A.S. Council Brief: Increased Basic Needs Hub Funding, Sun God Festival Update

This edition of the UCSD A.S. Council Brief news update includes the Week 1 and Week 2 meetings.

Week 1

Associated Students held their first council meeting of Winter Quarter 2021 on Wednesday, Jan. 6, in which they heard public input from the 100% Clean Energy Climate Campaign. They also discussed a potential program by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs as well as a new Spring Quarter pre-med seminar. 

The meeting started with public comments  from the 100% Clean Energy Climate Campaign, a student non-profit with chapters at eight UC campuses as well as California State Universities. The Campaign asked for senators to collaborate with the campaign and said that they would like to work with A.S. to fulfill their main goal of increasing campus civic engagement. 

“Our ultimate goal is to see every eligible voter cast a vote, and we’re still a long way from that goal. In our effort to achieve this goal, we are working on the state and campus level to institutionalize voting,” one of the presenters said.

The senators then discussed a plan from the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs office to battle the increase in the COVID-19 positivity rate of on-campus students, involving more frequent student testing. 

A.S. President Kimberly Giangtran shared that the VCSA office and other UC San Diego administrators have decided to give additional funding to the Hub Basic Needs Center if more students get tested weekly.  

“If enough undergraduate students get tested every week, $50 a week will be given to the Hub for weekly testing compliance. So if everyone on campus gets tested every week there can be $500,000 given to the Basic Needs Hub,” Giangtran said.

During the reports of senator projects, Revelle Senator Andrew Shen shared that he has been working with senators Mihir Pandya, Isabella Yin, and Ella McClaren to create a seminar for pre-med and pre-health students that will focus on verbal communication. This seminar was approved under the biology department and will be available to enroll in Spring Quarter 2021. The senators are in the final steps of finalizing the curriculum for the seminar. 

Senators also approved item F1 in an executive session, which allocates a confidential amount from Mandate Reserves for Fourth Floor Upgrades, which includes the A.S offices.  

Week 2

On Wednesday, Jan. 14, Associated Students held their Week 2 Council Meeting, which included a special presentation from the Office of Students with Disabilities. The senators also discussed the virtual plans for Sun God Festival and Horizon Festival as well as acquiring food resources for international students. 

The meeting started with a special presentation from the Office for Student with Disabilities from its directors, Joanna Boval and Melissa Williams. They shared details about their current initiatives within OSD, including giving a presentation to the Board of Regents regarding disability services across the UC system. 

“We’re really trying to push for an inclusion that looks at universal design and access in all aspects of campus,” Williams said. “So that might be physical access, that might be electronic access. And certainly we have a lot of work to do across all campuses regarding additives towards individuals with disabilities, and so there really needs to be a push at much higher levels of leadership for these things to create change and to create lasting change.” 

Boval and Williams stated that they would like to emphasize that disabilities are also a form of diversity and should be included in UCSD’s measures of diversity. 

During the dedicated Reports of Senator Projects portion of the meeting, it was reported by the out-of-state Senator Abby Rollison that she will be working on a webinar with the CalFresh team at the Hub as well as with the International Students and Programs Office (ISPO) to gain food resources for international students at UCSD.

“For international students, CalFresh does not apply, and so ISPO has its own food resources that it’s going to bring to the table,” Rollison said. 

The vice president of campus affairs, Hannah Kreitman, shared an announcement from A.S. Concerts and Events regarding the annual Sun God Festival, which will be held virtually this year.

Kreitman explained that this year, instead of one large event, Sun God and Horizon will be longer and consist of smaller events. 

According to the ASCE announcement, they will hold a range of virtual events over the Winter and Spring Quarters. 

“Expand Your Horizons Series will feature a range of speakers and acts that will help showcase relevant social and political topics,” the announcement states. 

ASCE has an Entertainment Survey in which students can express which events they would like to see in the Winter and Spring Quarters. 

The senators then moved on to pass Item F1, which reallocates $35,000 out of the $65,000 budget from the Winter Quarter Programming for Student Orgs to the funds for Spring Quarter Programming. The Finance Committee also shared that they will be discussing the reallocation of Sun God funds this week, due to the event being held online. 

The Legislative committee then approved item L1, which increases transparency in A.S. hiring procedures.

A.S. Council meetings take place every Wednesday starting at 6 p.m. and are open to the public. Students can be a part of these meetings by joining with the Zoom link posted on the A.S. website.

Artwork courtesy of Yui Kita for The UCSD Guardian.

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