University of California, Davis ASUCD Senate Minutes Thursday, October 05, 2006 5:30 p.m., Mee Room
I. CALL TO ORDER
Vice President Carnes called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m.
II. QUORUM ROLL CALL
Present: Carnes, Savaree-Ruess, Amaha, Deepak, Molnar, Rogers, Rosas-Romero, Salem, Sanders, Markevich (AAC), Xie (EPPC), Lay (EAC), Feldman (GASC)
Absent: Ajlouny, Farhad Motamed, Higgins, Patel, Zamora, Dardik (B&F), Rivera (IAC)
III. STATUS OF LEGISLATION PREVIOUSLY PASSED
Sanders said all previous legislation has been signed.
IV. INTRODUCTION OF NEW LEGISLATION
SB#2, Authored by Schwab, Referred to B&F An ASUCD Senate Bill to fund an ASUCD Voter Registration Concert at the ARC.
SB#4, Authored by Laabs, Referred to B&F A bill to fully fund UCSA by amending the operating budget.
SB#6, Authored by Ostrowski, Referred to ECAC and IAC A bill to add the words “So Help Me God” to Senators’ oaths.
SB#7, Authored by Ostrowski, Referred to IAC A bill to reform allowed election expenditures for voluntary spending agreement.
SB#8, Authored by Ostrowski, Referred to IAC A bill to change the voting procedures for candidates that withdraw.
SB#10, Authored by Ostrowski, Referred to IAC A bill to make an ASUCD Court Member an ex-officio, non-voting member of the ASUCD IAC.
SB#12, Authored by Ostrowski, Referred to IAC and ECAC A bill to introduce the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States into ASUCD meetings.
CA#16, Authored by Laabs, Referred to all commissions A constitutional amendment to create an ASUCD Assembly to connect student organizations to ASUCD.
CA#17, Authored by Ostrowski, Referred to IAC A constitutional amendment to expand the ASUCD Senate from twelve voting members to sixteen.
V. PUBLIC DISCUSSION
Savaree-Ruess said I wish that the senate bill pertaining to an new ASUCD Assembly (S.B. #14) be distributed to all commissions because the amendment it refers to went to all commissions.
Sanders motioned to move to appointments and confirmations; properly seconded without objections.
VI. APPOINTMENTS AND CONFIRMATIONS
Sanders motioned to confirm the chair of the Ethnic and Cultural Affairs Commission.
Najia Khan introduced herself.
Rosas-Romero said she seemed very well-prepared for the position and aware of important issues. I recommend speedy confirmation.
Deepak asked what past experiences make you good for the position?
Khan said I was previously commissioner, I am assistant to the department of Middle and Southeast Studies, and am working with the Cross-Cultural Center.
Salem asked do you have any ideas for the commission based on its programmatic function?
Khan said I want to start with diversity training, including for gender/sexuality issues in order to set a foundation for the rest of the year. Also trying to collaborate with chancellor office and have diversity days with them. I want to use the CCC as resource hold a faculty/student discuss forum (faculty addressing students student addressing faculty).
Aljouny asked do you plan to attend Senate meetings every Thursday?
Khan said I plan to attend every meeting. If I can’t attend an entire meeting, I will be very contactable.
DO CONFIRM, 11-0-1, NAJIA KHAN, ETHNIC AND CULTURAL AFFAIRS COMMISSION YES: Ajlouny, Amaha, Deepak, Farhad Motamed, Molnar, Patel, Rogers, Rosas-Romero, Salem, Sanders, Zamora ABSTAIN: Higgins
Sanders motioned to resume the orders of the day; properly seconded without objections.
VII. PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENTS
Xie announced the tailgate for debate is this Saturday: there will be lots of pizza, the bus ride to Sacramento is free (meet at Memorial Union at 3 pm if you’ll be riding the bus). Our generation is concerned about issues, let’s show it to the media and legislators.
Salem announced tickets for “Be the Riot” in San Francisco November 11 are now available through the Entertainment Council for $17.50. Many big names will be there, I encourage you to make it!
Sanders said Higgins and Patel have class until 6:00; Higgins will not be attending the meeting and Patel will be late.
