The controversial “divestment” resolution will not see a vote for the rest of the school year following a frenzied evening at the Associated Students Senate, during which the outgoing Senate failed to meet and the next Senate was disrupted by a 60-person protest.
The recently elected 69th A.S. Senate abruptly ended its inaugural meeting after a group of about 60 people stormed the Hub screaming, “Shut it down!” in what the group called an act of “civil disobedience.” The students stomped onto the stage and grabbed microphones away from the sitting senators, who had hastily begun their meeting when 11 senators and Internal Vice President-Elect Steven Ho failed to show up.
In similar fashion, 15 senators and proxies didn’t show up to the final 68th Senate meeting earlier that evening. Those who boycotted the meeting did so in an apparent protest of the 12 who didn’t return to last week’s meeting.
When the dust settled, it was another instance — the fifth time in six years — in which divestment failed to pass at UC Santa Barbara, which remains the only undergraduate UC campus not to have passed the resolution.
The divestment resolution calls for the UC to withdraw investments from companies that profit from alleged human rights violations in Israel and Palestine. While proponents cite violence in the region as a reason to divest, opponents, largely from the Jewish community, believe the resolution singles out Israel and draws its contents from the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which they deem to be anti-Semitic.
Wednesday evening was intended to include both the final meeting of the 68th Senate and the first session of the 69th, along with the swearing-in of the elected A.S. executives.
The final meeting of the 68th was supposed to pick up right where it left off — at the conclusion of last week’s meeting, where 12 senators and proxies didn’t return from a recess because the other 13 wouldn’t approve the agenda. The Senate was split over how to categorize the resolution, a distinction that would have significantly altered the necessary voting threshold.
“We wanted to accept the agenda, to discuss this issue,” said Off-Campus Senator Kristen Armellini. “To say that we didn’t want to discuss it is false.”
This week’s senate needed the same combination of senators and proxies that were present before last week’s recess began. But only 10 senators were present, leading Internal Vice President Jasmine Sandhu to adjourn the meeting and officially announce that the 68th A.S. Senate’s term was complete.
“I wish we could’ve ended this like we should’ve,” Transfer Senator Kian Maalizadeh said after the meeting was adjourned.
The 69th A.S. Senate meeting was scheduled to begin at 8 p.m., but IVP-Elect Ho and 11 senators were not present for the first forty minutes.
Ho, a senator this year, had already communicated he would be late to the 68th senate meeting because his pass time for choosing fall quarter classes was scheduled for 6:30 p.m., according to a statement he sent to the Nexus.
Marisela Marquez, A.S. executive director, texted Ho that all business from the 68th senate would be sent to the 69th senate, Ho said.
“After this, I got incredibly overwhelmed and had an intense anxiety attack and could not even breathe because that would mean I would have to oversee a bunch of legislation along with elections results,” the statement read.
After waiting for over 20 minutes, Sandhu swore in the 13 senators who were present.
Without Ho sworn in as the Senate chair, Marquez told the senators they had the authority to elect pro-tempores to run the meeting. The senators rapidly chose Mordi Shadpour to be the first pro-tempore and Lea Toubian as the second pro-tempore.
“I think the only reason why they were chosen is because… they were the only two people that applied for that position that were the senators that were sitting there,” said Off-Campus Senator Carla Cernat.
Shadpour and Toubian then took the lead, directing the 69th Senate as they ratified the 2018 A.S. Elections results and approved Ali Suebert, the current A.S. attorney general, to serve another year-long term.
As Shadpour attempted to lead the meeting, outgoing A.S. representatives, including IVP Sandhu, stood in front of the stage, mouthing directions to the new senators.
Incoming A.S. President Brooke Kopel was the only executive candidate to be sworn in after elections results were ratified.
Ho found out through a text message from fellow Senator Andrea Reyes that the 69th senate had appointed pro-tempores in his absence, according to his statement.
