They want to be written about, but only on their terms. —The Aggie Editorial Board
The Associated Students, University of California, Davis (ASUCD) is a term describing the undergraduate student government at UCD. All undergraduate students are dues-paying members of ASUCD, grad students can also elect to join but rarely do. Although ASUCD officially disaffiliated from The University of California Student Association (UCSA) on November 2nd, 2006, it rejoined the organization in January 2015.
Most often, the phrase "ASUCD" is used to describe the governing body of ASUCD. Similar to the US government, ASUCD has an Executive, a Legislative, and a Judicial branch. The association's $13 million dollar operational budget funds a host of student services such as Unitrans, KDVS, the Coffee House, Picnic Day, the Bike Barn, and the Experimental College. A fundamental characteristic of ASUCD is that it is primarily student managed and staffed, employing upwards of 1,500 students (not to mention dishing out a few scholarships like the ASUCD Prizes). ASUCD offers opportunities to engage in leadership activities that range from student advocacy to management and finance and to event planning. Senate meetings are open to the public, and held every Thursday during the school year, in the Student Community Center, Meeting Room D, starting at 6:10pm.
The current sitting President is Michael Gofman.
- The President, as the chief executive officer of ASUCD, oversees all ASUCD units. She has the option to sign or veto all legislation passed by the ASUCD Senate.
- Advocacy Units are directly under the executive, and include among others Lobby Corps and ASUCD University Affairs.
- The ASUCD President does not have the ability to introduce legislation, except for the annual budget. They are also responsible for appointing the directors of all ASUCD units except for the The California Aggie and KDVS, which are appointed by the Campus Media Board.
The current sitting Vice President is Shaniah Branson.
- The Vice President is elected with the President and serves as the presiding officer over all ASUCD Senate meetings. They are also the legal successor to the ASUCD Presidency.
The current sitting Controller is Maytal Machulsky
- The President is in charge of appointing an ASUCD Controller, who must be confirmed by a majority vote of the Senate. The Controller is the Chief Operations Officer of ASUCD, and oversees business units along with the Business Manager. The official duties of the controller are: "work[ing] on all phases of management planning, budgeting, implementation, and evaluating. In addition, they monitor the expenses of all AS activities."
ASUCD has one unit which deals with external issues. The director of the ASUCD Office of Advocacy and Student Representation is Destiny Padilla.
The ASUCD President and Vice President are elected together during the 7th Week of Winter Quarter each year using Instant Runoff Voting, for a term of one year. To be eligible for the ASUCD Presidency, one must have completed 60 units (not necessarily at Davis) and have been a registered UC Davis student for at least two quarters prior to election.
There are 12 seats on the ASUCD Senate. They are elected six at a time during the 7th Week of Fall Quarter and the 7th Week of Winter Quarter using Choice Voting. Many of the Senators are most visible as candidates (often in slates), but spend most of the year writing and reviewing legislation. Senators may additionally tackle any kind of goal, from fighting racial discrimination to getting staplers in the computer labs — the fact that they are Senators opens many doors in the UCD Administration and the City of Davis that ordinarily would be hard to access. There is an ASUCD Senate Office that serves as a working place for Senators.
Current Fall Term Senators:
- Danny Halawi (UNITE!)
- Jesse Kullar (UNITE!)
- Gavemjit Kaur (independent)
- Bryan Perez (independent)
- Jacob Sedgley (independent)
Current Winter Term Senators:
- Atanas Spasov (UNITE!)
- Alisha Hacker (UNITE!)
- Daniella Aloni (UNITE!, interim)
- Brandon Clemons (UNITE!)
- Jumoke Maraiyesa (Based)
- Simranjit Kaur (Based)
- Ko Ser Lu Htoo (Based)
Commissions play an integral role in the ASUCD Senate. Some are programmatic, and do outreach activities, but all of them help in crafting legislation at least occasionally. There are seven of them, vaguely described in the Constitution as follows:
Academic Affairs Commission - Current Chair: Abigail Edwards. Recommends to ASUCD programs and policies in Academic Affairs areas. Disseminates information concerning the student development of courses and curriculum. They honor teachers that go above and beyond each year.
