Student government began the year Wednesday night with an optimistic tone at the first meeting of Associated Students Legislative Council.
The meeting consisted of updates from the executive director and executive officers on their involvement with various A.S. projects over the summer. Some major themes discussed throughout the meeting were student outreach and voter registration.
The floor opened with announcements from the audience, which began with an update from the Associate Dean of Students Carolyn Buford on the existence of new funding available for student groups that would use money from the $1.75 Office of Student Life lock-in fee approved last spring.
“It is your money, and we want you to spend it on activities,” Buford said, adding that the funding is available to any group who wishes to put on a social event open to all UCSB students.
The following speaker, A.S. Executive Director Don Daves-Rougeaux, greeted the council with ’80s pop culture trivia and reminded it of its political past.
“You are part of a very rich history of student activism, not only here, but throughout the UC system,” Daves-Rougeaux said.
Daves-Rougeaux gave an update on the A.S. Legal Resource Center, which is asking for bids from local law firms to staff the center, which offers students legal counseling. He also brought up the possibility of creating a freshman council, with the goal of involving the numerous freshmen that have expressed interest in student government.
President Miguel Lopez gave his report next, touching on several topics, including voter registration, possible revisions of the general education requirements, recent committee chair appointments and the possibility of a freshman council. Another item was the A.S. Week of Welcome program, which gave freshmen an opportunity to tour the A.S. office.
Lopez asked the council for its support on a media campaign for activities sponsored by A.S. The campaign would include announcements in local newspapers and radio and television stations.
“This will help to bridge the gap between the campus and Isla Vista, and hopefully the surrounding community as well,” Lopez said.
Denise Aceves, internal vice president and chair of Leg Council, spoke briefly on council business before turning the floor over to Jewel Love, external vice president of statewide affairs.
“The executives have been working extremely hard this summer,” Love said, and he briefed the council on activities he participated in this summer, including meetings of the UC Student Association and the United States Student Association. Love said UCSA goals for this year are fighting fee hikes and increasing state education funding. Love announced that the voter registration drive on Monday was able to register 2,000 people on campus, and restated the need to publicize A.S. activities.
“People need to know about A.S. We need to do what we can to get their concerns heard,” Love said. “We are here for them.”
Aceves then paused the meeting to recognize Chancellor Yang and Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Michael Young, who said they were looking forward to working with the council.
“I am always delighted to come here and listen to these meetings,” Yang said. “You are the democratic process at work.”
The meeting closed with project reports from members who had attended meetings of various student groups. The council heard brief updates from meetings of the Community Affairs Board, the Finance Board, the Student Lobby, the Women’s Commission, and the Program Board.