Associated Students Senate met Wednesday night to review California’s state budget, discuss upcoming events for the quarter, such as Deltopia and examine food budgets for different campus Boards, Committees and Commissions, also known as BCCs.
The meeting featured discussion of safety precautions for Deltopia — the springtime I.V. beach party that attracts thousands of party-goers every year — as well as speakers who touched on issues such as UC tuition costs, food budgets for A.S. groups and ongoing projects by the A.S. Food Bank.
In explaining the California State Budget’s impact on the education system, third-year student Ajinkya Joshi discussed Governor Jerry Brown’s priorities in educational funding and also said tuition costs are expected to remain unchanged in the upcoming years.
“He’s going to focus on making a five percent increase in the general fund to schools and higher education,” Joshi said. “Essentially, our tuition won’t be increasing; it will be stable, and the UCs and CSUs are going to be aiming to try to increase innovation and trying to make it so that way more of us graduate at a lower cost.”
In addition, Joshi said the current problems in higher education are that the UCs have a higher cost structure and higher per student subsidy.
“Right now the problem is trying to maintain the quality of education while keeping the costs low for the student,” Joshi said.
Although Joshi’s presentation covered a fairly large quantity of information that would directly impact UCSB students, Senators came close to denying Joshi sufficient time to make the presentation. The vote on granting Joshi his requested 10 minutes of extra time turned out to be a tie until Internal Vice President Kyley Scarlet broke it with a vote in favor of the time extension.
External Vice President of Local Affairs Alex Moore spoke briefly on plans for Deltopia, the annual student-organized event coming up this Spring Quarter, regarding efforts to provide extra police units, Port-a-Potties and access to drinking water during the festivities. Moore said he will advocate for a similar system established during Halloween.
“What I want to do is an expanded version of what we did for Halloween,” Moore said. “We’ll have a hydration station and some sort of safety effort as well.”
Chair of A.S. Food Bank and third-year economics and accounting major Erick Lankey reported on a series of upcoming events geared toward enhancing student involvement and knowledge about the Food Bank. According to Lankey, these events include “how to eat on a low budget” tours through the I.V. Food Co-op, an extreme couponing team contest and a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program challenge in which participants pledge to live on $31.50 of food for a week in an effort to gain empathy for the challenges faced by individuals living on food stamps.
The presentation received positive feedback from Off-Campus Senators Andre Taylor and Nick Onyshko. Taylor said he was “very excited” to participate, and Onyshko said he applauds the Food Bank for its growth as an organization.
“I just wanted to say all this stuff sounds amazing, and I’m really impressed with everything you’ve done with this committee,” Onyshko said.
Bills passed during the meeting included a bill to update Take Back the Night’s legal code as well as another bill that limits the amount of money campus BCCs spend on food per quarter to $500 or less, depending on the size of the particular BCC, as part of an effort to reduce wasteful spending. A bill to establish a new A.S. logo was tabled for another week.