Wednesday night’s five-hour Associated Student Senate meeting covered a wide array of issues affecting students, from the proposed University Center renovation project to Halloween, as well as matters of campus climate.

Senators passed several bills at the meeting, including bills that would provide funding for different student groups, to a resolution to organize an endowment for the undocumented student community. In addition, the executive officers delivered reports updating the Senate on news from their offices.

External Vice President for Local Affairs Alex Moore briefly recapped Halloween, saying this year’s festivities were milder than anticipated.

“It was overall a smaller Halloween than we thought,” Moore said. “For a Thursday night Halloween, it was really kind of controlled.”

A.S. President Jonathan Abboud addressed the Senate regarding his recent meeting with the campus planning committee, expressing frustration at the resistance he encountered towards his plans for a UCen renovation.

“Our project is $25 million and there were other projects that are $150 million and our project was the only one that was questioned and criticized,” Abboud said.

He said the university is in “critical” need of “a student services building that provides much-needed resources,” saying there should be more support for such a facility, in light of the campus funding a $150 million engineering building.

Associated Student Food Bank advisors Tuyen Nguyen and Erick Lankey reported to the Senate on the expanding operations of the organization. Nguyen said the food bank is going to move beyond non-perishable goods to include more fresh produce.

“Our goal is to make sure students have access to healthier foods, which is what we’re working on.” Nguyen said.

Some of the bills that passed included one to provide $3,000 in funding for the UCSB men’s club soccer team to travel to the National Tournament in Phoenix, Arizona, in addition to a motion to provide $3,000 in funding for the Pi Beta Phi Foundation lip-sync contest that will be held in Campbell Hall, raising money to provide books to underprivileged children.

Off-Campus Senator Montana MacLachlan said she supported the event on the grounds of the number of students expected to attend.

“There’s more than 850 students that attend this event and that’s a pretty significant portion of the student body,” MacLachlan said.

The Senate also passed a resolution to organize fundraising for an endowment that would grant a scholarship to undocumented students, introduced by Senator Marvin Ramirez. Senators also established a group project to create a landlord rating website to protect students from unfair property owners and managers. The project intends to work with multiple on campus organizations and groups.

Finally, plans were discussed to establish an A.S. YouTube channel that would allow for live streaming of student senate meetings to make the proceedings more accessible to the general student body. The live streaming meetings are part of an effort to increase A.S. Senate transparency and they come in light of one student addressing the governmental body’s alleged failure to connect with students. Jimmy Villarreal said that he appreciated the criticism, saying “I want to thank you for coming in and holding us accountable.”


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Photo by Kenneth Song / Daily Nexus


This story is a Daily Nexus online exclusive.