Associated Students Legislative Council and its executive officers kept busy with meetings yesterday, both in its weekly gathering and earlier in the day with Chancellor Henry T. Yang.
Yesterday at 1 p.m., 13 A.S. representatives met with Yang and six other university administration staff to discuss the fate of Building 434 – the former Women’s Center Building. Since its occupants have now moved to the new Student Resource Building, the representatives proposed that half of Building 434 be used to house several A.S. entities and projects.
Meanwhile, at last night’s Leg Council meeting, council members passed a bill requiring each of them to make one public address per quarter. They also indefinitely tabled a student-written resolution asking that Leg Council honoraria be approved via a student body vote during a campus-wide election.
Concerning the meeting over Building 434, student representatives said its centralized and visible location on campus as well as its rich history makes it a perfect resource center for student services.
“The building is in a high-traffic, centralized, recognizable location that has always been used for students – especially the lawn, [it’s important] that we continue to have events on that lawn,” A.S. President Jared Goldschen said. “[Building 434] specifically complements our needs very well.”
Director of Capital Development, Budget and Planning Marty Levy said the administration had tentatively planned for the building, along with the Old Gym and part of Ellison Hall, to be used as the Art and Art History Dept. offices over the next few years while the Arts Building undergoes renovations.
Executive Vice Chancellor Gene Lucas suggested that A.S. make their space requirements more clear so the administration can find other options in the case that Building 434 is occupied.
“We get a lot of space requests,” Lucas said “There are other places on campus that might meet your needs better.”
Yang proposed that A.S. and the administration form a small working group that would meet several times in the next few weeks to discuss A.S.’ proposal and work on ways to accommodate it. Levy and Lucas said they want to make a decision regarding Building 434 within the next two months.
A.S. representatives proposed that the building house a multimedia center for student use, KCSB audio archives and campus history, and office space for the Student Initiated Outreach Program, Commission on Disability Access, A.S. environmental programs, Office of the Student Advocate and additional A.S. staff.
In addition, they said the A.S. Bike Shop could relocate to the plaza behind Building 434 beginning in Winter 2008 while the current facilities undergo renovation.
As further encouragement, A.S. promised to use its own finances to fund the switch. KCSB General Manager Nilagia McCoy said KCSB has set aside $23,000 from its Students’ Initiative funding to help pay for video editing and graphic design equipment in the media center.
As for the Leg Council meeting, the council quickly passed a bill adding onto Leg Council duties with 19 in favor and 4 against. The bill requires members to complete one public address each quarter in a local forum, such as KCSB or the Daily Nexus.
“You could potentially fulfill this duty in five minutes,” Off-Campus Rep Matt Jackson said. “It’s not asking you to do too much.”
In addition, Leg members indefinitely tabled a resolution written by fourth-year political science major Cameron Williams. If implemented, his resolution would require a student vote for approval of Leg Council members’ monetary compensation. It asked that honoraria for Leg Council members gain approval by a two-thirds majority vote in an election, and if approved, be renewed every year by a 50 percent plus one majority.
Williams said he wanted more accountability for council members and felt that since the Committee on Honoraria was composed of A.S. members, the process represents a conflict of interest.
“I personally feel that Legislative Council needs to be more accountable to the students,” Williams said. “Legislative Council should ask the students whether they feel the work they do, or lack thereof, deserves honoraria.”
Rep-At-Large J.P. Primeau said the purpose of the resolution was simply to bring up the idea in general, not make actual changes to the A.S. Legal Code.
“I brought this up with the student,” Primeau said. “The intention of the resolution was to be a thought-provoking measure.”
However, several council members said they did not want to discuss a resolution that was not in the proper format, referring to the way the resolution was written.
“I respect the person who brought this to our attention,” On-Campus Rep Scarlet Chan said. “I just don’t think we should discuss this because it’s not written in the manner we should discuss it in.”
Leg Council member Raymond Meza said he did not want to discuss Williams’ resolution at the meeting.
“I’m not going to have a discussion based on one person,” Meza said. “We don’t have to pander to anyone.”
Council members indefinitely tabled the resolution, citing its grammatical and structural errors, with 22 in favor and 1 abstaining.