A.S. Council Brief: Election Reform Proposal, Student Representation Task Force, Budget Oversight Subcommittee

A.S. Council Brief: Election Reform Proposal, Student Representation Task Force, Budget Oversight Subcommittee
Photo by Ava Bayley/ UCSD Guardian

At the A.S. Council Week 6 meeting on Feb. 15, senators discussed election reform and the possibility of introducing a Student Representation Task Force and a Budget Oversight Subcommittee.

Senator Eduardo Tapia Jr-Urbieta began the meeting by presenting his election reform proposal. These changes mostly centered around empowering more students to run for A.S. candidacy and ways to involve more of the student body in the election process. 

In order to promote a senate that was more representative of the student body, Tapia proposed providing more information and assistance for students interested in running for A.S. by hosting at least two candidate application workshops during the application period. 

To involve more students in the voting process, Tapia suggested that the Election Manager coordinate at least one candidate forum for all positions so that students could learn more about the various candidates and make more informed decisions. Previously, only presidential and vice-presidential debates were held.

Next, A.S. President Sky Yang introduced their proposal for an A.S. Student Representative Task Force, which aims to “analyz(e) the historical membership … of A.S. to identify how A.S. can ensure equitable representation, outreach, and collaboration.” It also attempts to “address the concerns of representation, outreach, and transparency” raised by students last year. 

Several senators raised doubts about the new task force’s exclusive voting membership, which went against the task force’s goals of inclusivity and representation. Chief Personnel Officer Maria Charles and Vice President of Academic Affairs Rhianen Callahan also expressed concerns that the task force was performative. 

“It seems very performative,” Charles said. “I feel like creating this is only going to create more division and … more people feeling left out.”

The Student Representative Task Force was tabled indefinitely.

Following this, President Yang introduced the A.S. Budget Oversight Subcommittee to “analzye how the budget process is prepared, presented and executed and to provide any recommendations for reforms to the A.S. Senate.”

“My personal thought is that this is a bunch of nonsense — respectfully,” Callahan said. “It’s basically … going over and stating the job of the A.S. Chief Financial Officer.”

The Budget Oversight Subcommittee was not passed.

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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About the Contributors
Abby Lee, Senior Staff Writer
When not reading or writing about science, Abby enjoys cafe-hopping, grocery shopping and jogging really slowly.
Ava Bayley, Art Editor
As the Art Editor, Ava spends the majority of her time double majoring in Human Biology and Sociology, working as an EMT, and pursuing medicine as a career. Anything to avoid actually doing art.
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