A.S. Council Brief Weeks 7 and 8

Week 7

At their Week 7 meeting on Nov. 10, the Associated Students discussed a variety of Senator projects involving items such as promoting student ridership of the extension of the Blue Line, creating an outdoor pajama movie night, and a week of wellness surrounding forms of wellness regarding Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Mental Health Awareness.

Senator Thomas Le began the meeting updating on his Senator Project for creating greater involvement with students in both the opening Blue Line Extension of the UC San Diego Trolley and public transportation in general. His project entails using giveaways as a means of incentivizing student interest in two different ways.

The first is catered to UCSD students who submit photos and would then receive a sticker from the A.S. Graphic Studio as compensation for participating. They will also be entered into a raffle with a prize yet to be announced.

Le also wanted to secure a table at the Blue Line opening event which needed to make sure to engage with the public attendees of the event. He wants to use the event to promote A.S. and get greater involvement with the public and students.

Arts and Humanities Senator Rhianen Callahan then discussed her project about creating a healthy event for trauma survivors that she has been working on in collaboration with CARE at the Sexual Assault Resource Center.

Callahan reached out to CARE at SARC to create events that would promote healthy and safe environments. Callahan worked with Ashley Cooper, the SARC’s main events coordinator, to brainstorm different ideas.

The different logistics of the movie night are still being looked into in response to COVID-19 protocols, as well as factors such as weather and topic ideas/suggestions for the movie.

Callahan also promoted a week of wellness in February or May. Callahan proposed perhaps giving CARE, SARC, CAPS, and the Zone the spotlight where each center could be recognized as a resource for students.

Callahan confirmed that all three centers were on board, and opened it up for anybody who was willing to collaborate.

Senator William Wei then reported on his work on the Eighth College Academic Workplan Group where they are working to figure out the GE and Writing Requirements for the future Eighth College.

Wei discussed how the theme for Eighth College is engagement and community, and because of that, they want diverse BIPOC perspective involvement in the project. Wei opened it up for anyone who has involvement in any BIPOC groups or clubs to get involved.

Vice President of Campus Affairs Isaac Lara then discussed HER, the psychological emergency response team.

The executive team and Lara are working on forming a new committee on HER. Lara has delegated with appointing two members of A.S. to that committee.

Lara also discussed serving on the Wellness Symposium Working Group. Lara encouraged those programming wellness programs to work in conjunction with the Symposium, which is trying to become more student-centered with student-programmed events. 

It is projected for Jan. 18 to Jan. 20. Lara mentioned how other groups like CARE and CAPS already have planned to be at this meeting, so involving senators’ projects can serve for promotion.

Lara also announced that the executives are working on making a Mentor/Mentee program and what qualifications should be looked for.

Lara also focused on making changes to Academic Affairs, which include transitioning the Academic Affairs of the Senate to underneath the supervision of the ADP Academic Affairs.

The current elections limit the voting of Academic Senators to the division a student’s major falls under.

“For example, as a psychology major, the only one I could vote for was Social Sciences Senator Candidates. Similarly, for Rhiannen, they could only vote for those that had Arts and Humanities majors,” Lara said.

Lara noted that it left data science, Scripps, and public health unrepresented because of the way the campus categorizes these majors. The executives are discussing potentially adding three more senators or making changes to solve this issue. 

There is also the consideration of converting the Academic Affairs into a Vice Presidential role seen at sister UC campuses such as Berkeley, Los Angeles, and Santa Barbara.

VP Adrianne Blackshire then shared a report about a summit about UCSA Government Relations Lobby Corps Summit that took place on Nov. 13 at 10 a.m. to learn lobbying strategy and skills. Blackshire noted that there was a struggle with registration and encouraged A.S. to promote the event.

A.S. Council meetings take place at 6 p.m. every Wednesday and are open to students. Students can participate in these meetings by joining their Zoom link or tuning in on Facebook Live

Week 8

At their Week 8 meeting on Nov. 17, AS Council discussed a variety of issues such as revising Academic Divisions and Geisel renovations, in addition to two special presentations regarding the Advocacy Agenda Survey and Standardized External Committee Reporting.

