Last night marked the final meeting of the 2008-09 Associated Students Legislative Council.
During the public forum portion of the meeting, UCSB alumnus Nick Robinson spoke to the council regarding the proposed dissolution of the A.S. Dept. of Energy Laboratory Oversight Committee. The committee was created in 2007 to “to provide student oversight of UC’s nuclear warhead research, design and production labs in order to ensure that the UC and United States government obey their treaty obligations to work toward the abolition of nuclear weapons.”
“Two members of this legislative council … have taken it upon themselves to allow their personal ideologies to interfere with that for which students on this campus have elected the students on this board,” Robinson said. “That is the maintenance of democratic rule and the perpetuation of the common good. We are ashamed that this legislative body would tolerate … an attempt to overturn a unanimous decision made two years ago.”
The council ultimately decided to disband the committee, although organizers say they will independently maintain the group.
Meanwhile, the council also passed a bill requiring all legislative council members to attend two non-A.S. affiliated group events, one of which must be sponsored by an historically underrepresented group on campus.
Off-campus Rep Kenisha Day said that the bill upholds the responsibilities council members have as student leaders of a diverse university.
“I think that this is an important job of the council,” she said. “It just screams accountability to me. It’s important for all sides to be represented, not just our ideals.”
On-campus Rep Narain Kumar, however, said he failed to see the merit of the proposal, citing it as perpetuating unfair labels of student groups on campus.
“I don’t like having to go to an underrepresented group as opposed to other [Office of Student Life] organizations,” Kumar said. “And I don’t like identifying certain groups as ‘needy’.”
Additionally, a bill to bring the University of California Student Association closer to UCSB students was passed.
Rep-at-large Paula Reever said that the current accessibility to UCSA has room for improvement.
“I just want to make sure that, as much money we are giving UCSA, we have an adequate say,” she said. “The legislation is just to put more oomph behind the punch of [External Vice President of Statewide Affairs] and to hold the organization accountable to our campus.”
On the other hand, Off-campus rep Christina Baggao said that she was not concerned by the distance of the organization and trusted they had the campus’ best interests in mind.
“In all honesty, I think we should respect the jurisdiction of student lock-in fees,” Baggao said. “They have expertise in that area. If you want to know the function of UCSA, go talk to them.”
Following the passage of most new bills and resolutions, the new 2009-10 Legislative Council was sworn in and initiated their first meeting as board members.