The Associated Students (A.S.) Senate held their weekly meeting Wednesday night in the Flying A Room of the UCen to vote on a bill proposing a single transferable vote, a resolution to endorse UC Student Regent Avi Oved’s Student Advisor Proposal and whether to support the development of a Chican@ studies minor.
In public forum, students voiced their opinions concerning the bill proposing single transferable voting and reforming election code to improve representation of minority groups on campus.
Voter registration director and fourth-year political science major Jared Daniels spoke at the public forum and said 2,152 students, excluding online registration, registered in a nine-day campaign that included 57 volunteers. Daniels said he supports the switch to single transferrable voting to enable a smoother electoral process.
“I believe that transferring to this system will increase both diversity and access to student government, especially among traditionally underrepresented groups,” Daniels said.
Graduate Student Association Vice President of Committee and Planning Timothy Irving said student government needs to be more receptive to different perspectives and ideas.
“Building our graduate and undergraduate communities means ensuring that students feel, not excluded, but included, not alienated, but encouraged to participate, unlike their student government,” Irving said.
According to second-year global studies and history of public double-major Marjan Abubo, implementing single transferrable votes would allow A.S. to better serve underrepresented students.
“I do see diversity, however I do not think that you all [A.S.] represent me,” Abubo said. “I think that you guys are not doing an adequate job of representing students that you say that you want to represent.”
Third-year political science and feminist studies double-major Josephine Ampaw said members of A.S. Senate do not embody the diversity of the student population.
“I am sad there’s nobody that looks like me in this room,” Ampaw said. “You all are supposed to represent the 23,000 students out there and that’s not happening.”
Engineering Collegiate Senator and fourth-year mechanical engineering major Sara Maroofi presented “A Resolution to Create a Temporary Committee in Support of a Chican@ Studies Minor at UCSB” which outlines the creation of an ad hoc committee to reestablish the Chican@ studies minor.
Off-campus senator and second-year Asian American studies and political science double-major Akshaya Natarajan presented “A Resolution in Support of a Student Advisor Position to the UC Board of Regents and UC Regent Avi Oved’s Shared Governance Proposal.”
“The position would be a compliment to the existing student regent and would be a non-voting member of the Board of Regents,” Natarajan said. “Currently what happens is that if there is a graduate student as a student regent, the undergraduate issues are looked down and vice versa.”
The resignation of former On-Campus Senator and second-year art history major Lacy Wright and the bill to switch the voting system to single transferable vote both passed in unanimous decisions, while the two bills presented were moved to A.S committees.