At last night’s Associated Students Legislative Council meeting, members traded barbs during a heated conversation that ranged from Fight Night to racism.
Fight Night, which was cancelled this week following the recent allegation of a hate crime in front of former host PIKE’s fraternity house, prompted a lengthy debate at the five-hour meeting.
Off-campus Rep Elizabeth Usedom addressed the council regarding the role she believed several members, particularly Rep-at-large Faris Shalan, played in the event’s demise. This speech eventually spiraled into two-hours of emotional crossfire between several A.S. members.
The initial topic of discussion concerned Shalan and several other UCSB students who attended a meeting with Pi Alpha Phi — the fraternity that adopted PIKE Fight Night — to discuss their participation with the charity event.
According to Usedom, those at the meeting ended up calling the fraternity’s national organization and had the event cancelled. Usedom said this action left her and many other greeks furious.
Usedom said she was primarily concerned because she felt that those who called nationals did not negotiate the matter, but rather intimidated Pi Alpha Phi and left them without any options.
“I was upset because when [Shalan] spoke to Pi Alpha Phi. He didn’t speak to them, he threatened them,” Usedom said. “He told them, ‘Do this, do this, do this – or we’ll call nationals.’ … Once nationals gets involved, there’s no way of reconciling with them.”
However, Shalan said that those at the meeting simply encouraged Pi Alpha Phi to dissociate PIKE from Fight Night.
“It was not my intention to undermine the A.S. Legislative Council at all,” Shalan said. “We were simply trying to work together with the Asian fraternity as mutual students of color.”
At Shalan’s use of the phrase “students of color,” the meeting quickly shifted from discussing PIKE to debating racism and sexism.
As the conversation escalated, several A.S. members expressed their personal feelings on the topic and responded to fellow representatives.
Off-campus Rep Narain Kumar discussed feeling unwelcome and intimidated when he attended a Women’s Commission meeting.
“I just feel as though a man’s opinion is not appreciated in those meetings, when the very thing that those women are upset about is that their opinions are not appreciated by men,” Kumar said. “That is just so unbelievably hypocritical to me.”
Off-campus Rep Carla Perez added that the night’s meeting prompted her to express feelings she never had before to the council.
“I have never shown my emotions at an A.S meeting since my time on this board,” Perez said. “I am very upset that I must do that today. So ‘F’ all of you guys, in the nicest way possible.”