Rosas-Romero announced Pride Week is October 16-20: we’ll be having cool events such as resource fair, sex and faith discussion, panels such as one with hetero and queer parents, many groups, gender/queer issues in general, “queer and colored” show, documentary/history showing, art show, drag show. Senators check emails!
Lay reminded Wednesday, October 11 is the Local Measures Debate (reps for measure K etc will be there), October 18 is the Proposition Debate (props 85, 86, 87, 89) and October 25 is the Governor Debate in ARC (hope for good turnout to all).
Markevich said first AAC program will be November 1 at 7:00 featuring Prof. Banforth/Waterhouse. More info as plans are made.
VIII. APPROVAL OF LAST MEETING’S MINUTES
Carnes said senate has had some recorder difficulties. We now have a new recorder so minutes will be caught up for the next meeting.
IX. UNIT DIRECTOR REPORTS
X. EX-OFFICIO REPORTS
Xie, Lay, Khan, Feldman, Dardik, Markevich, Rivera, Savaree-Ruess
A. President: Holloway
B. Vice President: Carnes
C. Senate: Deepak, Salem, Farhad Motamed, Molnar, Sanders, Amaha, Rosas-Romero, Rogers, Zamora, Patel
(Ajlouny gave unofficial/oral report with the quote “Some people dream of worthwhile accomplishments; others stay awake and do them.”)
D. Media Board: Salem
E. Internet Networking Committee: Zamora
XII. NEW STUDENT COURT CASES
Carnes said there are none.
CAL-AGGIE CAMP: Cathy Michaels and Phillip Roliz (UCD alumni)
Michaels said I’ve been involved with the camp since 1985. Primarily for low-economic students, foster students, etc.
Video presentation: slide show with music and short video clips of camp.
Michaels said thank you senate, this is your legacy. The camp started 1969 and ASUCD has funded/cared for it since. It has had a huge impact my life personally. Some parents of the kids there went to the camp when they were kids…this is a huge legacy. Keep it going.
Roliz said we wanted to come early on in the year just to thank you again for your support. We hope we can continue to work together to keep the momentum going. We want to improve camp (i.e. attract more students and more counselors): it’s been a struggle but we’re looking for a jump. We have won grants from alumni companies, and other organizations and are constantly working. Our main goal is to make the camp self-sustaining with UCD students running it, but it will always have alumni support. I’ve been doing this for seven years and it has been awesome every time.
Michaels said you [senate table] are always welcome to come up: it’s only an hour and a half drive away. The kids love visitors and to show off how cool their camp is. You will see why it’s worth what you spend.
Gave emails: “Mba” Michaels firstname.lastname@example.org
“Chewy” Roliz Philliproliz@gmail.com
Sanders moved to re-enter appointments and confirmations; properly seconded without objections.
XIV. APPOINTMENT AND CONFIRMATIONS
Sanders moved to confirm any members or alternates of Academic Affairs Commission; properly seconded without objections.
Anastasia Bondarchuk introduced self as a third year student on AAC.
Markevich supported, said she took time off for UCDC but now she is back and wants to continue great work within the commission.
Deepak asked where would you like to see AAC go in the future now that you have new experiences in Washington DC?
Bondarchuk said I saw this Barbara Bush event about helping low income children learn to read. Maybe besides focusing on campus issues, we could start something similar in community.
Deepak said like us senators reading to little kids, sounds great.
DO CONFIRM, 11-0-1, Anastasia Bondarchuk, AAC Commission Member YES: Ajlouny, Amaha, Deepak, Farhad Motamed, Molnar, Patel, Rogers, Rosas-Romero, Salem, Sanders, Zamora ABSTAIN: Higgins
Vice President Carnes said Jarvis Burston will be here for confirmation later.
Sanders moved to have a five minute break because I want to make it to dinner.
Ajlouny objected because dinner is right now anyway.
Sanders withdrew original motion and moved to have a ten minute break; properly seconded without objections.
Vice President Carnes said to be back by 6:39 pm.
Vice President Carnes called the meeting back to order at 6:39 pm.