Internal Affairs Commission - Current Chair: Jacob Ganz (appointed after the former chair, Nicholas Flores, was placed on probation and then suspended for sexual assault). Investigates and recommends improvements in areas and services which affect the quality of student life. Orchestrates administrative plans for all ASUCD units and reviews legislation for anything internal, i.e. delegating campus affairs.
External Affairs Commission - Current Chair: Amanda Bernal. Acts as liaison with off-campus bodies which affect students. Works with Executive office and Senate to recommend action for city, county and national affairs.
Ethnic and Cultural Affairs Commission - Current Chair: Rina Singh. Programmatic commission that holds Diversity Days every Fall. Acts as Liaison with off-campus bodies affecting ethnic groups. Investigates and recommends policies regarding ethnic community issues. Meeting Times: Monday at 6:10 in the Cross Cultural Center in the Student Community Center.
Environmental Policy and Planning Commission - Current Chair: Louis Kim. Researches environmental issues and recommends improvements regarding them. Performs environmental assessment of ASUCD units. Meeting Times: Tuesdays at 7:30 in the AMC Room of the MU.
Gender and Sexuality Commission - Current Chair: Vacant. Programmatic commission that promotes awareness of issues regarding gender, sexuality, sex and sexual assault through educational workshops, panels and keynote speakers. Plans Generation Sex Week and the Western Regional LGBT Conference with the LGBTRC.
- Commission chairs act as non-voting members of the senate, though all legislation not marked as "urgent" is generally analyzed by a commission before being put up for vote.
Internal Affairs, Academic Affairs, Business and Finance, and External Affairs have been parts of ASUCD since at least 1981 (detailed in the ASUCD Constitution, as amended January 1981). Interestingly enough, IAC at that time was ASUCD's most programmatic commission.
Committees are similar to commissions, but are smaller and fulfill specialized roles. The real legislative distinction is that they make informal recommendations to Senate, as opposed to the official recommendation of the commissions. General Purpose Committees — seeking student participation:
- The Elections Committee serves primarily during the election seasons in Fall and Winter Quarters and in Spring Quarter, during the event of special elections.
- Created in 2005, the Student-Police Relations Committee, made a permanent committee in 2006, takes student concerns about the UCDPD and DPD to the city's Police-Student Relations Sub-Committee. They also lobby for reforms in the police department.
Internal Committees — these are committees of ASUCD officers that only meet for specific reasons:
- The Internet and Networking Committee serves to coordinate ASUCD information technology staff and the government. This committee is chaired by the ASUCD Controller.
- The Unit Relocation and Space Allocation Committee (URSAC), created by ASUCD Controller Devin Whitney in 2006, is designed to move units around more smoothly than what happened in the AS PAPERs fiasco. This committee is chaired by the ASUCD Controller.
- The Special Committee on Bylaw Review, created by former-IAC Chair Sergio Cano in 2012, is responsible for performing a comprehensive review of the ASUCD Bylaws and making necessary changes to bring these up-to-date and make them consistent with internal procedures. This Committee will automatically expire at the end of Spring 2012, or when a bill to implement the necessary changes in passed, whichever occurs first.
- The Committee on Committees, created by former-Senator Amy Martin in 2012, is responsible for advertising, reviewing applications, and appointing undergraduates to positions on ASUCD-external committees, such as Administrative Advisory Committees and Academic Senate Committees.
- The Aggie Public Arts Committee, created as a special committee by former-Senator Alison Tanner in 2010, is responsible for enhancing the UC Davis campus and the larger Davis community by facilitating various public art projects from students and community members. In 2013, former-IAC Chair Sergio Cano made it became a permanent committee of the ASUCD Senate.
