CalSERVE Seizes Control of Senate

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The resignation of an ASUC senator Wednesday shifted the composition of the student government, making CalSERVE the largest political party in the senate.

The senate, which is made up of 20 members, requires a 14-vote majority to pass bills allocating money. With seven members, CalSERVE can now block all financial bills.

Following student elections, the senate consisted of nine Student Action party members and six CalSERVE senators. All five executive officers are Student Action members.

Julie Dobie's resignation, the third this year, leaves her party with six senators. CalSERVE member Roberto Hernandez is next in line for the position. He is expected to officially accept the position on Wednesday.

Dobie said she resigned because the senate was not meeting her objectives and she felt her voice was not being heard.

"I came to the harsh realization that nothing is being accomplished (in the senate)," Dobie announced during Wednesday's meeting. "What is one in 20? I think that we have all seen that one in 20 in this room doesn't mean anything. It's not about politics, it's about people, but I realized everything in this room is politics. I had a lot of goals last semester, but something I realized over break was that my goals weren't being met."

Dobie added that her experience as a senator has had a negative effect on her and she is pessimistic about the future of the student government body.

"I know that I as a person have changed for the worse, not the better," Dobie said. "I wouldn't trade the experience for anything, but the truth is that until 20 people come into this room with a common vision, very little will be accomplished."

CalSERVE Senator Cindy Koga said the addition of a seventh CalSERVE senator will not produce tremendous changes in the senate this semester.

"We don't purposely block vote; it's just that on some of the issues we share similar perspectives even though we come from different backgrounds," Koga said.

Instead, Koga said changes in the senate will not impact the entire student government.

"I don't think that anything will really change (per se) because the executives will all still be Student Action," Koga said.

She added that Hernandez will bring a new perspective to the senate.

"If Senator Dobie had stated that she wasn't reaching her goals and wasn't happy being in senate, then it is great that someone who can take the opportunity to benefit from being in senate should be able to," she said.

Hernandez said he hopes the senate will accomplish more this semester.

"I'm just thinking in terms of getting things done," Hernandez said, "because this whole last semester wasn't effective. So I am just hoping some of those things will change this semester."

Dobie will still be active in the ASUC, working as the director of safety in ASUC President Patrick Campbell's office.


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