XVI. QUORUM ROLL CALL
Present: Carnes, Ajlouny, Amaha, Deepak, Farhad Motamed, Molnar, Patel, Rosas-Romero, Sanders, Zamora, Markevich, Dardik, Khan, Xie, Lay, Rivera, Feldman
Absent: Holloway, Savaree-Ruess, Higgins, Rogers, Salem
Sanders motioned to return to introduction of new legislation.
XVII. INTRODUCTION OF NEW LEGISLATION
Vice President Carnes said I’m sorry there was so much new legislation I lost this one before.
CA#18, Authored by Ostrowski, Referred to IAC A constitutional amendment to create an ASUCD Attorney General.
Sanders motioned to resume the orders of the day; properly seconded without objections.
XVIII. CONSIDERATION OF OLD LEGISLATION
Sanders moved to consider S.B. #5; properly seconded without objection.
SB #5 An ASUCD Senate bill to allow more flexibility in commission and committee agendas.
Author’s Comments/Commission Recommendation
Rivera said both he and his commission recommended the bill in order to generally improve meetings.
Questions in Text Rivera said the (10) in line 17 should be changed to (11).
Markevich said from in line 23 should be changed to by.
It was also suggested that Vote: None in line 33 was meant to be Vote: Majority.
Sanders motioned to move to senate discussion; properly seconded without objection.
Senate Discussion Salem said I definitely like it. Does anyone else have any problems or objections with the bill?
Salem motioned to call SB 5 to question; properly seconded without objection.
DO PASS, 11-0-1, SB #5 YES: Ajlouny, Amaha, Deepak, Farhad Motamed, Molnar, Patel, Rogers, Rosas-Romero, Salem, Sanders, Zamora ABSTAIN: Higgins
Sanders motioned to remove into appointments and confirmations; properly seconded without objections.
XIX. APPOINTMENTS AND CONFIRMATIONS
Sanders moved to approve the new director of City and County Affairs; properly seconded without objection.
Jarvis Burston introduced self: “they call me MacGyver,” I had this job last year so this is my second year. My experience has been pretty good; I’ve handled city politics well and developed good working relationships with city officials.
Sanders moved for 5 minute recess; properly seconded without objection.
Vice President Carnes said we will call the meeting back to order at 6:55 pm.
XX. RECESS Vice President Carnes called the meeting back to order at 6:55 pm
XXI. QUORUM ROLL CALL Present: Carnes, Savaree-Ruess, Ajlouny, Amaha, Deepak, Farhad Motamed, Molnar, Patel, Rogers, Rosas-Romero, Salem, Sanders, Zamora, Markevich, Dardik, Khan, Xie, Lay, Rivera, Feldman
Absent: Holloway, Higgins
XXII. APPOINTMENTS AND CONFIRMATIONS
Shwab said Burston took over position the beginning of spring quarter. He took over, established a working relationship with the chief of police, city council, etc. He is a good negotiator and very knowledgable of the important issues.
Herold asked what qualifications do you have for this position?
Jarvis said I’m a third year. My first year I did outreach to high schools. I’ve negotiated with the university and last year I brought four hundred high school students to campus, during which time many important university officials came, so I definitely have experience communicating and planning. This is what this police liaison position is about: good ppl skills; often people within the city don’t take students seriously, but over time they have given me some respect: I look/speak respectably, gained trust because I care and give heart.
Salem said as a senator, I want this director to be available at meetings. Do you foresee it in your schedule to be available at city meetings, and then report back to the Senate?
Jarvis said yes. I also have assistant and she can give senate reports
Herold asked what plans do you have for the city/county affairs office this year?
Jarvis said to establish good repoire with the city: they’re highly confused asking where Shwab, who is where, what is your new title etc. I want to tell them our setup, so they are familiar with us.
Molnar asked have you met city council?
Jarvis said yes they come to the same meetings. Lamar Heystack is in particular very excited to work with us.
Savaree-Ruess asked beyond diplomacy, what are your plans for on campus stuff, especially housing day?