The ASUCD Senate may from time to time make Special Committees, which only last a year or less. Some of the successful ones may also become permanent committees. Current Special Committees:
- Special Committee on Renter's Rights (Created in 2011)
- Special Committee on Student Health and Wellness known as the Student Health and Wellness Committee or SHAWC (Created in 2011)
- Special Committee on Outreach known as the Aggie Bound Outreach Committee (Created in 2011)
The Court of the Associated Students of the University of California, Davis is legally one of three coequal branches of the Associated Students, University of California, Davis. Charged with the ultimate authority to interpret the wording of the ASUCD Constitution and that of legislation enacted pursuant to the Constitution, it has the power to review previously enacted legislation made by the Senate following a written request by any ASUCD member(s), and review complaints regarding the Elections Committee or any other office or body of ASUCD. This power is derived from Article VII of the ASUCD Constitution.
The Court consists of nine members, nominated by the ASUCD President and confirmed by the ASUCD Senate. The Chief Justice is chosen from among these by the same process. Justices serve until they graduate, resign, or are indicted and impeached. Justices may be permanently removed by a two-thirds vote of the ASUCD Senate only after an indictment hearing conducted by the Internal Affairs Commission. Operating on an annual budget of $99 American Dollars, all members of the courts and their staffs are unpaid volunteers.
If any ASUCD member feels that an ASUCD officer is not conducting their job correctly, or ASUCD legislation is not consistent with ASUCD Constitution and/or ASUCD Bylaws, they may file a complaint with Student Government Administrative Office through a complaint form. Following which SGAO will notify the Court and you'll hear from the Court with further instructions when they've decided whether or not to take the case.
Further, Preemptive Writs and Injunctions have been instituted as of the 2012-2013 term to aid the Jurisdiction of the Court. It allows ASUCD members to petition the court to issue writs to prevent imminent illegal actions contravening to the ASUCD Constitution and legislation enacted pursuant to it. If the Bench deems the evidence accompanied to be sufficient proof of imminent illegal actions, then the Court may issue a writ described within chapter ten of the ASUCD Judicial Codes, those writs shall be legally binding until such time as it is challenged, following which the issue will be escalated into a full hearing. Petitions forms for the issuance of writs are available again in the Student Government Administrative Office.
The current sitting Chief Justice is the Honorable Malcolm Rivera.
Bureaucracy - Student Services and Student Government Administrative Office
Janice Corbett is the current business manager of ASUCD. Upon Brett Burns' move to the UC Davis law school, Anne Myler, the director of the Center for Student Involvement became interim Business Manager. Mark Champagne, who retired in June 2011 after 32 years of service to ASUCD. The Business Manager is at the top of the University (unionized) employee hierarchy within ASUCD.
Student Services is best known as the source of paychecks for Coffee House and other ASUCD employees. They do all the human resources and other office work for the "commercial units".
Student Gov't Administrative Office (SGAO) is the civil service of the ASUCD government - they perform government bureaucratic necessities
Blue rows are self-sufficient units. Red rows are subsidized units. See the ASUCD Budget for more information.