Chief Communications Officer Tommy Jung reported the results from the Advocacy Agenda Survey, which was conducted through Instagram from Oct. 26 to Oct. 31.

Jung reported that the survey was not representative of the student body because of its limited sample size and response bias. This survey was meant to be used only for the general points.

Results from the survey showed that students wanted to see prioritized advocacy in areas such as Academic Affairs, Spirit and Athletics, and College Affairs. It also showed similar results in areas where they wanted increased funding.

VP of Campus Affairs Isaac Lara then presented the existence of over 90 committees that A.S. senators belong to and how to create a way to maintain accountability for them all. Lara wants to create more centralized reporting by allowing each committee to upload documentation of their meeting times through a shared Google Drive.

Roger Revelle College Senator Rachel Lau then reported on their Humanities Info Session: 196 were signed up and 120 attended. Based on feedback, freshmen reported finding the session informative.

Senator Le then reported on their Senatorial Project working with Transportation Services at the Blue Line Extension’s opening on Nov. 21. Le expressed gratitude to the Transportation Services for donating the prizes for the competition.

Le reported changes to the raffle format. Instead of submitting a photo as originally planned, students are now asked to make a post on a social media platform and tag A.S. and UCSD or UCSD Transportation for a chance to win either one of two AirPods or one of ten $15 gift cards.

The submission process is also extended until the following Sunday, Nov. 28 for students who utilize the Trolley through Thanksgiving.

VP of External Affairs Adrianna Blackshire then reported on the November board meeting for UCSA. Blackshire reported that many were unable to give presentations. Moving forward, they will be discussing the UC Union.

Blackshire also reported that the UCAF renegotiated and the planned strike was canceled. There is also the creation of a Basic Needs Work Group by the UCU.

The focus is on setting standards for basic needs across the college and universities. UCU also wants feedback. UCU is also creating a communication support group because of the allocation of funds.

VP of Campus Affairs Isaac Lara then reported about how there is no way to hold officers and senators accountable for their promises for when they ran for office. A contract is being discussed and they will be receiving projects from senators to keep track.

Item F1 was approved by the Finance Committee and was met with no objections. The Legislative Committee approved Item L1 which appointed Alana Kolbstein as the Director of the Office of College Affairs. 

L4 (Standing Rules Change Establishing Standardized Hiring Practices) was tabled for two weeks and stands; L5: Appointing Patricia Ko as the Event Programming Coordinator for the Office of Campus Affairs was tabled indefinitely, items L6–L23 were all approved; and item L2 was discharged by the Senate.

Lara then moved to approve Item II — Changes Reforming the AS Division Representation, which was seconded and then there was an objection.

The objection made by Senator Jost was based on questions and voting representation of the Senate. It would also affect the ability of individuals who represent different academic divisions to voice needs and advocate for students.

Arts and Humanities Senator Rhiannen Callahan felt that having an AVP would be better because it guarantees a spot and makes sure someone fills the position.

Engineering Senator Samir Normani then felt that having the roles grouped under academic advising helps create homogenized goals for the year, and that the hiring process should have opportunities to make interviews public. It also encourages people to see candidates and have people choose to run in the future.

Warren Senator Allyson Muir who sits on the LSAC reported that Geisel construction starts January 2022. It will occur on the main floor, and the entrance will be affected. The entrance will be moved to where the mirror walls sit now.

The main concern from the Library Student Advisory Council will be noise, but Senator Muir stated higher levels shouldn’t be affected. The Biomedical Library is only being 30% used, so [they] are preparing the building to be used at 100% capacity while Geisel is renovated.

VP Lara then reported about Health Committees, which updated that 96% of the campus community, 93% of UCSD workers, and 90% of the San Diego community over 12 are fully vaccinated. The committee recommends getting tested if you have any symptoms and wearing masks around others outside of your household. They also informed that boosters are available and no significant post-Halloween surges were reported.

A.S. Council meetings take place at 6 p.m. every Wednesday and are open to students. Students can participate in these meetings by joining their Zoom link or tuning in on Facebook Live

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