The Associated Students Legislative Council convened for its first meeting of the 2007-08 academic year yesterday, discussing future plans in addition to questioning at length the legality of funding a new Santa Barbara music festival.
In a three-hour meeting, members tabled a bill for next week that aims to improve communications between the Daily Nexus and A.S., while also making several internal committee appointments.
Regarding the appointments, council members tabled their decision on selecting Michael Lambright, a third-year philosophy major, as A.S. attorney general, due to concerns over an opinion piece published in the Nexus last Spring Quarter (“Leg Council Breaks Promises to Students,” Daily Nexus, May 15).
According to the A.S. Legal Code, the attorney general bears the responsibility of investigating and prosecuting cases brought before the student government’s judicial council in which the A.S. Constitution & By-Laws are violated.
In Lambright’s column, he criticized an A.S. Finance Board funding decision made last year, which was also approved by the A.S. Legislative Council. The funding regarded the Black Pioneers Renaissance Organization’s annual Women of Color Appreciation ceremony. In his column, Lambright stated that the event was not open to all UCSB students and thus not in compliance with last year’s Finance Board Rules and Regulations. Additionally, Lambright wrote, “It seems that our legislative council has lost touch with the student body.”
Members decided to table his appointment in order to question him about what many deemed a pre-conceived bias against A.S. during the next meeting.
However, the bulk of the evening focused on a debate over funding the West Beach Music Festival, a concert in downtown Santa Barbara on Oct. 27.
Council members raised several issues about the funding, including its current requirement for attendees to be 21. Members also took issue with the fact that the event’s location is in downtown Santa Barbara rather than in Isla Vista. Furthermore, members noted the event is not hosted by a student organization.
Jeremy Pemberton, a fourth-year political science student and the president of Twiin Productions Inc., the company sponsoring the program, said he was confident about the event’s success regardless of A.S. involvement. However, he also said he wanted to make the festival an important UCSB event in the future.
“Jump on board this year with some compromises, but know that years to come will be so much bigger and better,” Pemberton said.
However, A.S. President Stephanie Brower said funding the event could result in several violations.
“We can’t do anything that pits us against another board or community,” Brower said. “And since Program Board specifically does festivals and events, we are now usurping their powers of festivals. Per my interpretation, that is in direct violation of that policy and possibly offensive to members of Program Board.”
Citing these charges, members tabled the decision indefinitely with consent.
In addition, A.S. underwent some internal changes over the summer, appointing its new executive director, Marisela Marquez.
Marquez briefly shared her plans for the year, noting that her priorities for the coming weeks include addressing A.S.’s desire for additional space and analyzing the impact of the Students’ Initiative, a $100 per student per quarter fee increase that includes a return-to-aid surcharge that passed last Fall Quarter.
Internal Vice President Matt Jackson said his main goal for the year is to increase the council’s transparency to the campus community.
“This is about holding you all accountable to your constituents,” Jackson said. “I’d like to see you all attend your meetings.”