Jarvis said for housing day we raised the price to promote apartment complexes because the complexes make so much from students as it is. I want to outreach to the UCD general community. My assistant is a former RA and has good rapport with dorm administrators, I hope to hold programs there to get people interested in working in city issues (They live in Davis! They can be involved, vote, etc.). City people always say they want student interns/volunteers, but they’re not seeing anyone. Perhaps they’re just not looking in the right places, but I definitely want to boost student involvement.
Vice President Carnes told the Senate table you can ask Shwab a question if you want.
Rivera asked are senators supposed to be on the interview committee?
Ravaree-Suess said the interview was over summer and senators were unavailable. Only the president or his designee technically had to be there, and I was designee. Maybe the business manager also needed to be there? Senators are supposed to be, but not mandated for the president to make his decision.
Molnar asked James, why was Burston the best candidate?
Shwab said that of the candidates, Burston had experience.
Carnes said Shwab had answered that question answered already, take the questioning elsewhere.
Rivera asked how many applicants were there for the position?
Shwab said four: one pulled out and one didn’t respond.
Vice President Carnes asked are there objections to Burston’s confirmation?
Sanders said as a point of order: ASUCD President, Vice President, or a designee chosen by the President, and the previous unit director is all who needs to be at the interview: so this interview was perfectly legal.
DO CONFIRM, 6-2-4, JARVIS BURSTON, DIRECTOR CITY COUNTY AFFAIRS YES: Amaha, Deepak, Patel, Rogers, Rosas-Romero, Sanders NO: Ajlouny, Molnar ABSTAIN: Farhad Motamed, Higgins, Salem, Zamora
Sanders passed around the contact sheet for SGAO.
Sanders motioned to resume the orders of the day; properly seconded without objection.
XXIII. CONSIDERATION OF OLD LEGISLATION Sanders moved to consider SB#3; properly seconded without objections.
SB#3 An ASUCD Senate Bill to revise election codes for clarity.
Author’s Comments/Commission Recommendation Rivera said this bill is mainly about labeling “campaign executive” for general clarity, setting a monetary limit per recall campaign executive, and making the laws so that an entire political slate cannot be punished for the actions of one. I recommend it.
Questions in Text
Sanders said line 7 “more” should be deleted and in line 13 “other” should be deleted. Also a line 331 created which will state the standard “Finance: None Appropriations: None Vote: Majority.”
Ostrowski said I have a problem with lines 205-206 because they add restriction to spending on recalls. Recalls are already difficult, this makes them even more difficult. We want to make government as open as possible. I don’t think this needs be added. I suggest we remove that part, then pass (also referring to lines 210,212).
Sanders said it takes signatures for recall, this is spending to counteract recall so why not cap it?
Ostrowski said it takes 8 of student body signatures in two weeks, then to make the campaign only able to spend $250…this makes it that much more difficult to initiate a recall. I suggest the cap either be removed, or the amount increased. We really don’t want a spending cap for either side.
Rogers said doesn’t the senator spend that much just to get elected? It doesn’t seem unreasonable to recall them with the same amount of spending.
Ostrowski said there’s a difference between being elected into office and removed.
Rivera said we suggested to Mr. Ostrowski that he suggest a new amount in a different bill. We’re just mirroring the spending limit that is set for getting into office.
Powers said I was at IAC meeting, they worked hard on this, I urge speedy passage.
Sanders asked IAC: For a recall election, only allowed to spend 250 dollars. What if it’s for the executive office, are they allowed to spend 500 in their election codes? Does recall get to spend less than the executive office spends in running?
Rivera says he thinks there’s no differentiation for spending cap between who you’re recalling.
Sanders said it doesn’t make sense to have cap on getting election but not on recalls…they should mirror each other. I like the cap.
Zamora asked do you think need the bill needs a clause to differentiate between senate recall and executive office recall with separate spending limits?
Sanders said technically to recall the vice president or the president each campaign gets $250. So basically it’s just 250 per person.
Rivera said the cap refers to the recall campaign coordinator. In the case of recalling the executive office (vice president and president), there would be two campaigns: one for each officer . Recall can only be for one person at a time, not the whole executive office. So $250 per campaign would equal the $500 that the president and vice president were allowed to spend together on their campaigns.
