Associated Students Legislative Council approved a new system of student representation for the 2006-07 school year last night and allocated $6,873 to the UCSB chapter of the United States Student Association (USSA).
The Leggies unanimously approved to change the allocation of representative positions in Leg Council in order to more fully reflect the student population, said Executive Director Don Daves-Rougeaux. The council also approved funds for the USSA Legislative Conference, where A.S. members and students will discuss lobbying practices. Leggies also debated a recent A.S. Finance Board allocation and the removal of a long-absent member.
Daves-Rougeaux said the restructuring of Leg Council representation was conducted according to A.S. By-Laws, which require the Council to restructure its representation every two years. The process determines the makeup of the Leg Council depending on the number of students living on campus, off campus and in university-owned housing.
He said changing population factors, including the reclassification of Francisco Torres into university-owned housing, will change the makeup of next year’s council, which will consist of 24 total members, compared to 23 this year.
Daves-Rougeaux said next year’s council will include six At-Large Representatives, based on one representative for every 3,000 undergraduate students; five On-Campus Representatives, based on one for every 1,000 undergraduates living on campus; and 12 Off-Campus Representatives, based on approximately 12,000 undergraduates living off-campus.
He said the new plan also requires one University-Owned Housing Representative for every 1,000 students living in university-owned housing. The number of On-Campus Reps will change from three to five, while the total number of Off-Campus Reps will decrease from 13 to 12 members.
The council also approved funds to allow A.S. leadership and other interested students to attend a USSA leadership conference in Washington, D.C., from March 4 to March 7.
A.S. External Vice President of Statewide Affairs Felicia Cruz requested over $6,900 for the four-day conference. She said the funds would benefit UCSB in general and allow non-A.S. students to attend. So far, about 18 Leg Council members have signed up for the trip.
“We are lobbying on behalf of all UCSB students,” Cruz said. “We’re doing recruitment from everywhere.”
The council unanimously voted to allocate $6,873 from the Leg Council budget, leaving it with a remainder of $2,000 for the year.
Rep-at-Large Sam Giles was removed from the council, with seven members voting in favor, three against, and seven abstentions. Giles has been studying abroad since Fall Quarter and will not return until March. In a letter read by A.S. Internal Vice President Adam Graff, Giles said, “If this comes to pass, I feel I will have let down the organization.”
Daves-Rougeaux said he urged the council to exercise foresight in its decision.
“You want to think about the precedent you’re setting…. Future councils will look back to this,” Daves-Rougeaux said.
Rep-at-Large Andres Mantilla said he expressed regret about the situation, but stressed the need for an effective council.
“It’s not a question of character, it’s of how the council will be best off,” Mantilla said.
In response to a concerned student, Leggies also considered actions taken by A.S. Finance Board on Monday.
Fourth-year global studies major Komal Mehta said she was concerned about a $500 allocation the board made to the Office of Student Life (OSL) for its 10th annual leadership conference, because she said the organization could fund the event on its own.
A.S. President Chaz Whatley said OSL receives $1.75 lock-in fees per student in Fall, Winter and Spring Quarters and a $1.00 per student lock-in fee over the summer session.
Mehta said the lock-in fees are intended to fund leadership events such as the upcoming conference.
“It’s really important that we look at this,” Mehta said.
However, Daves-Rougeaux said OSL’s recent growth was an important factor to consider when funding the group.
The council later accepted Monday’s Financial Board minutes unanimously.