The longest Associated Students Legislative Council meeting of the quarter featured discussion on issues ranging from finances to football.
Executive Vice Chancellor Gene Lucas visited during the public forum segment of last night’s five-hour meeting to tackle questions related to the university’s budgetary woes. In addition, the Council voted to take back an allocation of nearly $3,000 to the College Republicans, heard a presentation from the recently instated UC Police Dept. chief and considered a resolution supporting a Gaucho football team.
Lucas touched on the current economic crisis the University of California system is facing during his discussion with the council.
“In the late 1960s, about 60 percent of UCSB’s budget came from the state and now it’s down to about 25 percent,” Lucas said. “This year, we’re having to take a budget cut equivalent to all the budget cuts of the last five years combined.”
Lucas went on to speak about the measures being taken to alleviate the impact of these budget cuts, including the mandate of furloughs, the redesign of the summer program and various taxes.
“The way that we do business that is most effective is interacting one-on-one. Standing in front of TV cameras and railing about this doesn’t buy us credibility with the Regents,” Lucas said. “Our preference is to maintain our style. We’ve prevented a lot of things from happening — the Regents were willing to cut our budgets by 50 or 60 million dollars until we helped them understand how terrible that would be.”
Additionally, Lucas insisted that the UC is adamantly against privatization, although there has been much talk of the matter.
“The private university model is that the budget for universities comes from charging a very high fee from students and that the [UC] basically moves from the affordable and accessible model to the unaffordable and inaccessible model,” Lucas said. “We’re doing everything we can to resist that.”
UCPD Chief Dustin Olson also gave a short presentation during the public forum segment of last night’s meeting. Specifically, Olson spoke about the police department’s upcoming effort to crack down on bike theft.
“We’re planning some technology, something along the lines of GPS, which are going to act as sort of ‘bait bikes,'” Olson said. “So pass that along — if you snag the wrong bike, you’ll be hearing from us.”
Additionally, Off-camp-us Representative Adam Goldman addressed the council about the rally this Friday to support the Exercise and Sports Studies department. Goldman urged the council to attend the rally and attempt to save the department.
“We’ve changed our game plan for the rally a number of times to meet the needs of the campaign as it has progressed,” Goldman said. “Now this is essentially a show of force in a very peaceful manner.”
An additional item of new business addressed in last night’s council meeting was a resolution to support intercollegiate football at UCSB.
As of press time, council members had not voted on the resolution, but spoke favorably about the school spirit it might bring to campus.
“We realize that, especially in the economy right now, it’s pretty much impossible to make happen right now,” Goldman said. “But what we can do is make the foundations for the future.”
Legislative Council also decided to go back on its allocation of $2,933 to the College Republicans. An earlier motion had borrowed Finance Board’s funding without explicit permission and the Council rescinded the fees partly to soothe estranged feelings between the Legislative Council and Finance Board, Representative-at-Large Mike Hewitt said. This motion was passed with 18 approving, two opposing and two abstaining.