Wednesday night’s Associated Students Senate meeting focused on a resolution to approve the A.S. President’s 2014-2015 budget, undercover raids by the Isla Vista Foot Patrol and a plan to promote socially responsible investments of university funds.
Next year’s budget proposal, roughly 10.7 million dollars, includes funding for staff members and student programs, marking an increase of $126 thousand over this year’s final budget. The bill was ultimately tabled for next week after an extensive debate over the reduced amount of money allocated for A.S. staff positions.
A.S. staff member Aaron Jones said senators should “use their time wisely” when looking over the budget before approving it. He said many A.S. staff members were overwhelmed by the workload and putting in more hours than they were scheduled.
“They all feel that they are doing more than is within their job description. I’ve asked them to do more because of the shortages we have in staff,” Jones said. “They do put in hours that are not necessarily accounted for.”
External Vice President of Local Affairs Alex Moore gave a presentation to the A.S. Senate explaining some of the details behind the recent undercover operations by the Isla Vista Foot Patrol. Moore said that he has told officers that the undercover raids are not a productive way of policing Isla Vista.
“I mentioned to the law enforcement pretty strongly, as far as the community policing thing, this is, A, really unfortunate timing right after Deltopia because it feels like punishment, and B, just in general I feel like [it’s] not a very effective tool because all it will yield to is a bunch of [minor in possession]’s,” Moore said. “I feel that’s not something the community is very concerned about.”
Moore also reported the results of the I.V. Needs Assessment Survey, a comprehensive poll that asks residents about their concerns for the community.
“The number one priority for Isla Vista residents thus far is lighting and number two is affordable housing,” Moore said.
Additionally, Moore said 91 percent of those polled reported that harassment was a consistent community problem.
The Senate also voted unanimously to pass a resolution to create an ad-hoc committee to encourage UCSB to make socially responsible investment decisions based on human rights and environmental protection, among other criteria that remain to be determined. The resolution’s aim is to divest from corporations rated poorly in terms of corporate social responsibility by an independent group such as The Economist.
Second-year biopsychology major Guy Singer said the resolution would do a great deal to repair some of the divisions that arose from the divestment meeting last week, citing bipartisanship support from American Support for Israel and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
“This specific resolution of the last few days has received a lot of input from both pro-Israel community and pro-BDS community to help bridge the gap between the pretty intense conflict that’s been present here for the last year,” Singer said. “This resolution is not only endorsed by leaders of both communities, but parts of it were written by both.”
Other topics discussed at the meeting were the release of an issue of UCSB’s Campus Point magazine, the Chilla Vista festival that will occur Saturday in Perfect Park and a senior citizen prom being sponsored by the Community Affairs Board. In addition, the Senate took a moment to sing Off-Campus Senator-elect Emani Oakley a happy birthday song.