Associated Students Legislative Council began the quarter Wednesday night — with two fewer members — by taking care of old business and reaffirming several boycotts instigated by leg councils of years past.
Council members consented to increase the honoraria paid to members of A.S. Program Board (ASPB) at the end of every quarter. The council also voted to approve an update of financial policies and procedures, as prepared by A.S. Finance Board. Also, On-campus Representative Justin Pabian, who also holds the position of second representative pro-tempore, presented an annually required report on entities currently being boycotted by A.S.
Off-campus Rep Chris Mata left his Leg Council seat vacant this quarter for what he said were personal reasons. In addition, Rep-at-large Marcus Duarte-Smith has also not returned to sit on Leg Council this quarter for reasons that remain unknown. He could not be reached for comment Wednesday. Internal Vice President Andrea Wells said she could not discuss the matter.
Rep-at-large Jason Everitt, who was up for removal from Leg Council for missing two meetings, maintained his position after members consented to not remove him. Everitt told the council that circumstances beyond his control contributed to his absences.
Several members of ASPB came to speak on behalf of increasing honoraria. ASPB commissioner Travis Heard said, when calculated, ASPB members are paid an average of $3 per hour for the work they do each quarter. Heard said this is problematic because the positions on the board take up nearly 125 hours a quarter, making it difficult for board members to hold an additional job.
Money for the board members’ honoraria is funded through the ASPB lock-in fee. Therefore, such an increase does not financially impact the A.S. unallocated fund or any other A.S. entity.
Off-campus Rep Chaz Whatley, who is also an A.S. liaison to Program Board, said the Leg Council liaison’s honoraria would be increased from $350 per quarter to $400 per quarter and the 10 coordinators’ honoraria would be increased from $300 per quarter to $600 per quarter. Each publicity commissioner and deputy commissioner’s honoraria would be increased from $200 per quarter to $450 per quarter.
In other A.S. financial news, board members voted to approve updated financial policies and procedures.
“It’s mostly housekeeping — nothing drastic,” said On-campus Rep Raymond Meza.
However, Off-campus Rep Adam Graff voted against the update, he said, because he — nor anyone on Leg Council — had adequate time to read through the changes. In addition, Leg Council did not get a satisfactory explanation of the changes that had been made by Finance Board members, Graff said.
“I think there is an implicit amount of trust in a committee or an individual [Leg Council] appoints to a post,” Graff said. “That said, I don’t believe it’s out of order for any financial decision made by that person or that committee to be questioned [by Leg Council]. We are elected representatives of the student body. That means students place trust in us to make sure that their best interest is represented by the government… we have to review any actions taken by Finance Board.”
Leg Council voted 16-1 to adopt the new policies.
Pabian presented a list of entities boycotted by A.S. Currently, A.S. is boycotting California Table Grapes, R & B Printing, nonorganic and sweatshop-made T-shirts, and any co-sponsorship by a tobacco company.
Pabian said A.S. boycotted California Table Grapes as a sign of solidarity for the United Farm Workers of America (UFW). Although the 16-year-long UFW boycott ended in November of 2000, it still remains in the A.S. legal code. Pabian said although A.S. is not enforcing the boycott, it will do so if the UFW chooses to begin another boycott.
Whatley said A.S. began boycotting R & B Printing because the printing company disapproved of material ordered by the A.S. Women’s Commission and refused to publish it.
The A.S. boycott of nonorganic, sweatshop-made T-shirts began Spring Quarter 2004 after Leg Council members passed a resolution condemning unfair labor practices associated with their manufacture.
The last boycott listed in the legal code — a boycott of tobacco co-sponsorships — was created because of the unhealthy consequences of tobacco use, Pabian said.
A.S. will be accepting applications to replace the vacant positions left by Mata and Duarte-Smith, Wells said. Interested undergraduate students should pick up an application in the A.S. Main Office and turn it in by next Friday.
Another position left vacant since last quarter was filled last night by newly appointed council member Felix Hu. Wells said she was impressed by Hu and decided he would be a good candidate for the position of university-owned housing representative.
“I wanted to get more involved with the school,” said Hu, who transferred to UCSB last quarter. “It’s hard to get attached to the university since I’ll only be here two years.”