The ASUC Senate’s inter-semester committee — which includes eight ASUC senators, senators-elect and the executive vice president designee — convened for the first time Wednesday evening to discuss legislation, including a bill to ease the path for exceptional new groups on campus to gain special funding.
The main piece of legislation discussed during the hourlong meeting was Senate Resolution 104, a bill supporting the creation of an emerging initiatives fund. The fund is intended to enable young organizations that are in need of additional funding to receive that funding in the first or second years of their existence, according to Senator Anthony Carrasco, a co-sponsor of the bill.
According to Carrasco, the bill — written by CalSERVE Senator Benyamin bin Mohd Yusof — was inspired by Yusof’s time sitting on the finance committee during the academic school year.
“There’s never enough money to go around, and most often, money gets cut to organizations that are younger and that’s a chronic issue,” Carrasco said. “It seems like good governance to correct something like this.”
Ultimately, the bill was tabled so the committee would have more time to include audit and sunset clauses that would require a reassessment of the bill in one or two years, respectively.
The committee, which was inaugurated last summer, was founded in an effort to increase officer accountability and foster smoother transitions between academic years. Last July, the committee passed two bills that aimed to help support communities particularly affected by the terror attacks in Nice, France, and Dhaka, Bangladesh, that left two UC Berkeley students dead and shook the campus community.
“The purpose of this committee is to ensure that if there are issues brought upon the students of Berkeley during the summer, that there is a governing body that can respond to those issues,” acting executive vice president for the committee Nickie Lewis said.
According to Lewis, the committee also exists to review bills that are introduced toward the end of the academic year to give them their due diligence.
“There’s more time to think about (the bills) and understand what’s actually going into them and how to respond correctly to them,” Lewis said.
Other matters discussed in the meeting included the appointment of Andy Schwartz, the Graduate Assembly vice president of finance, into the position of ASUC fiduciary proxy. Schwartz’s appointment will enable the Graduate Assembly to have more day-to-day flexibility with contracts and other legal matters.
In addition to SR 104, two other bills — Senate Resolution 97 (ASUC Sponsorship Duties and Conditions) and Senate Resolution 102 (Establishing First-Year Student Advisors to ASUC Senate) — were tabled because they were not yet ready for the committee’s vote.
The committee will convene again July 12.