Despite a promise made earlier in the week, the Associated Students Legislative Council opted last night not to override A.S. President Jared Goldschen’s veto of a resolution to freeze Daily Nexus funds.
Leg Council members struck the resolution to freeze the Nexus’ funds from the agenda, and thus it will not appear again in future meetings. Off Campus Rep. Jeronimo Saldana wrote the resolution in response to the Nexus’ printing of an advertisement from Conquest Student Housing — a company currently boycotted by A.S.
Saldana refused to comment to the Nexus after the meeting.
According to the A.S. Legal Code, after a presidential veto, a resolution is placed on the subsequent week’s Legislative Council meeting agenda. Since council members removed the resolution from the agenda, the council effectively ended its attempt to freeze the Nexus’ lock-in fee funds. The Daily Nexus receives $0.85 per student per quarter during the academic year and $0.57 per student per quarter during summer sessions.
Chaz Whatley, who motioned to strike the resolution from the agenda and served as proxy for Julia Stephanides, said after the meeting that the council made the decision following an e-mail sent by attorney Robin Unander from the A.S. Legal Resource Center. Unander informed Leg Council members that their action was illegal.
“She wrote an analysis basically telling us we couldn’t do it,” Whatley said. “We are never able to take away the Nexus’s funding.”
Whatley said she and many council members still feel printing the advertisements is an issue of morality and not freedom of speech. Conquest was involved with the eviction of 55 units of tenants from Cedarwood Apartments, now dubbed Coronado, located at 6626 Picasso Rd.
“The issue is Conquest — it’s not about taking away money, free speech or the student’s voice,” Whatley said.
About 15 students, who declined affiliation with a particular group, attended the meeting wearing “Boycott A.$.” T-shirts and holding signs such as “Nexus = Awesome” and “A.S. You’re Fired.” Many of the students spoke against the resolution and the attempt to censor the newspaper’s content.
Richard Sloven, a fourth-year student on A.S. Program Board, said he felt the resolution reflected poorly on A.S.
“Politically, this was a terrible decision,” Sloven said. “I feel you have a lot of issues you need to be dealing with and the freezing of the funds will overshadow everything else you need to deal with.”
Eva Kilamyan, a second-year political science and women’s studies major, said she spoke to a former A.S. member recently who said A.S. had plans last year to freeze the Nexus’ funds. She would not release the name.
“The person told me the resolution about freezing the Nexus’ funding had nothing to do with Conquest and had been discussed last spring during elections,” Kilamyan said.
Several A.S. members said they had never heard of such a plan.
“The idea that the bill was put forward because of board members’ personal quarrels with the Nexus is untrue and a faulty conspiracy theory at best,” said Rep-At-Large J.P. Primeau.
Chaz Whatley chastised Kilamyan for her allegation of conspiracy. She also voiced disappointment in the language on Kilamyan’s sign, which read “Financial Rape: It Affects Me.”
“We [A.S] wouldn’t take money from a company that blatantly disrespected the community,” Whatley said, referring to Conquest Student Housing. “It is a stupid issue and for you to be here and be a woman and hold up that sign is a fucking big deal.”
Later in the meeting, Goldschen again stated the reasons for his veto.
“I heard from our legal advisor and communication with the UC lawyer that the action we were taking was highly illegal,” Goldschen said. “And that being said, I highly recommend exploring other ways to hold the Nexus accountable and fix this relationship.”
Throughout the meeting, several A.S. members made comments about the Nexus in regards to racism and censorship.
Earlier in the day, student group El Congreso held a town hall meeting to discuss the Nexus’ content – “advertisement of gentrificating businesses such as Conquest, the continued sexist jargon, the racist and degrading images and articles of People of Color,” according to the Facebook event information.
Several A.S. members, Nexus staffers, and students attended the meeting. Daily Nexus Editor in Chief Kaitlin Pike said she looked forward to more discussions with students regarding the issues brought up.
“This is a conversation that deserves to be continued,” Pike said after the meeting. “I hope both parties can remain respectful and open to the other’s viewpoints.”