The Associated Students Senate met in the Flying A Room at the UCen Wednesday night to discuss potential lock-in fees and resolutions including ones in support of President Barack Obama’s proposal to make community college free, an op-ed in support of the tuition hike and a project to redesign student access cards.
Senate passed the resolutions in favor of free community college and new access cards, but sent the op-ed piece to External Affairs for further discussion.
Senate also passed a resolution to support the Isla Vista Tenants Union (IVTU) and their “Tenants Re-claiming Isla Vista” campaign. During public forum, the California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG) requested support for their lock-in fee proposal of $3.46 to replace their pledging system.
A.S. Senator Carlos Lopez authored the bill in support of Obama’s proposal and said Senators “really think this goes along with the UC’s commitment to affordable education.”
Third-year political science and philosophy double major Heather Goold, who is the CALPIRG Chapter Vice Chair for UCSB, said CALPIRG is looking to gain support for their campaigns through lock-in fees from students.
“UCSA [University of California Student Association] just passed a resolution in our favor last week,” Goold said, “they voted to support CALPIRG fees statewide and so we’re looking to just kind of like gauge support and whatnot.”
Goold said CALPIRG was supported with a lock-in fee during their first 12 years at the university but that a conflict regarding a pesticide campaign in 1991 led to their removal by the UC Board of Regents.
“Basically we ran a campaign against pesticide companies and the Regents had investments in the companies,” Goold said, “so when we ran a public outreach campaign against the companies, the Regents were afraid to lose money so they kicked us off campus.”
According to Goold, CALPIRG is a nationwide, student-run non-profit that aims to change policies based on public interest issues.
“CALPIRG is not only a campus-wide group … we have a board here on campus and we have a board statewide,” Goold said. “We’re more directed at running campaigns that are gauged from the public interest … we actually do more campaigns that are geared towards policy, rather than just advocacy.”
In addition, Off-Campus Senator Michelle Moreh proposed a resolution to support the IVTU “Tenants Re-claiming Isla Vista” campaign, which the Senate passed.
“This is in regards to the six households that were evicted in October and IVTU has been working really hard to organize the campaign,” Moreh said.
It’s not just about these benefits. It’s about unity, it’s about showing strength, it’s about believing that together. – IVTU President Andrey Bogdanov
Third-year economics major and IVTU President Andrey Bogdanov said Senate should support the residents evicted from the apartments in the Abrego Villas.
“Tonight I come over here not to just ask you to support it but to ask you to join the movement and help lead it in order to unite the community,” Bogdanov said, “Show that … we’re not just trying to add to the noise … we’re trying to make sure that our voices translate into action.”
Bogdanov said, while the tenants may go to court to sue the management companies for their benefits, he believes supporting the cause is important for the community.
“It’s not just about these benefits. It’s about unity, it’s about showing strength, it’s about believing that together,” Bogdanov said, “We can build a better community for all of us, for future generations of students.”
Bogdanov said he urges people to join IVTU’s movement and reclaim I.V. from unethical landowners.
“I firmly believe in fair and equitable housing rights and opportunities for all,” Bogdanov said. “I want you to see that together we can really make it and we can really build a powerful movements and we can really, as tenants, reclaim Isla Vista from the, quite frankly, scummy landlords that are taking over our town; that are taking over your town.”
[Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly quoted IVTU president Andrey Bogdanov stating his belief in “fair and negligible housing.” Bogdanov actually said “fair and equitable”. This article has been updated accordingly.]