The 73rd cohort of UC Santa Barbara Associated Students senators and executives had their swearing-in delayed, as the 72nd Senate went into recess following their final May 18 meeting and did not officially adjourn.
The 73rd Senate will be sworn in on May 22 at 2 p.m. after the 72nd Senate’s May 18 meeting is concluded over an email vote.
Though the Senate has been conducting in-person meetings since April 27, this week’s proceedings were switched to Zoom after Internal Vice President Bee Schaefer notified the Senate of a COVID-19 exposure that occurred prior to their May 18 meeting.
The 72nd Senate addressed old business and officially adjourned their May 11 meeting — which had also not concluded — before beginning their May 18 meeting. The proceedings took roughly an hour, with new business being introduced and then a transition to the May 18 meeting’s agenda.
Approval of rollover funds for Associated Students (A.S.) entities was the primary new business, after several entities were zeroed out of the 2022-23 year’s budget without prior notification and voiced complaints at the Senate’s May 4 meeting. An extension of rollover funding requests was given to offer more time, and rollover funds were officially approved.
Old business was addressed, and 11 bills were passed, the majority of them addressing A.S. Legal Code, by-laws and standing policies.
As midnight neared, Schaefer then told the Senate the swearing-in would not be able to occur as she did not have the capacity to lead the meeting longer.
“As chair, I will not be going past 12:00 or too much longer. I don’t think it’s equitable for me, so in consideration of me and my needs, I’m gonna have to ask you all to wait an extended time,” Schaefer said.
“Any policy and legal code that states that it has to be conducted tonight I will ask it to be suspended.”
Adjourning the 72nd Senate’s final meeting and holding the swearing-in on May 25 was briefly discussed, but A.S. Assistant Director of Governmental Affairs Holly Mayes informed the Senate that adjourning the meeting would mean a one week period with no senators or executives, due to the gap in turnover.
“Once a meeting is concluded, there will not be a Senate sworn in. There will be a gap; the current Senate is done after this meeting ends, with no senators until new ones are sworn in,” Mayes said.
Additionally, second-year mechanical engineering major and College of Engineering senator Cesar Castillo noted to keep the 73rd Senate in mind, as they had attended the meeting expecting a swearing-in.
“I understand your needs, and this is with no disrespect to you, but it’s difficult to balance your request with the fact that the 73rd Senate has been waiting very patiently for the next meeting to convene.”
After deliberation, a possible solution presented was entering recess and not officially adjourning the meeting until a later date, when the 73rd Senate would then be sworn in immediately following adjournment.
The Senate voted on whether to continue with the swearing-in or enter recess, which ended in a tie broken by Schaefer and leading the Senate into recess.
The Senate will reconvene on May 22 to swear in the 73rd cohort.