Editor’s Note: It was incorrectly stated that former Associated Students President Christine Lawson was sued for using her position to oppose the recall of 3rd District Supervisor Gail Marshall. Lawson was not sued.
Associated Students Executive Officers Logan Green and Jewel Love have both endorsed 3rd District candidate John Buttny for the upcoming election – endorsements which may conflict with A.S. By-Laws.
Last year’s A.S. President, Chrystine Lawson, was sued for her appearance in a campaign television commercial against the recall of Gail Marshall, an action that goes against the A.S. By-Laws, which prohibit executive officers from endorsing political candidates. Love appears in a similar commercial, where his title appears with a disclaimer stating that the title appears for identification purposes only.
Love, A.S. external vice president of statewide affairs, said the difference between the two ads is that his endorsement is a statement of a personal opinion. He said the campaign staff approached him to appear in the commercial.
“I was speaking as a general student, not as A.S. president,” Love said. “Originally, they tried to get me to endorse [Buttny] before I knew the guy, but then I met with him. I asked him some questions and he cleared with me.”
Love said he was unaware that Buttny’s campaign website lists him under student endorsements by his A.S. title, which appears with the same disclaimer as in the commercial. Green, A.S. vice president of local affairs, is listed as an endorsement with both his A.S. title and as Isla Vista Recreation and Park District director. Green said it is prohibited for A.S. to get involved with partisan politics, though its members may state a personal opinion.
“A.S. … cannot endorse a candidate, but as an individual, you can still wear many hats,” Green said. “This was just the title [Buttny’s campaign staff] chose to use.”
In other A.S. news, the Legislative Council met Wednesday night and gave funding to two student groups before passing a bill allowing last minute Leg Council votes to secure funding for A.S. boards and committees.
Ginger Gonzaga, member of the Environmental Affairs Board, presented the budget for the California Student Sustainability Coalition, which requested $325 for their presentation on transportation to the University of California Office of the President. Though it is the job of A.S. Finance Board to approve funding for student groups, the request came to Leg Council because Finance Board did not meet this week due to the Presidents Day holiday.
EAB Sustainability Chair Ed France said UCOP requested to hear a proposal from the Sustainability Coalition on green transportation before deciding on a UC-wide policy on transportation. The coalition’s proposal mostly involves installing more bikepaths on some UC campuses and improving bus programs, Gonzaga said.
France said the coalition has an opportunity to make a real impact on the UCOP’s decision.
“This was a real milestone; the office of the president requested this presentation,” France said. “[The UC system] has no policy right now on transportation. However much pressure we apply on them with our presentation is how much they’ll adopt.”
Members of the council spoke in general support of the request in discussion and approved the $325 requested with one vote opposed.
The council heard another request from Brandon Marich, who represented the A.S. Queer Commission and Queer Student Union. Marich asked the council for $1,500 to use to send 40 students to the 15th annual UC Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Intersex Association Conference, a three-day event in San Diego. Marich said the commission had intended to bring its funding request to this week’s Finance Board meeting but was thrown off schedule when the board did not meet on the Presidents Day holiday. Marich said the conference provides participants with an education in programs for queer students that will spur more action here at UCSB.
“It’s an awesome event. It brings people together who have been organizing or want to start organizing, and people who are just coming into their sexuality, and it all comes back here,” Marich said.
Representative-at-large Katie Joaquin spoke about the important beneficial nature of the program and the need for funding.
“This is a really worthy cause and something we should fund and fund fully,” Joaquin said.
The council granted the Queer Commission all $1,500 in travel funds, then turned its attention to a related bill to allow A.S. boards and committees to request an A.S. Leg Council phone vote on funds under special circumstances such as when an A.S. group needs immediate funding. France, who is also chair of A.S. BIKES, spoke in favor of the bill, which was originally discussed at last week’s meeting.
France said that the bill would not allow groups to bypass the proper procedure to request A.S. funding, but instead would give them a quick funding approval in situations that require immediate action.
“We’re not here to open the floodgates; people aren’t going to try to slip past procedure,” France said. “In extenuating circumstances there needs to be a mechanism so groups can access their funds.”
The council voted unanimously to pass the bill.