s term by five weeks, and Donaldson noted that this might be a conflict of interest. Boparai said that this term can end Week 7, thus extending it only by two weeks and that the next council’s term could end Week 10, but he made it clear that it’s more important to iron out the kinks with this proposal and have a smoother transition than to focus on how many more weeks of a term this council would be getting.

VP External Affairs Allyson Osorio said that extending this council’s term by five weeks “might look crazy on a [UCSD] Guardian story.” Well, crazy is what we do best.

It passed 21-1-3.

Anyways, peace out, homies.

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