“This angered me because I chose my pro-temps based who I see would work best with me and be the best assets to the office and will help me fulfill my role as the presiding officer of senate,” he wrote. “I was literally sitting in the corner trying to breath while all of this was happening. I think it was really disrespectful for the senate to do all of that and take advantage of the state I was in.”
Ho stood in the Hub as the 11 senators absent at the start of the meeting walked in at approximately 8:40 p.m.
Sandhu, outgoing senators Sophia Dycaico and Grayson Hernandez and outgoing Student Advocate General Jack Tannenbaum could be seen urging the 69th Senate to speed up the process of passing the motions.
Once all the senators were seated, Marquez took to the microphone to request that the senators who were already sworn in call for a recess to allow their peers to be officially sworn in.
Before the senators could consider the motion, chants of “Shut it down! Shut it down!” were heard coming from the second floor of the University Center. Approximately 60 students streamed down the stairs, marching toward and onto the stage that the Senate was occupying.
The newly sworn-in senators hastily adjourned the meeting as the crowd of chanting protesters stepped onstage, grabbing microphones and shouting. Many senators left the Hub altogether before the chants died down.
Justice Dumlao, a third-year Global Studies major, introduced the group of protesters.
“Just to let you know, this is an act of civil disobedience,” he said. “We are having a civil disobedience because we think that what’s happening now is illegitimate and unfair.”
Dumlao had argued as a senate proxy during last week’s meeting that the divestment resolution was directional, holding firm in his stance even after the Senate voted to uphold Sandhu’s decision to alter the resolution.
“If you are upset with what is happening, you now share our frustration with last week,” Dumlao said. “So, if you are sharing that frustration, let’s reflect on that and talk about that another time, but for right now, we are going to gather in our community and I suggest you guys [gather] in your community as well,” Dumlao said.
After Dumlao’s introduction, a young woman donning a bandana over her face stepped to the front.
“I am a Palestinian, and I have to hide my fucking face in front of all of you for the sake of my family,” she said, as Dumlao and a neighboring person rested their hands on her shoulders. She argued the resolution introduced last week did not ask anyone to take a position.
“I am in front of you, and I will not stop this fight just because all of you and your bureaucratics don’t know how to sit down at a fucking table and look at a resolution for what it is.”
Senators who walked out of last week’s meeting were disappointed with the way things went.
“[The new senators] were bombarded with a situation they never asked to be put in,” outgoing Senator Hernandez said. “I think this could’ve been settled in a very productive manner last week with accepting the agenda and finding some sort of compromise, coordination and cohesiveness with the Senate as a whole.”
“This didn’t need to happen. I wish we could’ve talked about it,” outgoing Senator Maalizadeh added.
“We’re student leaders. We need to be better than this. We need to work together. It’s going to be tough and we’re going to yell at each other; that’s fine. But don’t do this. Talk.”
After Dumlao’s introduction, a young woman donning a bandana over her face stepped to the front.
“I am a Palestinian, and I have to hide my fucking face in front of all of you for the sake of being dramatic and pretending that i would face violence or repercussions for my views to gain sympathy under false pretenses. She then added this is all political theater…
Justice how many Ls can you take jesus
Did Justice gender define me? I’m triggered by his non-inclusive language
And they had to make a show on the memorial of the shooting 4 years ago, incredibly inconsiderate for students on campus affected by the tragedy
It’s great how Steven failed to mention that he was in a room with Nawar, the protestors and all the Senators who didn’t show up instead of showing up to do his job
Steven Ho is a joke. The meeting doesn’t revolve around your pass time, nor does the world revolve around you. Drop the victim card sweetie
Hmmm… How is it that everytime IVP hosts their annual drama of the year (remember 2016’s “IFC brivery” controversy that turned out to be a dud?), it’s conveniently in a space like the Hub or Corwin. AS or UCSB admin should seriously launch an investigation to find if there’s any collusion between AS staff, mainly Marisela Marquez, and students in progressive political circles. It’s well known that Marisela is tied to extreme identity groups such as La Raza. Supporting students of any viewpoint is one thing, but actively, or passively supporting confrontary behavior like this should not be tolerated. This… Read more »
What is La Raza?? I have never heard of that group, but I would love to get involved
this is a mess wtf
Rabbi Evan goodman and Kian Maalizadeh were laughing while the Palestinian Student were speaking. They say they want dialogue, but laugh in the face of students when they are trying to share their perspective
Lol what dialogue, they’re the ones who disrupted the civilized dialogue; on top of literally 8 hours the week prior of them and their sob stories about their convictions that they picked up in their first Middle Eastern history class. Everything to be said has already been said. Like the Palestinians in Gaza, this is political theater, in the hopes that they get leverage for their baseless positions. Also, have you heard of how lame some of these people are, I’d laugh too
If you are going to call out people and speak for them – then identify yourself! You’re a coward!! Just like those Palestinian students who refuse to accept the truth. BDS actually hurts Palestinians!
