The Associated Students Legislative Council discussed a number of issues and proposals at last night’s kick-off meeting of Winter Quarter.
While the council spent a significant portion of the meeting considering a bill revamping job expectations of A.S. Off-Campus Representatives, the most heated debate of the evening occurred as members decided whether or not to support Floatopia 2010. Arguments against backing Floatopia — Isla Vista’s controversial and beer-soaked day of Del Playa beach partying — centered on the negative environmental impact of the event. In response to last year’s Floatopia, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors banned drinking on I.V. beaches.
Despite this prohibition, this year’s Facebook group has already gained momentum with thousands of confirmed attendees. According to Representative-at-Large Daniel Gradias, the council has a responsibility to take a stance on the infamous party early to better prepare for the event. Gradias said A.S. should find a way to support a responsible Floatopia rather than attempt to blacklist it.
“This event is going to happen whether we like it or not,” Gradias said. “There are over 6,000 people supporting it in the Facebook group, so Floatopia will somehow happen. We need to figure out a way to support it and make it as environmentally friendly as possible.”
A.S. External Vice President of Local Affairs Clayton Carlson agreed, saying that A.S.’s goal is to promote a ‘dry’ Floatopia.
“We’re not trying to make it seem like we’re fighting the students,” Carlson said. “We would prefer to find a way to support an alcohol-free event.”
Rep-at-Large Josue Aparicio, however, suggested that the council avoid taking a stance this early in the year.
The discussion ended without the council deciding on a stance for the Floatopia festivities.
Meanwhile, the council considered approving a bill to reconstruct the job description of off-campus representatives to require a certain amount of community service.
Off-Campus Rep Alexandra Onodera stated that the legislation offered an effective way to track volunteer hours, as well as another opportunity to give back to the community. Due to disagreements with the bill, however, the council decided to shelve the legislation until its upcoming weekend retreat.
Council members also discussed the reports of unusually high failure rates from the Math 3A-B series Fall Quarter. The sequence, which is a prerequisite for many science majors, was said to have 68 percent of its students end up with a C- or worse. EVPLA Carlson called for students who took the class to come forward and speak, but the council did not take any further action.