Wednesday, August 21

USAC preps for OSAC applications

After a very brief meeting last week, USAC was back to true form this week with lengthy, occasionally heated discussions about the issues of the day.
First was a discussion with Office Space Allocations Committee Chair Jason Mizzell about the application for office space, mailboxes and lockers that his committee has been working on.
This was an important step in the implementation of the guidelines USAC created last year for a new allocation process for office space. This is a touchy, politically charged issue for those groups who have received space for years and those groups looking to finally get an office.
The debate over this issue, however, was mostly wrapped up with the finalization of the guidelines in February 2006, so this was, interestingly enough, not a particularly hot topic at the meeting.
What did get certain councilmembers a little riled up was when a large line of Queer Alliance representatives filed into the meeting to discuss a large funding request they had submitted.
They had requested high-powered computers, and their requested funds were unusually high, so council felt it would be best to discuss the request with them personally.
They arrived in force, pointing out that their office had been vandalized earlier this year during a security breach by Sheldon Ross, but that it was the Daily Bruin office that had received attention and replacements for lost or damaged goods.
One reason council had been reluctant to grant them their funding request was that, despite the fact that the Queer Alliance consists of a number of different student organizations serving different sectors of the LGBT community, they all share a physical office space and would ideally pool their office resources instead of asking for a computer for each subgroup.
In response, the Queer Alliance representatives then made passionate pleas for the importance of their organization and explained that each of the different student groups that make up the Alliance serves a unique population of the LGBT community and have different needs.
There was a din of voices, and at one point Financial Supports Commissioner Shaun Doria slammed his hand on the table to regain the attention of the group, asking of President Marwa Kaisey, “Are we going to let it turn into a circus?”
Things calmed down soon, though, as it was agreed that the Queer Alliance representatives would discuss their requests with Finance Committee Chair Michael Miller.
They returned later on in the meeting, having reached a compromise. These revised requests were subsequently approved by council, and the Queer Alliance office will be receiving a magnetic lock for increased security.
Council also went over the proposed 2007-2008 budget, which was tabled for further review. There were a number of reports from councilmembers, including a long and detailed one by External Vice President Tina Park about the University of California Students Association. Park discussed the UCSA budget, some recent changes in its staffing, and the work it had done.
The meeting wrapped up quickly after the reports.

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