In lieu of its more traditional format, Associated Students Legislative Council held its first “working meeting” in the A.S. main office Wednesday night, where members split off into smaller groups to decide which projects the council will focus on this quarter.
Before they divided into smaller groups, council members approved a proposition paper supporting a living wage for members of the Coalition of University Employees, which is currently in bargaining talks with the University. Dividing into three groups, council members each chose a group project, a resolution and a bill to work on for the remainder of Winter Quarter. Brainstorming in the groups, Leg Council proposed ideas ranging from ways to increase its revenue to making changes to its legal code and methods to increase the organization’s public visibility.
To increase its revenue, council members proposed ideas such as collaborating with local businesses, buying the UCSB Bookstore or setting up a pub in the Hub. Off-Campus Rep Chaz Whatley said a space in the UCen dining court might soon become available for rent because Baba’s Falafals restaurant has not been doing well financially.
For another group project, Rep-At-Large Selyna Perez said she would like to bring back the “Gaucho Guide,” a booklet originally published by A.S. in 1995 to help students find housing in Isla Vista. The guide included information on how well different housing management companies maintained their properties. It also listed ratings on such things as plumbing and rental prices, she said.
“[The guide] proved to be very useful for students in the past,” Perez said. “[Without it] you wouldn’t notice what was wrong until you’d been there a year or so.”
Hoping to make life more convenient for students, On-Campus Rep Justin Pabian said he and many council members will work on a different group project to distribute care packages — complete with Scantrons, pencils and snacks — during finals week. Pabian said students seemed to appreciate the bundles A.S. and the Residence Halls Association provided in previous years.
Council members also agreed to work on a few upcoming resolutions including one to encourage textbook companies to lower their prices and another supporting the purchase of energy-efficient products.
“A.S. has a past of being environmentally friendly and taking positions in support of [an environmentally friendly] community,” Perez said.
Three upcoming bills were discussed in the meeting, including two that would make amendments to the A.S. legal code. Rep-At-Large Kristen Ditlevsen said council members should amend their boycott of the California Table Grapes because, according to the Oxnard United Farm Workers office, the boycott has ended.
University-Owned Housing Rep. Felix Hu said the council should amend a section of the A.S. legal code that requires council members to attend meetings of culturally or ethnically underrepresented campus organizations. With his suggested amendment, Hu said council members would only be required to attend meetings of such organizations that fall under the jurisdiction of A.S., such as the Student Commission On Racial Equality or the Women’s Commission.
Council members also highly favored a suggested bill that would require any organization funded by A.S. Finance Board to include A.S. as a sponsor in their advertising. This requirement would increase the visibility of A.S., he said.
“A.S. does a lot,” Pabian said. “We have really active boards and committees [such as Program Board]. And yet, people still say that we don’t do anything.”