Many Associated Students Legislative Council members apparently thought better of attending last night’s meeting.
The five-hour meeting started 45 minutes late and experienced numerous delays throughout the evening, with members having difficulty obtaining and maintaining quorum.
Of 24 officially elected members who sit on Legislative Council, the A.S. Legal Code requires that at least 12 of those members be present at meetings to enable the council to pass any sort of legislation. The meeting initially began 45 minutes late due to the council’s inability to achieve quorum and stopped and started several more times as council members intermittently left the scene.
Rep-at-large and Internal Vice President-elect Chris Wendle said he was incredibly disappointed with the council and their inability to fulfill their responsibilities as elected A.S. members.
“I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but I don’t know how to address this situation,” Wendle said. “We have a lot to discuss as Legislative Council, but if we aren’t having the people here we can’t get anything done. This has never happened before and I really don’t know what to say right now.”
Council member Narain Kumar also mentioned that after the overwhelming absence of representatives at last night’s meeting, three council members are currently eligible for removal.
Many phone calls were made in attempt to have more elected members show up for the meeting. After 45 minutes, Internal Vice President Kevin Higuchi arrived and was able to bring the meeting to order.
Despite the continuous loss of quorum, Legislative Council did approve several pieces of legislation, including “A Resolution to Condemn the Passing of the Santa Barbara County Wide Social Host Ordinance.”
Council member Ashley Day said the ordinance unfairly targets Isla Vista residents.
“The Social Host Ordinance is impractical and shouldn’t apply to Isla Vista because we are set up to fail. We have a high population density and with this ordinance, a majority of us will be living in potential violation,” Day said.
At the end of the meeting, the floor was opened for remarks and several council members expressed their concern about the removal of Daniel Plotkin and David Preciado from Finance Board the previous week.
“I’m really disappointed that we removed Daniel and David from the Board. It just sucks that we can’t look past our legal code and our legal semantics, and end up losing our mission,” Rep-at- large Faris Shalan said. “Let’s quit the bullshit and stop interfering in people’s work so we can start getting our shit done, because honestly, leg council has taken a back-step this year.”
Kumar, however, disagreed with Shalan and defended the importance of the Legislative Council’s constitution and by-laws.
“Rules aren’t meant to be broken; they’re there to help us,” Kumar said. “I’m okay with us holding each other responsible here. We don’t serve to do whatever we feel like, or to say ‘fuck all of this, fuck all of the rules.’ You are here to represent the people you were elected to serve.”