Council members debated issues surrounding the role of the UC Student Association Foundation at last night’s four-hour Associated Students Legislative Council meeting.
The UCSB A.S. UCSA Foundation – which attempts to oversee the way UCSB funds are spent by the statewide student advocacy organization – was created last May in an attempt to oversee the UCSA’s budgetary decisions.
Over the years, the students of UCSB have voted several times to raise the amount of money paid to UCSA in student fees, resulting in UCSB paying almost 4 percent more than the majority of other schools. However, the UCSA Foundation has no real control over allocation of the money and has served only in an advisory capacity. Last night’s debate tossed around the idea of eliminating the essentially pointless foundation.
Beginning with Representative-at-Large Josue Aparico’s opposition of the bill, council members bantered back and forth on this issue for about an hour.
Aparico challenged the idea of eliminating the foundation because of the largely inflated price UCSB pays to the UCSA in relation to the other UCs. Aparico said that the UCSB A.S. UCSA Foundation could solve this problem.
“UCSA was also the only organization on the ballot that didn’t provide any explanation of where the funds were going,” Aparico said. “I just want to see where our money is going.”
External Vice President of Statewide Affairs Celina Ayala and the A.S. UCSA Foundation Executive Director Marisela Marquez said the group does not actually have legal power to change how student fees are distributed to the UCSA without a vote from all the UCSA members.
“If you want to modify what the student body has voted for, you have to put it for a vote by the current student body and modify it that way,” Marquez said.
Still, the confusion continued for some until Off-campus Representative Adam Goldman said that he felt the discussion was going in circles. Off-campus Representative Barbara De La Torre agreed, noting the conversation’s uselessness.
“It’s a foundation that’s not doing anything,” De La Torre said. “So I think this is a dumb discussion.”
Council members then settled down and came together to pass the bill by a vote of 17 for the bill, one against and five abstaining, therefore eliminating the A.S. UCSA Foundation.
Returning to last week’s tabled resolution on hate crimes, council members responded to two community members’ requests during Public Forum by adding hate incidents and hate speech to the list of crimes condemned by A.S. Legislative Council. The resolution passed with consent.
Meanwhile at the meeting, Marquez presented the A.S. staff’s proposed furlough plan for consent from the council. It passed quickly, along with a resolution to formally support the upcoming Oct. 14 Faculty Teach-In.