In its final meeting of the school year, Associated Students Legislative Council debated two bills Wednesday night relating to changing the council’s meeting time and increasing greek representation in student government.
The council members voted to table indefinitely a bill that called for the creation of an A.S. Greek Affairs Commission and voted down a bill that would have changed the meeting time of Leg Council from 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays to 5 p.m. The bill’s author, Katie Joaquin, said she wanted resident assistants to be able to hold positions on Leg Council. RAs have mandatory meetings with their resident directors on Wednesday nights at 7, and can not attend the mandatory Leg Council meetings, which last for two hours on average, because of the scheduling conflict. Joaquin said she was disappointed council members did not pass the bill.
“A lot of folks talk a lot about access [to Leg Council], but it seems to me it was just mere rhetoric,” Joaquin said. “Tonight was an issue of access to resident assistants, who are perfect on-campus representatives.”
The bill directly affects On-Campus Rep Ashley Chapman and University Owned Off-Campus Housing Rep Jorge Arroyo, who will be RAs next year.
“I knew going into it that it might’ve been a conflict,” Chapman said. “I was hoping something could be worked out.”
Although council members unanimously agreed RAs should be allowed to be on Leg Council, many members thought changing the meeting time for the convenience of RAs would create different problems. Some members said a conflict would result even if the meeting were held an hour and a half earlier because Leg Council meetings can last well over two hours. Class conflicts were also discussed. Eight members of the council already have classes scheduled between 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. for next fall.
Off-Campus Rep Adriana Wianecki, who abstained from the vote, said changing Leg Council’s meeting time should be a future consideration of the council, but for now the current schedule was perhaps the best.
“It was really hard for me,” Wianecki said. “Originally I was against it because of precedence and meeting times but they brought up some very good points. We shouldn’t leave part of the student body out of [Leg Council].”
After two hours of discussion and the failure of Joaquin’s bill, Rep-At-Large Jason Everitt presented his bill to create a Greek Affairs Commission. Everitt said the greek community, which includes 10 percent of the student population, is underrepresented in A.S. Although a liaison position between the greek community and A.S. already exists, Everitt said he feels the position is not as efficient as a commission would be.
“The bill is to create a commission whose purpose would be to sort of dispel a lot of the stereotypes that are involved with the greek system itself and publicize a lot of the events that we do that pertain to community service [and] community involvement in general,” Everitt said.
Former Off-Campus Rep Lance Tackett spoke against the bill, saying creation of the committee would be premature.
“Clearly A.S. doesn’t have the resources to support another commission,” Tackett said. “Other commissions are advocacy groups on behalf of underrepresented communities and identity communities like Queer Commission, Women’s Commission and Student’s Commission on Racial Equality.”
Tackett called Everitt’s claim that the greek community was underrepresented “ludicrous.” According to Tackett, more than 10 percent of Leg Council members were part of the greek system this past year. He said former President Miguel Lopez and former Internal Vice President Denise Aceves were greek community members, as well as other council members.
But Tackett also said he supports greek involvement in A.S. and encourages students in fraternities and sororities to continue working with student government.
“We need to hold [the greek liaison] accountable before we create a whole entire commission just for people who are greek,” Tackett said.