The first Associated Students Legislative Council meeting of the quarter was held without incident Wednesday evening – few items were discussed and none were opposed.

One of the major issues brought up at the meeting was the recurring Highway 217 refurbishment plan. Campus Highway Committee spokesman Harry Nelson revisited the issue of the installation of traffic lights on the highway leading from campus to Old Town Goleta, mentioning an upcoming meeting for discussion of the topic. At this meeting, to be held Jan. 16 at noon in the State Street room of the UCen, community members will have the opportunity to discuss the renovation’s Environmental Impact Report.

Nelson said he was concerned the freeway would be unsafe if the proposed stoplights are installed. “First and foremost [my concern] is safety. After all, that’s why the 217 is a freeway in the first place,” he said. “Putting in stoplights will increase the number of accidents [on the freeway] by 10 to 13 per year.”

Nelson also suggested alternatives to traffic lights, including off-ramps or a roundabout on the 217.

Another issue discussed in the Leg Council meeting was the approval of the University of California Student Association budget for 2002-03. No Leg Council members opposed the proposed budget. They also unanimously passed a bill allowing A.S. Leg Council to amend the current constitution to allow phone votes to be taken in instances other than presidential vetos or internal, administrative Legislative Council affairs.

In new business, the Council approved $3,075 in funds allocated by the A.S. Finance Board Monday, including $1,075 to cover the increase in tuition for executive officers. Under the A.S. Constitution, the executive officers’ tuitions are paid by A.S. The funds allocated by the Finance Board are to cover the $135-per-student fee increase recently approved by the UC Regents for Spring Quarter.

Other Finance Board allocations approved were $500 to the A.S. Intern project, $1,300 to the Walter H. Capps Center intern and $200 to the Nikkei Student Union.

A.S. President Chrystine Lawson also spoke on goals for the coming quarter including improved organization and recruitment.

“I’d really like to focus this quarter more on organization in A.S.,” Lawson said. “Associated Students should brainstorm ideas for a leadership class and other sustainable ways to keep people involved.”