The UC Santa Barbara Associated Students Senate convened in the University Center Flying A Studios Room on Feb. 15 to swear in new Internal Vice President Sydney Kupsh and pass legislation addressing Associated Students special elections.
The Senate convened under former interim Internal Vice President (IVP) and current External Vice President of Local Affairs and fourth-year political science and sociology double major Hailey Stankiewicz at the meeting’s start. Third-year economics and communication double major Kupsh was sworn in as IVP by Stankiewicz and Associated Students (A.S.) President Gurleen Pabla.
“I am very excited and honored to have this new role,” Kupsh said in a statement to the Nexus.
Kupsh won the race for IVP in the winter quarter special election against third-year political science major Coleton Cristiani and third-year communication major Gabrielle Diaz. Voting in the election closed on Feb. 4, and results were released on Feb. 10, following the resolution of a Judicial Council case contesting the election’s legitimacy.
Kupsh confirmed to the Nexus that her term will last until week eight of spring quarter.
During the Senate’s public forum, A.S. Chief Operating Officer Michael Yang presented an update on the A.S. Strategic Vision plan — a planning guide outlining key A.S. projects and goals set to be completed in 2024. The planning guide was initially established by 2014 A.S. President Jonathan Abboud to be completed in 2020 but had its time frame amended in May 2021.
The updated plan includes 28 goals — including creating a Sustainability and Environmental Resource Center and a Basic Needs Bank — based on data provided from UCSB students and staff, Yang said.
The Senate passed four pieces of legislation: a Bill to Amend Elections Code, a Bill To Update Standing Policies on Legislation With A Fiscal Impact But No Listed Account To Draw From, a Bill To Address Transparency Regarding the Legislative Fiscal Impact Process and a Bill To Address Accountable Practices in Special Elections.
Kupsh resigned as a Financial Officer on the Finance and Business Committee, and third-year economics and accounting and communication double major Hannah Horenstein was appointed in her place.
Amendments to the A.S. Elections Code for the spring quarter general election included changing the deadline for Senate approval of elections code from week five of winter quarter to week seven and stipulating that names of political parties will be removed from the ballot but can be in candidate statements.
“Executive [candidates] can still run with a party, which is why the political parties haven’t been completely removed [from the A.S. Elections Code],” Kupsh said.
A.S. Elections Board submitted the A.S. Elections Code for senatorial approval in Fall Quarter 2022, Elections Board Chair Owen Skinner confirmed to the Nexus.
A Bill to Address Accountable Practices in Special Elections raised the threshold for future special elections from 3% to 8%. The amendment will be in effect after spring quarter.
A Bill To Address Transparency Regarding the Legislative Fiscal Impact Process states that all legislation with a fiscal impact above $3,000 must be tabled to the Finance and Business Committee for recommendation.
A Bill To Update Standing Policies on Legislation With A Fiscal Impact But No Listed Account To Draw From gives guidelines on handling fiscally impactive Senate legislation that doesn’t specify an account to draw from.
A version of this article appeared on p. 2 of the Feb. 23, 2023 print edition of the Daily Nexus.