A referendum on this year’s ASUC ballot may change how the ASUC handles the Advocacy Agenda in an effort to ensure more effective implementation.
If passed, the referendum would amend the ASUC Constitution to shift the responsibility of addressing the Advocacy Agenda’s items from the senate to the Office of the President.
The ASUC Senate surveys the student body at the beginning of each academic year to understand common concerns and then determines which of those it would like to address in the coming year as part of its Advocacy Agenda. Currently, the responsibility of implementing the agenda falls on the senate.
Historically, however, implementation has been plagued by a variety of problems, according to Cooperative Movement Senator Jorge Pacheco, chair of the ASUC Constitutional and Procedural Review Committee and co-author of the bill.
“It’s a question of people-power, committee structure and conflict of interest,” Pacheco said. “The senate has historically had a problem with keeping itself accountable.”
According to the authors of the bill that placed the measure on the ballot — six ASUC senators from CalSERVE, Student Action and the Cooperative Movement Party — the Office of the President is more suited to handling the Advocacy Agenda because it is constitutionally mandated to represent the collective concerns of the student body.
“It’s not too big of a deal,” said CalSERVE Senator and presidential candidate DeeJay Pepito, a co-author of the bill. “It really just transitions the responsibility. It’s just a matter of what makes the most sense to really match the responsibilities of a different office.”
According to Pacheco, the transition is vital because it will allow the agenda to benefit from structured task management, financial power and public accountability.
“This will show the general campus that the ASUC cares about the students’ voice and that the ASUC will take a proactive stance on their issues,” said Student Action Senator and executive vice president candidate Chen-Chen Huo, another co-author of the bill.
Contact Claire Chiara at [email protected].