Parties, mushrooms and gambling sparked discussion at Wednesday night’s Associated Students Legislative Council meeting, leading the council to unanimously pass two resolutions in protest of mandatory party registration and labor violations.
Leg Council members exchanged views on the position paper, opposing a county ordinance that would require party registration in Isla Vista for gatherings of over 100 people. Some members of Leg Council felt that requiring party registration would be a violation of First Amendment rights, and questioned the ability for law enforcement officials to hold residents responsible for people gathering on the street in front of their residences.
The issue first came to the attention of the county two years ago, when students who were concerned about safety at large open parties in Isla Vista formed a committee to discuss ways to lower crime, especially sexual assaults.
Off-Campus Representative Bridget Saltzman, who authored the resolution, said she agreed that safety was an issue, but did not feel that the county’s proposal was the best way to deal with those concerns.
"This ordinance is not the answer. They tried this with greek houses and it doesn’t work," she said. "This ordinance would just punish responsible party hosts."
Mark Chaconas, executive assistant to 3rd District Supervisor Gail Marshall, attended the meeting to answer questions and explain the county’s position on this issue. Council members questioned Chaconas for 20 minutes, posing hypothetical situations and pointing out problems with the ordinance as drafted.
The ordinance currently states that the number of people allowed at a party would be relative to the size of the property where the party is to be held.
In other business, council members discussed endorsing a boycott on PictSweet Mushrooms. The United Farm Workers (UFW) and AFL-CIO began a national boycott of PictSweet in September because, as the resolution states, "PictSweet Mushroom Farms in Ventura, California, is a company that neglects, abuses and exploits its workers."
On-Campus Rep Ruben Cordero seconded the resolution endorsing the boycott and said the farmers were part of the community.
"They are only asking for a 4-cent raise and they won’t even give them that," he said. "They’re not looking for luxuries; they are just trying to make a living."
Off-Campus Rep Hagen Green added that Vons and Ralphs have already joined the boycott. A large number of students came to speak in favor of the position paper as well as a representative from the UFW.
The union has already filed 11 charges against the company with the Agricultural Labor Relations Board, and there are seven others currently being investigated, the UFW representative said. He also pointed out that the workers have not had a contract for 13 years and have only had one 3-cent raise over the last 13 years.
Another topic of discussion at the meeting was the expansion of the Chumash Casino in Santa Barbara County. The resolution was a position paper in favor of the development, but after some discussion, Leg Council decided to table it in order to allow for further research on the expansion.