Salem said any recall is supposed to be difficult. Recalls are a serious thing. The spending cap is $250 for senators to get into office, so the cap should be the same for the people recalling the senators. Do we need to specify? No, it’s not necessary, because this counts for every individual, whether in the senate or executive office.
Ostrowski said part of the bill says that organizations registered with SPAC can’t donate to political campaigns; my slate is a registered SPAC organization, so how does this work? Can our slate not contribute to its own campaign?
Salem said your candidates fund their own campaigns, not the slate. Really it’s the candidates that pay to the slate, not the other way around.
Sanders said donations are not allowed from other SPAC orgs, but the SPAC org that is campaigning can pay its own money for its own slate. This clause is just trying to avoid bribery. Slates can still spend money on own campaigns.
Fricke said as far as eliminating campaign limits, it’s been decided that freedom of speech is very much involved in the ability to spend money according to superior court. Keep in mind that the senate created this spending limit very intentionally, and they considered it heavily.
Rivera said we’re really only trying to mirror current spending limits. If this issue is a major concern, it should be raised in another bill.
Salem asked do any other senators have any thoughts on this?
Sanders said according to line 316 private donations are fine while group donations are not. I don’t see problem with this, it’s just to prevent endorsements. We as senators can’t be endorsed by or endorse any group and this policy has been successful. I really think all the slates can still spend money; we shouldn’t read to far into this. We really should stop worrying about this: the words are in there
Zamora said I still don’t know what the problem is. As far as the clause about explicit spending limit: take it out if it’s a big issue, otherwise let’s call the bill to question.
Rivera said there are no problems; this bill is really meant to keep slates from being punished for individual actions. The entire bill is still very important.
Zamora said I think people agree that there really is no problem with this bill.
Zamora moved to call bill to question; properly seconded.
Rogers objected based on the idea of one person being punished and the entire slate not. If the whole slate benefits, the whole slate should also have to pay for its mistakes.
DO PASS, 10-1-1, SB#3 YES: Ajlouny, Amaha, Deepak, Farhad Motamed, Molnar, Patel, Rosas-Romero, Salem, Sanders, Zamora NO: Rogers ABSTAIN: Higgins
XXIV. OTHER BUSINESS
Sanders said I’m taking the contact sheet to SGAO. Also you should know that units are the same for senators as last quarter unless you switched. I can get you a different unit if you want, we’ll work with Tucker on it. Otherwise things are good and posted. You can also be added to one as an extra if you like.
Carnes said I will email CA#17 to you if you didn’t get the copy. Also it’s been requested that we clean up the room before we leave.
XXV. PUBLIC DISCUSSION
Savaree-Ruess said I have a major problem with the fact that 1/3 of the Senate abstained from the confirmation today. To confirm or not confirm the candidate is your decision but I am struggling with the concept that you have no opinion about our representative of ASUCD to the city. Maybe abstaining is justified, but I feel abstaining is a copout. The candidate is either the person for job or not. The confirmation today was for a major position, representing 23,000 students.
Patel said as a point of order that deferments could be granted in public discussion.
Zamora said I’m trying to recruit someone for an IM football team. Sign ups are available. As far as the confirmation goes, abstaining doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t care about the issue.
Vice President Carnes reminded the meeting that there is a procedure for speaking list and deferments.
Chris Herold said I got involved in ASUCD my sophomore year, and I had to listen to a lot of attacks towards the end of that year…at that time the word “cronyism” was used and it appears that we are there again. No one wants to say it publicly, but today someone was overlooked for preferential treatment. It’s the senate’s job to do what it thinks best, but this is my opinion. People abstained, people knew the issue, but they wouldn’t talk about it publicly. The old outgoing took the new job and basically trained someone and set him up and just now someone else entirely was hired and everyone is like “ok whatever, it’s not a big deal because new units being created.” It’s upsetting to see events occur this way. Cronyism is back in ASUCD.
Molnar said I voted no because I thought the other candidate may’ve been better. The situation just seemed a bit shady.
Salem said I need clarification; can we talk about other applicants after the fact? I think not.
Vice President Carnes said personal issues should be brought up in closed session. Keep your discussion from being personal.
Patel said recommendations for confirmations are always taken by the Senate, even if it’s unfavorable we need a recommendation. Even commissions sometimes give poor recommendations.
