ASUC Senate talks senator representation on committee, approves chair nominations

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Suyang Lu/File

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The ASUC Senate debated adding two senators to the committee on the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union basement and confirmed nominations for two leadership positions at its meeting Wednesday evening.

In the original senate resolution — which proposed the establishment of a committee dedicated to designing the basement’s floor plan and dividing it among student groups — committee members would include ASUC executives, among other representatives. The basement was not included with the rest of the building in the Lower Sproul Plaza Redevelopment program.

During the Governance and Internal Affairs Committee meeting Monday, SQUELCH! Senator Sina Rashidi proposed an amendment to add two senators to the committee. While the amendment failed to pass in committee, Rashidi brought it up for reconsideration during Wednesday’s senate meeting.

Though some senators expressed concern that a committee without any senator representation may limit its views, ASUC Executive Vice President Lavanya Jawaharlal called it “redundant” and noted that any proposal passed in a committee already goes through a senate vote afterward.

Jawaharlal added that she believes the committee’s makeup is already diverse and said senator representation “makes decision making at the committee level much more difficult.”

Student Action Senator Will Morrow proposed a compromise — to add one senator to the committee rather than two — but his suggestion was not put to a vote. Ultimately, the senate voted, 11-9, against the amendment but unanimously passed the original resolution to form the committee.

The senate also approved nominations of Grayson Dimick as the Elections Council chair and Xiu Ji Mia Keefe as the DeCal Board chair.

The Elections Council organizes and conducts the elections process each spring, including the filing of materials, implementation of temporary rules and certification of the results of the election.

According to Rashidi, it is “imperative” to fill the chair’s role early in order to ensure accountability during elections. Rashidi added that he is “confident” in the committee’s decision.

Jawaharlal said Dimick is “going to be a great chair” because she has already worked closely with the Elections Council as a member last year.

During her second term, Keefe hopes to focus mainly on achieving visibility, reaching out to the campus community and continuing to promote “democratic education.”

The DeCal Board is responsible for providing assistance to DeCal facilitators, managing the online course listing and holding facilitator workshops.

Both Dimick’s and Keefe’s nominations were approved unanimously.

The senate did not address the ongoing search for an ASUC Sexual Assault Commission director. During the University and External Affairs Committee meeting, however, CalSERVE Senator Alana Banks announced that Meghan Warner, who served as commission director last year, withdrew her application for the position this year.

The senate will reconvene at its regular time Wednesday.

Staff writer Jessie Qian contributed to this report.

Contact Ariel Hayat and Young Min Kim at [email protected].