1st spring ASUC meeting addresses tuition hike delay, Luis Mora’s release

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Paige Hagerman/File

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At the first ASUC meeting of the spring semester, applause filled the senate chamber in response to the UC Board of Regents’ decision to postpone the vote to raise tuition.

In light of Wednesday’s regents meeting, ASUC introduced a new resolution condemning tuition hikes and advocating for free public higher education statewide. ASUC President Zaynab AbdulQadir-Morris also ensured that campus junior Luis Mora, who was released after being held for more than two weeks by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, will continue to receive support from campus members.

External Affairs Vice President Rigel Robinson shared his account of the regents meeting, explaining that the students who spoke at the meeting and lobbied one-on-one with undecided regents swayed them toward postponing the vote. He added that he thinks the board decided to delay the vote because they wanted to avoid “a humiliating loss.”

“This morning (the hike) was pretty much inevitable, but then a lot of you came through,” Robinson said of his peers at the meeting.

The tuition hike votes, which would have increased in-state tuition by $342 and nonresident tuition by $978, will be postponed until March and May, respectively.

Among the nine resolutions introduced at the meeting, Senator Hani Hussein sponsored the resolution that condemns tuition increases and supports eliminating all tuition across the UC, CSU and community college systems.

While the tuition vote was postponed, Hussein said the circumstances of the resolution are still important. Hussein said the resolution is “very symbolic” and bolsters the senate’s stance against tuition increases statewide.

Also during the meeting, many senators began snapping after AbdulQadir-Morris announced that Mora was “freed.”

AbdulQadir-Morris said at the meeting that she will be in conversation with Dean of Students Joseph Greenwell about how to develop protocols for when students are faced with situations like Mora’s.

“This hasn’t happened at this frequency before, so they’re learning how to respond as we’re going,” AbdulQadir-Morris said at the meeting. “They’re really open to changing the way that they respond publicly to things that affect students.”

Senator Juniperangelica Cordova-Goff sponsored two new resolutions concerning police review — one that demands the revival and reform of the UC Berkeley Police Review Board and another in support of an ASUC UCPD student review commission.

Before closing her presentation with a large bolded “108” on the screen — a reminder of the number of days remaining in the current ASUC term — AbdulQadir-Morris also announced topics for spring semester fireside chats with Chancellor Carol Christ and other administrators. These topics include the yielding and retention of underrepresented minorities on campus, the issues with student spaces on campus and Berkeley’s “surviving versus thriving” culture.

Hannah Piette is the lead student government reporter. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @Hannah_PietteDC.