Patel motioned to adjourn
Sanders objected; people are on the speakers’ list.
Patel withdrew her motion.
Farad said I abstained because I was here all summer, so I could have sat on any interview committee but I apparently wasn’t invited. I could feel the tension in the room, so I wasn’t comfortable giving yes or no. Basically the applicant shouldn’t be in the room if we need to discuss issues.
Sanders said I voted yes, but I advise the Senate to talk about this in closed session if it’s a big deal. Conversation on this needs to stop now.
Savaree-Ruess said it’s not fair to discuss whether other people were qualified, the Senate made its decision. Second guessing that decision is not appropriate. But I was very concerned when the confirmation went down and only six out of twelve senators voted yes. It’s not important why you voted yes or no, but in the future as a student in UCD, I would prefer if Senators would take stances. To abstain essentially means to rescind your vote, and it’s just not okay to do that during the confirmation of a unit director.
Sanders said many people didn’t understand the things that were going on. My definition of abstaining is either because you’re not at the meeting, or you have a personal conflict or conflict of interest in the issue. We are representing many students, so we do need to vote.
Sanders motioned to adjourn.
Roll call vote on adjournment began.
Sanders withdrew his motion.
Salem said to the public: I believe issues do need a yes or no vote, but abstaining is also an option to vote. To me it means if I don’t know enough about the issue I have enough time to take further action if it can be taken. I feel abstaining was the logical course of action.
Savaree-Ruess said as a general rule in politics you should vote no if there’s any doubt. Abstaining doesn’t allow you more time because the rest of the votes still happen. Unless you’re going to file a court-case on the matter, what just happened can only be undone by firing person who you just hired.
Carnes said you all have agendas on Wednesday. You all can know all about any legislation and the people being confirmed. You have time to ask questions, investigate, etc. So let’s not be mixed up about this next meeting. Come to the meetings informed.
Deepak said about cronyism: I don’t see it, and I’m offended by the suggestion. A recommendation was given, and person explained why he was a good applicant. Let’s not be making accusations; I feel decision made today was totally just.
Herold said my problem is that during the candidate’s confirmation, I couldn’t ask him questions because I’m just a member in the public…maybe we could write legislation to fix that though.
Deepak motioned to adjourn.
Deepak withdrew the motion.
Rogers said what’s done is done. Regardless of any relationships that anyone in this Senate table might have, I could see Jarvis in the job and I don’t regret my decision. I didn’t even know about any hiring issues. If any of you have a problem with something that’s happening at a senate meeting, let it be public before the voting occurs. Also don’t abstain if there’s another option: we could have brought these issues up immediately as soon as they were noticed. If there was a procedural problem, we could’ve fixed it. If there was another concern, it could have been addressed. So if there is a problem please just make it public so we can all make an informed decision together based on the same information.
Patel said about the comment concerning small groups in ASUCD talking, etc, we aren’t all involved in these small groups. So again if there is problem it must be made public, otherwise it’s just confusion that ensues.
Rogers said it’s the same as I said before. I would like to be in the know about any issues or concerns in ASUC. While I am very available I am not a part of these little cliques or small groups on the third floor, so things must be said openly outside of those groups if they are to be known and addressed.
Savaree-Ruess said really the hiring procedure was correct so there wasn’t such a big problem.
Vice President Carnes said I disagree because it appears that not all of the senators were contacted for the interview.
Savaree-Ruess said the decision was legally made by the appropriate people, so the legality of the confirmation should no longer be a concern.
Rogers said just the same hiring procedure issues should be known ahead of time so we don’t look irresponsible when the moment comes for someone to be hired and these issues are brought up right in front of him/her. When we are this unorganized it makes the Senate look irresponsible and it makes me as a Senator appear irresponsible. We are elected to be responsible representatives, so let’s demonstrate that.
Ajlouny said I’d like to end this meeting with a funny story. I recently went to this party…fell…had a very embarrassing time… Ajlouny motioned to adjourn; properly seconded without objections.
Vice President Carnes adjourned the meeting at 7:52 pm.
Bobby Gray ASUCD Senate Recorder 2006