The Associated Students entertained a presentation by the student regents, considered funding requests from the Campus Democrats and the A.S. Food Bank and discussed procedures for recognizing A.S. members’ resignation in the first part of last night’s meeting.
The council discussed the details of position appointment procedures as none of A.S.’s resignations in the last two weeks — of which there were four in Legislative Council alone — were legally binding as there is no official process for resigning. Student regent Alfredo Mireles, Jr. and student regent-designate Jonathan Stein also made a presentation about the budget issues continuing to plague the UC system, their possible solutions and answered audience questions.
External Vice President of Statewide Affairs Ahmed Mostafa said he hoped the students would ensure the regents represent their best interests.
“I want students to hold them accountable and make sure they speak up more and are less shy in meetings,” Mostafa said. “They’re on our side and they are all we have to ensure that our voices and opinions are heard by the regents. We want to make as big of an impact as we can.”
Stein said he encouraged students to mobilize an active presence in the state capitol.
“When I took this position, I wanted politicians to understand that I could be outside their door protesting one day and scheduling a meeting with them the next, and they would still have to agree to it because of my position,” Stein said.
Campus Democrats requested funding in the amount of $4,000 for a conference in Lake Tahoe after being allocated only $1,275 by Finance Board. According to Campus Democrats President Erik Anciaux, the group’s goal is to send 30 people of diverse backgrounds on the trip to develop the next generation of student leaders.
A.S. Food Bank also requested additional funds after they received $6,000 from the Alumni Association but had expected $20,000. According to Food Bank Chair Guadalupe Cruz, the group is already reducing expenditures by eliminating retreats from their budget and holding fewer meetings.
Cruz said the Food Bank bases its culinary allocations on the honor system to prevent students seeking assistance from feeling stigmatized.
“Students are already embarrassed to go; you have to go all the way to the third floor of the UCen, give them your ACCESS card and fill out an income self-evaluation,” Cruz said. “We also have a limit on the amount of food students can take.”
Finally, representatives raised the questions about the validity of various resignations throughout the past two weeks, since there was no formal process in place to recognize them. A.S. Attorney General Representative- at-Large Dina Varshavsky said the proceedings thus far are moot.
“Every council and [the Internal Vice President] should agree on a process to deal with resignations,” Varshavsky said. “But because there have been so many in the last two weeks, no process was agreed upon and these resignations were not legal.”