At their meeting Wednesday night, Associated Students Legislative Council members approved a bill to support local farmers and discussed next week’s special election.
Council members passed a resolution demanding that the university dining services purchase all of its produce from the Santa Barbara Farmers Market upon the expiration of its current contract with Barry Man, Inc. of Santa Barbara in January. They also tabled a bill to raise the honoraria of A.S. Program Board (ASPB) publicity and production commissioners, its 10 coordinators and the ASPB liaison until Winter Quarter.
Off-Campus Representative Adam Graff, who presented the bill in favor of purchasing local produce, said the local economy would benefit if the university were to buy food from Santa Barbara farmers.
“[Local farmers] have a difficult time competing with agribusiness companies, and so their operations are typically based in the community and are much smaller than, say, your corporate farm,” Graff said.
The local farmers are offering organic produce, which is grown without the use of pesticides, to the university in the same volume and at the identical cost the dining commons currently pays for non-organic produce, Graff said. Surveys taken over recent years consistently show students would prefer organic food in the dining commons, he said.
“Numerous studies show that organic food is healthier, better for the environment and just more sustainable than non-organic produce,” he said.
In other business, Off-Campus Rep and ASPB liaison Chaz Whatley said she asked council members to table the ASPB honoraria increase bill until Winter Quarter because she thought members of the council should focus their attention on next week’s special election for the A.S. Initiative.
Several polling places will be set up in Isla Vista and on campus for the election, Whatley said. Council members with laptops connected to the Internet will be located at places such as the entrance to I.V. Theater, she said. Students will vote in the election on GOLD.
Council members will be campaigning for the initiative throughout campus and I.V. this week, Internal Vice President Andrea Wells said. They are handing out fliers, taping fliers onto the new student directories and distributing fliers with packaged condoms attached. Two thousand fliers with condoms attached have already been distributed to residents of Isla Vista and to greek houses, and 2,000 more will be given to on-campus residents this weekend, she said.