|Aggie ReStore||2012 by Senator Darwin Moosavi (2011 budget)||Nicole Garcia||Small store promoting resale of student supplies, clothes, etc.|
|AggieTV||2002||Tania Josephine||The premiere student video and media production studio.|
|Bike Barn1||1971||Robert St. Cyr||Fixes Bikes|
|California Aggie||1915||Scott Dresser||Campus Newspaper|
|Cal Aggie Camp||1980||Isabella Romero||Helps underprivileged children|
|Campus Center for the Environment||2005||Hannah Ullansey||Resource center for all things environmental; merged with Project Compost in 2015.|
|Coffee House||1967-1968 by ASUCD President Bob Black||Darin||Food, lots of it|
|Creative Media||2003||Alex Park||Does graphics, design, and IT work for all ASUCD-supported organizations|
|Entertainment Council||1979||Liz O'Neil||Puts on music shows|
|Experimental College||1966||Victoria Turney||Offers an incredible variety of classes as well as teaching opportunities for students.|
|KDVS||1967||Olivia||Campus and Community Radio Station|
|Office of Advocacy and Student Representation||2013||Destiny Padilla||Representing ASUCD and UC Davis concerns to UC Regents, UCSA, and legislators|
|Picnic Day||1909||Grace Scott||New Student Open House, SPAC Forum, wiener dog race, and parade|
|The Pantry||2010||Erika Hapa||Food bank for students in need|
|Refrigerator Services||1969||Vacant||Rents "microfridges" (includes microwave) to freshmen|
|STS/Tipsy Taxi||2003/1985||Sabastian Belser||Chartering busses; Tipsy Taxi|
|Unitrans||1968 by ASUCD President Bob Black||Anthony Palomer||University Transit System|
|Whole Earth Festival||1971||Youself Buzayan||Three day community event featuring live music performances, earth conscience vendors, solar power, and lots of recycling and composting|
1. The Bike Barn is considered a break-even unit although they do not have their own reserves so they are occasionally subsidized by the senate (such as with the Bike Barn's computer system). In FY2006-07 they were the most profitable ASUCD unit. 2. Although nominally an advocacy unit, City/County puts on Housing day, and the profits from the event pay for all the expenses of the unit. 3. Unitrans is considered to have a break-even budget because it is subsidized by Undergraduate Student Fees and TAPS. It is as if all ASUCD members bought bus passes.
There are Legal Services available. Every undergraduate gets 15 minutes per quarter of time with a lawyer. Its just enough time to discover if you have a case or not. Contact the Student Services Office and they will put you in contact with the lawyer.
Other ASUCD Topics
ASUCD Elections - Past and current election information
ASUCD Open Government - this page currently mainly discusses the lack of openness in ASUCD. See below.
ASUCD Perestroika - this is a current wiki project to make current reform bills in ASUCD available to the public by posting them here.
ASUCD Wish List - list of changes that have been requested
ASUCD was originally established on December 10, 1910 as the Associated Students of the University Farm (A.S.U.F.) to provide more activities for students on campus. Through 1909 and 1910, the only student organization had been an athletic association; A.S.U.F. took on the role of athletics and managed all other student activities, such as Picnic Day and fraternities. On January 12, 1914, ASUF opened the Student's Co-Operative Store, later known as the Coop Store, which evolved into the UCD Bookstore. Around 1925, the ASUF was renamed the Associated Student of the College of Agriculture (A.S.C.A.). The leadership body of A.S.C.A. (and A.S.U.F. before it) was the Executive Committee. Students had to buy A.S.C.A. cards to become a member — membership included privileges such as free admission to athletic games, a discount at the Coop, and a subscription to The California Aggie. The first mandatory fee was introduced in Spring semester of 1935; now all students were represented by the A.S.C.A. When Davis was designated as a general campus the association became known as ASUCD. ASUCD has gone through several leadership bodies, including: the Executive Committee, the Legislative Assembly, Senate, Executive Council, and finally a Senate today in its current incarnation.
From 1960 to 2000 there was a committee for ASUCD Student Forums.
Disbanded ASUCD Units
These portions of the student government no longer exist, but are preserved for posterity. The institutional memory in student governments can be far too short, so learn about the old days here.
Campus Affairs Office
Academic Affairs Office
Council Travel/AS Travel — now operated by contract with STA Travel
Public Relations Office
Campus Copies and Classical Notes
ASUCD Outreach Assembly
No longer part of ASUCD
UCD Bookstore — signed over to the University during the Chancellor Mrak era by ASUCD President Bob Black in 1966. By the early 80's, when ASUCD sued to regain management rights, the administration had firm control over the Bookstore. ASUCD was pressured to not only drop the lawsuit but sign a Memorandum of Understanding stating that ASUCD would never again make a claim to Bookstore ownership.
Cal Aggie Marching Band-uh! in the early 1980's.
Ballet Folklorico, now known as Danzantes del Alma
Homecoming (run by Aggie Pack)
The House was partially funded by ASUCD
There's also some good information on Senate History.
Portions adopted/info from official ASUCD site.