2/18 A.S. Council: Che Cafe Resolution Passes

2/18 A.S. Council: Che Cafe Resolution Passes

Hello everyone! It’s been a few weeks since I’ve attended A.S. Council meetings but I am happy to be back! Tonight I was joined by the UCSD Guardian’s sports editorial assistant and opinion columnist Marcus Thuillier, who attended because he was interested in learning more about how A.S. Council works. Anyways, a lot has happened since the last time we hung out so I thought I’d come by and see how everyone was doing.

AVP Bijan Mehyar started the meeting in his new position as speaker and advocate general; he said that he would try to be as efficient as possible and follow all the rules. He also described the new motion approval procedures, which included securing a three-fifths threshold to open a motion to debate unless it is financial, which will require a simple majority vote.

Among the members of the public who spoke were several undergraduate students that iterated their support of the Che Cafe. They discussed how the Che Cafe welcomed them and allowed them to use the space for a variety of campus organizations without the red tape required to reserve other spots on campus. Furthermore, it was emphasized that the space is an enriching, fun and vivacious space that is unlike any other on campus. One of the students, Raquel, told us about how the Che has really good coffee. I know where I’m going before next week’s Council meeting.

One of the alumni who spoke mentioned that Council members visited the Che Cafe earlier today. She also pointed out that it is encouraging to see the efforts Council has been making in regards to this issue. Furthermore, she discussed how she was in a building earlier today that did not have fire sprinklers — interesting, considering one the points of contention regarding the Che Cafe was the dispute over the cost of adding fire sprinklers to meet the fire code.

An undergraduate transfer student, Ricky, sympathized with Council for not exactly being happy with the Che Cafe. He also criticized the Che Cafe for not putting its name out there enough. Pretty awesome speech; it was clear that everyone was intrigued.

After a 15-minute dinner break, Council moved to discuss the Che Cafe Resolution. There was a motion by VP External Affairs Osorio to table the motion one week to include information from new documents Council received during the Che tour earlier. The motion failed by a roll call vote of 7–15–5.

VP EJA Sierra Donaldson proposed a few language changes and Warren Senator Myers also proposed a couple of amendments encouraging the pursuit of a new Master Space Agreement that addressed safety issues. To her understanding, there is no way that affiliates of the Che could physically make repairs to the facility. Co-op representative Mann stated that including the possibility of an MSA could be very favorable for the Che.

UCAB Chair Claire Maniti said the amendments could be included but the wording on how a new MSA would be written should be carefully thought out; the C4 committee — or Che Collective Campus Integration Committee, formed to help get student support for the Che Cafe — should not be responsible for creating a new MSA, in Maniti’s opinion.The amendments passed 11–6–6.

Mann then proposed to strike the part of the document concerning safety because the Che Cafe ostensibly abides by fire codes. AVP Local Affairs Daniel Firoozi pointed out that the safety requirements were grandfathered in but that does not make the building any more safe. However, ACCB President Ryan Perez expressed that he’s walked through the building and that it is safe based on the walkthrough — it is legally safe.

President Boparai yielded time to the GSA committee member Don Johnson to speak and provide context to the joint resolution. He essentially discussed the purpose of the resolution, which is to make the Che more student-centered and to make the collective strong. Furthermore, he said that he had been communicating with members of the Che throughout the development of the resolution. He also stated that the GSA has deferred pertinent issues, such as child care for graduate students and mental health care for graduates and undergraduates, to focus on the Che Cafe Resolution.

Mann’s motion failed, and we returned back to the document as a whole, which passed by a vote of 18–5–3.

After the vote, Council moved to special presentations. The first one was by Social Sciences Senator Kim Hong, who announced that two new majors will be added to the social science department. The first is an economics/business major which the department will work on over the summer. The major, according to Hong, will hopefully have a soft opening during Winter or Spring quarter 2016 and eventually officially open Fall 2016. The other major that was added was the joint Political Science/Pre-Law major. Both are expected to officially open within the next couple of years.

Also, there will be changes to the practicum course. The number of units may increase from six units to eight or nine units. However, the downside of this change is that because practicum classes are a lot smaller, they require a lot of funding, which means there is a chance that the number of actual courses offered will decrease. There is also a proposal to develop a social science design lab where students can perform hands-on experiments.

Before the second presentation, Council reordered to vote on the approval of the new engineering senator. There was an objection so Council moved to closed session.

Next there was a special presentation about political structures by President Boparai and AVP Firoozi. Apparently, other UCs have very short meetings and significantly fewer non-voting members; the majority of our council members are non-voting. Most of the UCs also do not have as many non-voting members voicing their opinions. This was followed by a discussion about the efficiency of our structure.

After reports of external news, Council entered a moderated caucus to discuss a possible referendum: an activity fee increase for more programming because A.S. Council has expanded and the sundry offices need adequate funding.

Following member reports, question time, finance committee, legislative committee and open forum, A.S. Council adjourned at 11:46 p.m.

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