In a testy four-hour meeting Wednesday night, Associated Students Legislative Council passed a position paper and debated its status as campus leaders.
The council approved a position paper in support of the Santa Barbara Living Wage Ordinance, which would increase the hourly wage of workers hired by the county to $11 with benefits, or $12.25 without. This increase seeks to benefit those employees living at or below poverty level, according to Harley Augustino, Santa Barbara Living Wage Coalition field organizer.
"People who work for a living should not have to struggle in poverty," he said. "Our government should not be paying for people to live in poverty."
The position paper in favor of the living wage increase passed, 19-5.
A piece of legislation proposed by Off-Campus Reps Josh Baker and Jonathan Kalinski asked Leg Council to raise the academic bar for participation in student government.
"Most of us are well aware how easy it was to give ourselves raises last year," Baker said. "I’m wondering how easy will it be now to raise our own standards?"
The legislation supported a raise in academic requirements for an executive member up to a quarterly GPA of 3.0 and cumulatively throughout one’s tenure in office. The position paper also proposed that Leg Council members be required to maintain a GPA of 2.5.
Off-Campus Rep Vanessa Blau vehemently opposed using a student’s academic performance as a basis for one’s abilities to be in involved in student government.
"I think it’s absurd to hold us and the executives to a higher standard than everyone else just because we’re supposed to be leaders," she said. "We’re already leading the students right now."
The council voted to table the two bills indefinitely.