Associated Students Legislative Council prepared for the upcoming A.S. special election and supported bicyclist safety at Wednesday night’s meeting.
Council members approved the ballot language for the upcoming A.S. initiative in the Nov. 16-18 A.S. special election. They also approved a resolution in support of repairing the West Campus Bluff bike path. The members tabled a bill until next week that would increase the honoraria of A.S. Program Board (ASPB) commissioners, coordinators and the Leg Council liaison. Members also welcomed newly appointed On-Campus Rep. Raymond Meza to the council, who replaces Ashley Chapman’s vacated seat on the council.
If passed, the A.S. initiative would increase undergraduate A.S. student fees by $10.40 per student per quarter. Currently, each undergraduate pays A.S. $56.23 per quarter in fees, but only $9.10 goes toward student government, while the remaining money, pre-allocated through lock-ins, goes to other on-campus organizations, such as the Women’s Commission, KCSB radio station and the Daily Nexus. A.S. is not allowed to use lock-in monies.
All funds raised by the initiative would go toward A.S. Finance Board, which would then give money to the organization’s boards, committees and on-campus student groups, A.S. Director Don Daves-Rougeaux said.
The ballot measure states that the current amount of money available to students through Finance Board is inadequate.
“The Associated Student membership fee has not increased since 1972,” the ballot states. “So it has never been adjusted for inflation and increases in operating costs.”
Funds for visiting guest speakers, the Greek-sponsored Fight Night, culture weeks and concerts have been partially funded by the board in the past, the ballot states. It also said student services such as the A.S. Bike Shop, A.S. Notetaking and Publications, Academic Affairs Board and the Environmental Affairs Board are funded by Associated Students.
After approving the ballot measure’s language, council members approved a resolution that demanded the university repair the West Campus Bluff bike path. The resolution states that two previous attempts by Leg Council to encourage the university to repair the bike path have “essentially been ignored [and] no action has been taken in the short term to alleviate immediate safety issues.”
According to the A.S. legal code, resolutions passed by Leg Council are only in effect until the end of that individual council’s session.
Shoreline Preservation Fund Grants Manager J. Scott Bull said although university bylaws require it to provide a safe atmosphere for students, UCSB has not taken steps to fix the hazardous bike path.
“Since the path was put in there in 1983, there hasn’t been any repair work or maintenance done on it,” Bull said. “Over the past 20 years it’s had heavy use and each winter, it gets more and more rutted out. The path has gotten wider due to heavy traffic and also people avoiding puddles and ruts.”
Bull also said bicyclists have trampled sensitive coastal shrubs in order to avoid problems on the path. Repairs to the path may cost upwards of $70,000 to $100,000, Bull said.
“It kind of depends on what work is going to be done,” he said. “We’re really pushing to resurface the existing path and extend the path all the way out to Coal [Oil] Point. We’d be using a decomposed granite surface with headers on each side. We’d like to see a 10-foot wide path so that bikes can safely pass each other.”
The bike path has not been repaired because the future of the land in the area is uncertain, Off-Campus Rep. Jennifer Greeley said.
“The university is putting [repairs] off because they’re wanting to develop [university-owned housing] on Devereaux,” she said. “They don’t want to construct a bike path for fear that they might have to pull it up or change the [bike] route or something of that nature.”
Bull also said Leg Council is not the only student organization that supports bike path repairs at the bluff.
“Associated Students BIKES has now come on board and is taking the lead on making this a priority project for them, since it is a big, heavy corner for bike traffic and recreation traffic,” he said. “So A.S. BIKES, Isla Vista Surfrider Foundation and the Shoreline Preservation Fund have sort of joined forces to get this project through.”
Moving away from shrubbery to hardback greens, Off-Campus Rep. and ASPB liaison Chaz Whatley presented a bill to increase ASPB members’ honoraria. Whatley said the Leg Council liaison’s honoraria would be increased from the current $350 per quarter to $400 per quarter, and the 10 coordinators’ honoraria would be increased from $300 per quarter to $600 per quarter. The two publicity and production commissioners’ honoraria would be increased from $200 per quarter to $450 per quarter, Whatley said.
“Program Board should get the increase in honoraria because the hours they spend working on projects to put on for the school – concerts, movies, events and things like that – is so much greater [compared to other boards] and it hinders them from being able to hold a job that pays an hourly wage,” she said. “They should get compensated for their work.”
Because ASPB honoraria are funded through the board’s lock-in fee, students will not have to pay for the increase, she said.