ASUC Senate passes student group conduct bill

Emergency meeting lasted 30 minutes

Salih Muhammad, chair of the campus Black Student Union, spoke at the ASUC emergency senate meeting on Sunday night.
Kevin Foote/Staff
Salih Muhammad, chair of the campus Black Student Union, spoke at the ASUC emergency senate meeting on Sunday night.

The ASUC Senate unanimously passed a bill at an emergency meeting Sunday evening to promote “respectful ASUC student organization conduct,” in light of the controversy surrounding the Berkeley College Republicans’ plans to hold an “Increase Diversity Bake Sale.”

The bake sale — which created a tiered structure for the pricing of baked goods based on race — sparked immediate backlash of such size that the Senate called the emergency meeting within hours of the announcement. ASUC senators communicated by email and in person over the course of two days to draft the bill that would address student concerns as well as the larger campus climate.

Student Action Senator Safeena Mecklai said she was satisfied with the meeting, which lasted less than 30 minutes.

“[ASUC senators] did a lot of work off of the floor in ensuring that we could have a productive discussion in the meeting,” she said. “We discussed what our reach was and what we had the authority to do and what we felt was necessary.”

The senators ended up agreeing to co-author and co-sponsor a bill that would provide guidelines for respectful conduct by campus organizations. Among other provisions, the bill “condemns the use of discrimination whether it is in satire or in seriousness by any student group.”

Mecklai attributed the successful drafting and passage of the bill to the diversity of senators and their ability to reach out and hear the concerns of all segments of the UC Berkeley population.

“It allowed us to draft the best possible bill,” she said.

CalSERVE Senator Kevin Williams also expressed satisfaction with the results of the meeting.

“Going into this senate meeting it was always expect the worse, but try to promote the best,” he said.

A number of speakers from the UC Berkeley and surrounding communities voiced their opinions at the meeting, many of whom supported the Berkeley College Republicans.

Shawn Lewis, president of the club, said afterward that the meeting did not turn out like he expected.

“I thought it would be a decision about defunding [the club],” he said. “It felt like a do-nothing meeting.”

He said that while he was glad no such action took place, he hoped that the Berkeley College Republicans — which received $3,791.11 from the ASUC this fiscal year, according to ASUC Executive Vice President Chris Alabastro — should not face additional punitive measures at the next senate session based on the bill passed at Sunday night’s meeting.

“It would be unconstitutional,” he said. “We would react with legal action.”

Lewis stressed that the campus Republicans did not intend to offend any group and were simply using the bake sale as a political protest against SB 185, affirmative action-like legislation currently awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature.

“I personally feel comfortable apologizing to any individuals who were hurt or felt attacked by the event,” he said.

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  • Grumpy Old Man

    Flippity flam! 

    In my day (late 20th century) we fought hard to end this PC nonsense at Cal. When the ASUC acted up and attacked the rights of the Heuristic Squelch to express itself via satire, we formed the SQUELCH! political party and took over part of the government via elections. That shut those idiots up pretty fast. The idea that they’d try to legislate against this type of mock event (which hardly constitutes hate speech) is atrocious. 

  • Anonymous

    Shawn Lewis:” I’m sorry if you were offended.”

  • guest

    That lectern sits in front of a picture paying tribute to the Free Speech Movement. Fitting.

  • MARY GLASS – Milwaukeean

    The comments mirror the lack of sensitivity in the world today, you are the microcosm for today’s discourse.   The Young Republicans are doing themselves harm in the long run – just keep living.

    • Pretty Hips McGee

      Just keep living unless you feel that a student should not be denied or given entry to a school based on skin color.  Just keep living unless you believe that Americans can voice political dissent without the authorities shutting you down.  Yea, just keep living.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WRACM77JT2RXUR3LMGDPPUGUYY Tony M

      [The comments mirror the lack of sensitivity in the world today]

      Your “sensitivity” does NOT trump the free speech rights of others.

  • Justchoken

    i just hope it gets resolved n a calm and peaceful manner n yes listen and learn dont act out like a fool!!this is college crap !but my son is on the panel so it is an serious issue that should b addressed correctly n appropiaytly n my son has a mouth piece that if u just listen u will like what he has 2 sa

  • Anonymous

    Discriminatory practices at University of California pick $50,600 pay applicants over instate Californians.

    University
    of California Berkeley Chancellor Robert J Birgeneau
    ($500,000 salary), displaces qualified for public university education at Cal.
    Californians with $50,600 FOREIGN students.

     

    Ranked # 70 by Forbes, the University of California
    Berkeley is not increasing enrollment.  $50,600 FOREIGN students are accepted by
    Birgeneau at the expense of qualified instate students.

     

    Your opinions make a difference; email UC Board of
    Regents   [email protected]

     

  • Bob

    What is discriminatory about receiving cheaper cupcakes? Sounds like a benefit to me….kind of like welfare (Similarities?)

  • Boycott Apartheid

    Time for ASUC to boycott Israel.

    Video here: 
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbnT1hmdD-w

    Boycott Apartheid.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WRACM77JT2RXUR3LMGDPPUGUYY Tony M

      And this has what to do with the BCR bake sale?

