2/25 A.S. Council

2/25 A.S. Council

Today’s meeting began with public input from Andrew Huang, our awesome Managing Editor, who informed Council of the role that the A.S. Judicial Board plays. Next, Sixth College Student Council brought an ice breaker pillow for A.S. Council.

Then onto Oral Reports by members. Newly promoted Elections Manager Ryan Huyler reminded Council of upcoming deadlines and meeting times and LGBT Alliance Chair Colin King brought up legislation that he intends to bring to Council floor.

King also made a motion to have the interim Advocate General and Speaker removed from the discussion because of an alleged bias. A.S. Council then moved to a closed session.

After reports of members concluded, Council moved to question time where the A.S. Advisor asked Council what questions they might have for Vice Chancellor Student Affairs Juan Gonzalez who will be visiting Council soon.

This was followed by a special presentation from A.S. Concerts and Events Director Seraphin Raya.

Raya discussed ASCE’s history, including the beginning of Sun God Festivals and Bear Garden on campus. He also stated that more access to security officers on a Sunday will hopefully translate to better security overall, since last year there were problems.

Furthermore, he believed the changes with rides and other activities may make the atmosphere of Sun God 2015 be like a “mini Coachella.” Also, students will be able to enter the festival using their UCSD IDs; wristbands will no longer be used for cost-saving purposes. Furthermore, Raya stated that, regardless of health and safety, the festival needs to be shortened to save costs.

Since SGF 2015 is shorter, there won’t be as big of a need for re-entry. He also discussed that there’s been a myth going around that EDM will be cancelled. However, ASCE is not getting rid of EDM, though they’re being mindful of artists who promote crazy party, go-hard atmosphere. In addition, they’re trying to implement Triton Cash vendors or food trucks, maybe with Dining Dollars.

There might also be bungee jumpers, human cannonballs and pipelines — ideas thrown around with Rockstar, which is sponsoring the festival. Then, Council discussed other possible ways to get more funding.

Next there was a special presentation by VP of Finance and Resources Igor Geyn and President Boparai about a potential referendum and why a fee increase is needed.

They pointed out that A.S. Council has implemented a lot of new programs and how, over the past five years, reserves have decreased significantly. A couple new programs including TEDI and the Office of Environmental Justice Affairs. Over the years, Council has had to borrow lots of money and had a significant increase in expenditures. They also highlighted past fee increases and how student organizations have been requesting more money but there hasn’t been enough to fund them. Basically, we have a lot more going on now so we need more money.

A line will be included in the potential referendum that will prevent fees from increasing for a certain number of years. UCSD currently has the fourth lowest campus activity fee at approximately 40 percent of the UC Santa Cruz fee — the highest in the UC system. A.S. also owns buildings at Berkeley so vendors pay rent, which is why UC Berkeley has the lowest fee. At a $14.50 increase, we would still be less than a couple of other UCs.

The referendum would cover the increased costs for Sun God Festivals, the Office of External Affairs, Student Organization Funding and the Food Pantry.

Warren Senator Jesslyn Myers asked about how the fee would be advertised. Boparai responded by saying that the fee would cover what students care about and “the Guardian writes about.” Advertising will be focused on “well, do you want SGF to happen again?” Geyn thought if Council is behind it, they’ll be able to sell it.

Boparai stated that part of the fee advertising would include finding a creative way to explain to students what the Office of External Affairs does. Every year before 2015, External has felt the effects of inflation the most because of rising transportation costs. Geyn iterated that the External budget will needed to be funded adequately and that possibly including  constitutional lock-ins.

Also, there was a discussion on continuing to further develop and expand A.S. Enterprises. Boparai later discussed how the only fiscally responsible thing to do is a referendum because of the debt; “do students want certain things to continue existing?”

And after that presentation I had to leave. I wanted to stay for legislative committee and the divestment resolution but I really needed to start writing that one paper I put off.

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