The Associated Student Legislative Council held a busy meeting last night, discussing three bills and two resolutions, allocating money, approving appointments and accepting the resignation of yet another member.
Leggies passed a resolution supporting better campus lighting, but tabled a controversial resolution supporting the recent protests in Oaxaca. As for the bills, the council failed to pass a bill to expedite meetings, tabled a bill concerning the A.S. Isla Vista Tenants’ Union, but passed a bill calling for the Bhakti Yoga Club to be recognized as a nonprofit organization, allowing them to continue serving lunches to its members on campus – an activity recently banned by the Office of Student Life.
The council also allocated $887.20 between two groups for on-campus events.
Additionally, the council accepted the official resignation of Rep-at-Large Gina Fischer. Internal Vice President Felix Hu read Fischer’s statement to the council, in which she said schoolwork and other activities were preventing her from dedicating more time to A.S.
“Subsequently Leg Council has been pushed to the permanent back burner,” Fischer wrote in her statement. “I would much rather resign and open the position up to anyone who can put the hours and time in. I just cannot right now and I apologize for that.”
This has been the third resignation since last week. Off-campus Representative Julie Stephanides had also submitted a letter of resignation earlier in the day, but after the meeting told Hu that she had reconsidered.
After the meeting, Hu said he understood the reasoning for the resignations.
“It’s not really a concern for me because we do have a runner-up system that will fill these positions automatically,” Hu said. “I’m disappointed and I’m saddened … but I completely understand that sometimes you can’t handle everything and I completely respect their decisions to do so.”
As for the bill concerning the Bhakti Yoga Club, Student Government Advisor Aaron Jones told the council that Associate Dean of Students Carolyn Buford had requested that Leggies table the bill until next week, as she could not attend last night’s meeting due to it being her birthday. Buford said she had wanted to clarify OSL’s stance on the matter before the council discussed it.
The bill seeks to allow the club to resume its luncheons, which OSL deemed in violation of the California Uniform Retail Food Facilities Law. The law upholds statewide sanitation standards in food facilities in order to ensure “pure, safe and unadulterated” food.
According to the law, food sold on campus and on a regular basis must be prepared in a licensed kitchen. It also limits on-campus food sales and food fairs to three times a quarter for all nonprofit organizations and clubs. OSL said that the Bhakti Yoga Club was selling food twice a week.
Despite Buford’s request, the council passed the bill with 12 in favor, zero opposed and five abstaining.
“I think it’s a great bill and I think it should be approved tonight,” council member Raymond Meza said.
Rep-at-Large J.P. Slauenwhite argued in favor of waiting for Buford, although he ended up abstaining in the vote.
“In all honesty, we are not hearing both sides of it and I couldn’t possibly move forward without hearing both sides,” Slauenwhite said. “There’s got to be some kind of an explanation.”
Meanwhile, the council discussed a bill tabled during last week’s meeting regarding expediting legislative council meetings.
Meza urged the council to pass the bill, which calls for grammatical corrections to be made outside of meeting time.
“If you just give the author a call the author will change it,” Meza said. “Call the person, don’t waste our time.”
The bill failed with 10 in favor, six opposing and two abstaining, as it required a two-thirds vote to pass. Council members in opposition said passage of the bill would ironically prevent the council from making grammatical changes at all, as changing it after the meeting would be in violation of parliamentary procedure.