Last night, the Associated Students Legislative Council removed three members — two of whom are current election candidates — from Finance Board before tackling the topic of racism.
Daniel Plotkin, who is running for A.S. president with S.W.A.P., and David Preciado, a candidate for external vice president of statewide affairs with Student Voice!, attended the meeting to make their cases to remain on A.S. Finance Board. Their efforts, however, were to no avail, and both were eliminated from the board.
As Finance Board chair and a current candidate for A.S. president, several members criticized Plotkin for his three absences this quarter.
“I’m really disappointed in the actions taken by Plotkin, and I think it is completely inexcusable,” Rep-at-large Paula Reever said. “If you’re not going to show the members of your board respect, then you don’t deserve the position.”
Plotkin argued that the responsibilities of campaigning for this week’s election were the reason for his absence, but council member Narain Kumar said his absence was inexcusable.
“If you’re not going to do the job, don’t do it. Resign,” Kumar said.
Current EVPSA candidate David Preciado was removed from Finance Board for missing three meetings this quarter as well. When asked to comment of his violation of the A.S. Legal Code, Preciado said he had never read it.
“I haven’t read that 100-page thing, or however many pages it is, I don’t know. But I think there is more to this position than going by the rule book,” Preciado said. “Campaigning is more than just standing out there and getting a T-shirt tan; it’s hard work.”
Although several members spoke favorably about Preciado’s work, the motion to remove him from Finance Board passed.
“Running for a position is no excuse. There are a ton of people here tonight that are running, so I don’t have a lot of sympathy at all,” On-campus Rep Ally Olney said. “I think David is a hard worker, but if we’re going to remove Daniel, we should remove David for the pure fact to be fair. We removed Daniel for the same exact reason [three absences].”
Later on in the meeting, Off-campus Rep Steven Wolfson introduced “A Bill to Codify the Protection of Safe Spaces in Associated Students,” which prompted a heated debate about race that continued from last week’s meeting.
“This bill doesn’t change much about how safe spaces operate as of now, but it serves to define them in some way,” Wolfson said.
The bill, however, spurred strong reactions.
“There’s a lot of things I don’t say because I’m going to offend half the people in this room,” Olney said. “I’m not going to say I’m being inclusive because I couldn’t care less about being inclusive. I see that safe spaces are very important; however, I think they’re kind of arbitrary.”
After several additional controversial comments regarding safe spaces, Off-campus Rep Carla Perez stormed out and threw her nametag in the trash.
The discussion of safe spaces was then tabled for debate at a later time. Six-and-a-half hours into the meeting, two council members left the meeting, resulting in a loss of quorum and a motion for adjournment. There were just 10 members present at this time; 12 are required.