4/15 A.S. Council

4/15 A.S. Council

Today’s meeting kicked off with a bang, or more specifically a series of bangs. Several members of the UCSD Guardian’s editorial staff approached the podium during public input to address and call upon A.S. Council to abandon a resolution which sought to derecognize the Guardian as UCSD’s official on-campus newspaper until it acquired a staff advisor. Former councilman Colin King, who proposed the resolution after the Guardian published an opinion column that contained what he considered slander and inaccuracies, was not present at the meeting to respond.

Speeches from the Guardian ranged from “it was an opinion column, not a news article” to “the media is not meant to get along with the government” to “you should be ashamed for considering this resolution.” The team of editors concluded by stating that the passing of the resolution would have undoubtedly qualified not as a strengthening of checks and balances, but as an act of censorship.

The proverbial “banging” continued when another student brought up the fact that A.S. Council has ran out of funding for student organizations for the remainder of the year. He deemed these organizations the lifeline of student life at UCSD and called upon Council to release $60,000 from its reserves to continue to provide funding.

Transitioning to a completely different tone, next up was a lighthearted presentation about the annual Good Life Festival to be held on May 2, the night before Sun God Festival 2015, which aims to celebrate healthy living. The presenter listed about the activities, food and entertainment that would take place at the festival, including human foosball, lobster mac & cheese and line dancing.

In more official business, A.S. Vice President of Finance and Resources Igor Geyn informed the council that, due to the correction of a clerical error, he discovered an additional $80,000 in their budget.

So returning to the topic of student organization funding, A.S. President Robby Boparai opined that some of the $80,000 should go towards funding student organizations, but not all of it. He stated that, despite the additional funds, the Council, like previous ones, is going to end up over-budgeting and contributing negatively to its reserves.

A.S. Vice President External Allyson Osorio agreed that though student organizations do crucial work for the campus, A.S. Council is in debt. She called upon the Council to be the one that escapes from its poor spending habits. She also remarked that she is glad that she and Boparai see eye-to-eye on an issue once before terming out.

UCAB Chair Claire Maniti brought up the fact that students will be angry at A.S. Council for being willing to fund their own events but not student organizations. She stressed that the Council needs to communicate with the student body and provide the context for their decisions.

Boparai and Osorio also spoke briefly about the Guardian issue, echoing sentiments that A.S. Council should not regulate the media; they would like to reach a collective solution with the Guardian and establish a stronger channel for communication and fact-checking.

For the meeting’s finale, as well as his own, Campuswide Senator Joey Giltner walked to the front of the room to gain full view of the Council and delivered a heartfelt speech chronicling his time serving it. On the brink of tears, Giltner praised all of his experiences with the Council — both positive and negative — and thanked his most trusted confidants for their support.

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