It was out with the old and in with the new last night at the first meeting of the 2001-02 Associated Students Legislative Council, which included the swearing in of the new executive officers.
Before the new council could take office, the 2000-01 Leg Council voted on unfinished business, including next year’s budget. In 2 1/2 hours, the old Leg Council passed five bills and approved its honoraria and 2001-02 budget.
After four weeks of postponement, next year’s budget was passed without any further discussion at last night’s meeting. Major budget changes for next year include all around cuts in honoraria and funding for student groups.
Council members debated their honoraria for this year for an hour before they approved it. While all of Leg Council seemed to agree that the honoraria system needed to be changed, many Leggies had differing opinions about the best way to reform the process.
Currently, a committee on honoraria evaluates student representatives’ attendance on office hours and meetings, docking certain dollar amounts for missed obligations. In an attempt to protest against the current system, some members suggested giving full honoraria to everyone in Associated Students, including Leg Council, boards and committees, and executive officers.
Off-Campus Representative Jonathan Kalinski said by docking honoraria, Leg Council only hurts other students.
“A.S. isn’t going to get rich off of honoraria,” he said, “and neither am I. We’ve debated this longer than we debated the budget.”
After some discussion, the motion to give everyone full honoraria was withdrawn. Off-Campus Rep Vanessa Blau said Leg Council should respect the decision of the honoraria committee and be responsible with its money.
“The reason we’re debating this longer than the budget is because we’re supposed to be fiscally responsible,” Blau said. “Giving everyone their full honoraria is not fiscally responsible.”
Leg Council also unanimously passed a position paper asking departments to adopt a rolling lunch hour policy that would allow them to remain open between 12:00 and 1:00 p.m. The majority of departments on campus close during this time for lunch.
Rep-at-Large Nina Kobayashi said the current system is inconvenient for many students who do not have class during this time.
“I don’t know a single student who hasn’t gone to a student service during lunch and found it closed,” she said.