  • Stenslan

    The guy in the picture’s got style, you can’t really argue against that 

  • MAD AS HELL

    YOU KNOW WHATS AN EASY WAY TO STOP THE BCR?? DONT WORRY I’LL TELL YOU KNOW DONT BUY THE CUPCAKES!!!! SIMPLE I KNOW I GUESS SO THOUGH I GOT A BERKELEY EDUCATION MYSELF SO I THINK I KNOW A THING OR 2 ABOUT LOGIC. BUT WAIT OH YEAH THE ASUC DOESNT UNDERSTAND THAT BECAUSE INSTEAD OF STAYING IN AND DOING HOMEWORK AND STUDYING THEY WENT TO A STUPID MEETING WHIHC I HEARD IS CALLED A KANGEROO MEETING WELL OF COURSE IT IS BECAUSE THEY HOPPED ON THE LIBERAL FASCIST BANDWAGON JUST LIKE A PINKO MARSUPIAL WOULD!!!!!

  • Dg

    I don’t understand why the Black Student Union is against this. Don’t they get a discounted price?

    • Mark Talmont

       “Black Student Union”….sounds discriminatory. BTW, why no White Student Union?

  • ASUC_embarrasses_itself

    … the bill “condemns the use of discrimination
    whether it is in satire or in seriousness by any student group.”

    So Now The ASUC Is Going To Be Policing The Use of Satire!
    One More Reason That ASUC Itself Is A Total Joke.

    Why doesn’t the DailyCal make clear whether the ASUC bill has any teeth?
    Is it only guidelines lacking any enforcing or punitive measures? Probably so.
    Simply put ASUC cannot regulate student speech in a way that infringes upon protected speech.

    • BCR via ACLU vs ASUC @ UCB

      I would love for the ACLU to come in and represent the BCR against the ASUC. It would be the battle of the abbreviations.

      Oh, and it would also be as hilarious as drafting a bill condemning satire. You know who else does that? North Korea. China. Soviet Russia. Venezuela. San Francisco.

  • Beef

    Does this mean when an Improv comedy group or say Squelch uses racial humor in their content that they would lose funding?

    • amused

      Who reads Squelch? lol Serious question.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WRACM77JT2RXUR3LMGDPPUGUYY Tony M

    Everyone: Here’s how we can support the side of right and put a finger in the face of the control freaks in ASUCk. The BCR need to put up an E-bay or Paypal site on-line and sell virtual diversity cupcakes. I don’t care if it’s just a freaking picture of a cupcake, I will gladly sign up for 10 of them and forward $20 for them to set up a legal defense fund to fight this bovine scat. Not that I’m a Republican or even agree with half of what the GOP stands for, but they are in the right on this one and don’t need to be singled out for persecution by a bunch of junior NSDAP wannabes…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WRACM77JT2RXUR3LMGDPPUGUYY Tony M

    [Student Action Senator Safeena Mecklai said she was satisfied with the meeting, which lasted less than 30 minutes.]

    Which of course is the time frame allotted for your typical kangaroo court. Nice to know that the biggest fascists are the ones who habitually use that label on everyone else…

  • Guest

    Haha, this is rich.

    The ASUC is a joke. You convened an emergency meeting over a Bake Sale? You guys need a serious attitude adjustment.

    • Barf

      you’re just jealous that you weren’t elected and can’t put it on your resume.  They’re all getting into Harvard for grad school.  Sucks to be you and me, but these people are going places.

      • Beef

        You are a loser.

      • Tjboy596

        being in asuc doesnt mean anything in the real world, its fucking undergrad dude get real!

      • Thetterms

        roflmao half the scrubs in ASUC on calserve goes on welfare after graduation

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WRACM77JT2RXUR3LMGDPPUGUYY Tony M

        [you’re just jealous that you weren’t elected and can’t put it on your resume.]

        Personally, I would be embarrassed to be associated with a bunch of thin-skinned junior fascist wannabes. Using the force of law to silence opinions you don’t like is nothing to be proud of…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WRACM77JT2RXUR3LMGDPPUGUYY Tony M

    Was the need for this legislation so urgent it had to be done on a weekend evening, or is this ASUCk’s way of admitting that their own actions wouldn’t hold up to critical scrutiny (literally or figuratively) under the light of day?

  • Andre Louis

    “[ASUC senators] did a lot of work off of the floor in ensuring that we could have a productive discussion in the meeting,” she said. “We discussed what our reach was and what we had the authority to do and what we felt was necessary.”
    Riiiiiiiight…the reason the work was done off the floor and the bill passed in a flurry is that the ASUC wasn’t remotely interested in a discussion of any kind. Note the comment on “reach”–this was about how far they could go down one particular road, one of suppressing uncomfortable and controversial ideas, not which road to go down, which should be the focus of a genuine “legislative” hearing.

    As for Lewis’s willingness to apologize–I’m a bit disappointed, but he’s going forward with the event and has a responsibility not to completely destroy BCR’s reputation in one fell swoop, so I understand. 

    I strongly encourage any conservatives or defenders of free expression reading this to come to the event on Tuesday, as it’s likely to be 100 vs about 20 split as it stands (how amusing in light of the fact that the 100 are the ones claiming to be the victimized minority).

    • -_-

      Great minority comparison!!! <–Sarcasm