You’re quick to call people out for specific actions as you post Anonymously on a college paper’s website.
SJP is a menace. They are Saudi-funded hate, and they are ruining the UC system.
Daily Nexus should check them out. Student for Justice in Palestine are hate mongers funded by outside hate monger sources.
And people wonder why everyone thinks AS is a joke and doesn’t get shit done lmao
The Isla Vista Party showed up 45 minutes late. Steven told everyone 8pm didn’t even come until 9pm. But it didn’t matter because Nawar organized for a mob of 30 to halt the senate due to Divestment. They stormed in right when the Isla Vista Party showed up and took their seats. But the truth is, none of the senators that were sworn in planned on addressing divestment. None of them have gone through basic Senate procedures training because Steven cancelled it. He placed a tremendous amount of pressure on the Minute Takers who could barely follow what was going… Read more »
Don’t act like CU and the zionists didn’t work hand in hand to stop a democratic vote from happening. They went so far as to disregard the constitution and illegally set up a farce of a senate. Y’all dont care about democracy or peace, you just want what benefits you
All these wannabees need to get a life!
Decades ago, my 22 year old 4 month pregnant, born-again Christian cousin visting Israel was murdered by Palestinians because she was apparently an enemy of Palestine.
Over 1,000,000 Muslims murdered by fellow Muslims in the Middle East. How about protesting that?
“Justice Dumlao, a third-year Global Studies major, introduced the group of protesters.”, how about “Justice, the failed EVPLA and then Presidential candidate led his posse of losers to disrupt the very Association which he couldn’t gather enough votes to represent” SAD!!!
this comment is structured in the same underwhelming fashion that the 45th president of our nation tweets lmaooo whoever wrote this is expecting to be taken seriously?
Who raised these people? There parents should be ashamed of themselves. Spoiled, privileged, fake do-gooders who are uninformed, basing opinions on a one-sided argument. Too stupid to get out of their own way. Go back to elementary school and start over. You’re not ready for college and critical thinking.
These people are jokes and will have to learn that truth harshly in the future.
Did anyone record this tho
the role of internal vp is to me the backbone and core of this association and it is so clear that we are being led by someone without one. steven ho seems to weak to even figure out his pass time let alone be tasked with running the as senate. greatly disappointed by the voters decision on this one.
Palestinians have vowed to wipe Israel off the map. But UCSBers are ok with that, as far as I can tell.
Damn what’s up with these Zionists in the Nexus comment section lol.
Zionism is the movement of Jewish self-determination. Is there a reason why we shouldn’t be here?
How about all hate mongers shut the fck up about Israel and grow a brain. Can you do that, Chief?
If Steven Ho can’t do his job, he should resign or be removed from office
There comes a time when SJP chapters need to investigated as hate organizations. This isn’t civil unrest. It’s an unruly mob of Jew hating, Israel bashing nutbags who are a menace to campus life.
Anti-Semitism is the opiate of the dumbasses.
steven ho will single-handedly destroy AS