ASUC Senate Resumes Activity After Stalled Sessions

Jay Kapp covers student government. E-mail him at [email protected].

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After a month of inactivity, the ASUC resumed business at last night's meeting.

The meeting began with an announcement from ASUC Executive Vice President Han Hong.

"We've seen a downward trend in the last few weeks, and part of that is my fault because I haven't been as stringent with the rules," she said, promising to be stricter in the future.

In addition to the 42 bills on the agenda, topics of debate included two fee waivers, one for the ASUC Office of the President and one for RAZA Recruitment and Retention Center.

ASUC President Jesse Gabriel asked for a $1,200 fee waiver for an event his office plans to host for at least 35 representatives from 12 other schools in the Pac-10.

"This is about building relationships so that we can serve our own student government more effectively," he said. "It is beneficial to students if we can take them to a nice dinner."

Gabriel added it is not up to the discretion of the senate to tell the president how to spend his money.

Opponents said the waiver was frivolous, since most of the money would be going toward a dinner in San Francisco.

"Everybody knows the ASUC is in a tight situation," said Cal-SERVE Senator Gustavo Mata. "I don't think we are being responsible by spending money on a fancy dinner for these people when most students don't have the luxury to spend $30 on a dinner."

After over an hour of debate, senators approved the fee waiver.

Senators then debated a $900 fee waiver for RAZA, which has an annual budget of over $32,000.

Although senators had sufficient votes to support the fund, Student Action Senator Cliff Costa voted against motions to end debate three times in a row.

"Mr. Gabriel gets $25,000 to run his office, and we were complaining about a $1,200 waiver," Costa said.

Many groups with smaller budgets than RAZA had fee waiver requests denied, he added.

Supporters of the waiver argued the money allotted to RAZA was not adequate for its goals.

"The administration provides no effort for recruitment and retention," said Cal-SERVE Senator Mary Boktor. After nearly an hour dedicated to this debate, senators finally approved the waiver.


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