Council members discussed at length possible approaches Associated Students can take in response to a subpoena issued by Steve Pappas’ legal team during last night’s A.S. Legislative Council meeting.
The council discussed the possibility of objecting to the subpoena, which seeks all voter registration information obtained by the university last quarter.
Narain Kumar, a proxy at the meeting, said challenging the law would be futile. According to Kumar, the appropriate approach would be to educate students on the matter and inform them of how to opt out of releasing their personal information.
“We could try to fight it and employ legal strategies – prove the subpoena is not valid – but at the end of the day, they have more lawyers,” Kumar said. “We need to take a strategy that will make an immediate impact as opposed to something long and drawn out.”
Additionally, On-Campus Representative Ashley Day said it would be easy to alert the student body. Day said that informing students about their rights is the only thing that can be done in what little time is left – the university has just 10 more days to provide the information.
“I think you kind of undervalue the resources we have available,” Day said. “There are so many ways that we can educate. We’re not going to reach out to everyone, but the people that really care who find out will do something about it. The university is just as much responsible to the law as anyone else. There’s not much we can do in the next 10 days to prevent the information from being given out. We can try, but we should reach out to the students too.”
In response to members’ concerns about non-registered students having to release their personal information, Off-Campus Representative Steven Wolfson said questioning the specifics of the subpoena as opposed to confronting its legality would be more effective.
“Instead of challenging the legitimacy of the subpoena we know nothing about, we should take a two-pronged approach, challenging the scope of the subpoena as opposed to discussing validity,” Wolfson said.
Meanwhile, External Vice President of Statewide Affairs Corey Huber said a major sponsor has withdrawn financial support for the Death Cab for Cutie concert that UCSB won last year by registering the most student voters in the nation.
“Our largest sponsor has decided to pull out,” Huber said. “Other sponsors are still on board though, Death Cab [for Cutie] is still on board. This leaves us with a rather large problem, the absence of few thousand dollars. We have a few options. Us and the sponsors could come up with the missing funds. Another option is to sue the sponsor and have students be the plaintiffs. The judge would be more sympathetic to us. It’s all up in the air right now.”
A.S. Program Board Special Events Coordinator Sina Sadighi said a few more resources are still available to compensate for the loss.
“When the sponsor pulled out, we lost about $80,000,” Sadighi said. “We have been successful in getting new sponsors on board, at getting most of money back. If we want to make this happen, we have to make some sacrifices – anywhere upwards of $10,000 that we have to be contributing. We want to tap a few more sources of funding before [A.S.] Program Board steps up and covers the rest.”
Furthermore, council members briefly discussed the tentative agreement that has been attained between the UC and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
According to Lindsay Quock, chair of the Isla Vista Tenants Union, some of the university workers’ victories include an increased hourly wage, as well as health and retirement benefits.
“We reached a tentative agreement with the UC today,” Quock said. “I’ve personally been busting my butt. Students have been really active in this contract campaign, it’s pretty darn good. It’s tentative, not yet signed. [The workers] were asking for a $15 minimum [hourly rate], got a $14 minimum [hourly rate], things like overtime pay are guaranteed now.”
Additionally, Huber said negotiations have also been made about seniority raises.
“UC service workers and the university have come to an agreement after a year and a half of negotiations,” Huber said. “For the first time, a system of seniority has been established … and we received a statewide minimum [hourly rate] raise by $3 an hour… It’s a huge contract negotiation.”