Wednesday, February 26

USAC gears up for elections

USAC reconvened on Thursday evening at 9 p.m. (a little later than usual!) for their first meeting of the new spring quarter.

With many councilmembers graduating at the end of this quarter, elections for next year looming, and only a matter of weeks until they are out of office, the council seemed relatively at ease as they moved fairly quickly through the items at hand.

“Get excited,” said President Marwa Kaisey in the buoyant spirit of the meeting as she informed the councilmembers that they are to wear their USAC shirts next Tuesday, which is “USAC Day.”

Two brief special presentations were made, the first one by Kaisey. She is planning to put a proposal on the table to expand the number of general representatives on the council from three to five.

At this point, Kaisey made it clear that she was merely putting the idea out there for councilmembers to think about, and that a lengthier debate will occur later.

She said she believes it will become an action item in Week 4 and cited a need for more comprehensive representation as her reasoning behind the proposal. The idea of an even larger council and two more seats is intriguing …

In the numerous announcements made by councilmembers, they not only highlighted some of their upcoming projects but also reflected on some of their programs from last quarter.

Facilities Commissioner PC Zai gave a report on Undie Run. She said though the administration was still very concerned with the prevalence of alcohol at the event, overall the UCPD had been pleased that the night had passed without any major incidents.

The council moved quickly and smoothly through business, taking care of Election Board appointments, in which two were approved and two tabled for next week when the candidates will be available.

They also swiftly approved the election calendar created by Election Board Chairwoman Sandybeth Carillo, but only after Administrative Alternate Rick Tuttle gave his usual warnings about the gravity of the matter.

As the hour got later and later, the atmosphere of the meeting turned. People seemed to be getting tired, and partisan politics may have come into play when Academic Affairs Commissioner Nat Schuster began presenting his proposal for the creation of a Resolution Review Committee. This would be a small committee that would review resolutions before they are put on the table.

Schuster said that expediency was a major motivation behind the proposal, and that he hopes it would enable the council to avoid the semantics and fine-tuning during meetings, which would ideally already be taken care of by this new committee.

Many were resistant to the idea, however. External Vice President Tina Park said, “I don’t really see the point in this committee … this just seems to add an additional level of bureaucracy.”

The debate got even more heated when there was confusion over whether or not it would be mandatory for all resolutions to be submitted to this new committee, a stipulation that many councilmembers were not comfortable with since resolutions are often time-sensitive.

The last issue ““ after the somewhat circular and heated discussion over the proposed Resolution Review Committee ““ was changing the meeting time. At this point it was well past 11, and frustrations arose as the council tried to accommodate those involved in the Mighty Mic event and those with religious conflicts.

Welcome to USAC, where a half-hour meeting change becomes a charged political issue (and was not even finalized as of the close of the meeting).

Just another week in student politics.

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