Partisan tensions ran high at times as talk of the upcoming elections dominated the Associated Students Legislative Council meeting Wednesday.
Tensions were highest between the members of the Student Action Coalition (SAC) and the Students’ Party when the council discussed Rep. At Large Cervin Morris’ pending eligibility as candidate for A.S. president in the coming election. Morris, who is running on the Students’ Party ticket, learned last Thursday that he was four units short of the 60-unit requirement because he had dropped eight units his freshman year during a family crisis involving the health of his grandmother.
Morris applied for candidacy with 76 units but learned Thursday that because 20 of them were transfer units, they did not count toward the in-resident unit requirement. Rep. At Large Kristen Ditlevsen wrote a petition asking the council to approve Morris’s candidacy because of the extenuating circumstances of his family crisis.
“The policy is there because you want to know that someone who’s going to be your president has been here on campus, who knows what life on campus is like,” Ditlevsen said. “Cervin is definitely this kind of person; he’s done what someone who fits the spirit of this bill is supposed to have done.”
Off-Campus Rep. Shanna Maschmeier took a different stance, arguing that the council should stand on its policies and avoid setting a precedent of making exceptions.
“I feel that making this exception would not be fair to past people who tried to run and did not qualify,” Maschmeier said. “Anyone with intentions to run should be aware of the requirements early on. I think we should follow what the legal code says.”
The council voted 11-10 to approve his candidacy after a long debate.
A.S. Finance Board Chair Fernando Ramirez, who is running for A.S. president with SAC, said he was disappointed that the debate was not more professional.
“I think it’s unfair to the [elections] process,” Ramirez said. “One of the people who was running with us had to drop out because they were ineligible, and they didn’t petition when they could have.”
On-Campus Rep. Adam Graff said he was disappointed at those SAC members who he said voted based on party interests.
“The debate was a disgusting display of party politics,” Graff said.
The council passed two resolutions on UC-wide issues. The first was a position paper that the council signed to show its support for the efforts of the UCLA Undergraduate Students Association Council to establish a diversity requirement in the general education curriculum.
The council also signed a second resolution that encourages UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang and Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services George Pernsteiner to officially request the Workers Rights Consortium to investigate alleged human rights violations in Coca-Cola factories in Colombia. UC previously hired the WRC to investigate clothing sweatshops. The investigation led the UC to change its Code of Conduct to ban sweatshop clothes with campus logos in January 2001.