ASUC Senate illegally passes resolution at Wednesday meeting

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Doug Smith/Staff

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At the ASUC Senate’s regular Wednesday meeting, senators debated the legitimacy of a resolution that was introduced, moved to immediate consideration and passed all in the span of the meeting — a process that is illegal according to the ASUC’s bylaws.

The resolution in question was an expression of solidarity with a resolution from the Associated Students of UC Davis, or ASUCD, that supports the requests of Student Advocates for Mental Health, a student group advocating for increased mental wellness support. In addition, another resolution was introduced to end the suspension of three ASUC commissions.

“Despite rising tuition costs UC Davis students have yet to see any additional mental healthcare support, their survival is dependent on quality services and healthcare is every person’s fundamental right,” reads the resolution in support of ASUCD.

Senator Vicente Román created a point of contention when he introduced the resolution in support of ASUCD for immediate consideration. ASUC rules dictate that unless a resolution is vital to the functioning of the ASUC, it cannot go straight to immediate consideration.

Public notice needs to be given on any resolution introduced to the senate, but this one skipped committee, went immediately into consideration and did not give the public any previous notice, according to Senator Hani Hussein.

“It violated the rules of public notice,” Hussein said. “It’s not that we didn’t agree on the content of the resolution, but the way it went about violated those rules.”

In fall 2017, some senators were not allowed to use immediate consideration, and their motions were struck down several times, Hussein said. She added that this was the first time the violation has occurred this semester.

Also introduced at the meeting was a resolution to end the suspension of three ASUC commissions that had failed to follow commission protocol, including giving an oral report during at least one senate meeting per semester.

“(The bylaw) dictates that a commission shall be automatically suspended if it fails to hold a business meeting for an entire semester and/or has failed to turn in a required oral report to Senate,” according to the resolution.

The Intimate Partner Violence, Sustainability and Financial Wellness commissions were suspended for failing to follow the bylaw. The Housing and Diversity Affairs commissions were not suspended because they met these requirements last semester, and the Mental Health and Sexual Violence commissions were technically not active until late last semester because they had no commission chairs at the time, Hussein said.

At the final ASUC meeting of fall 2017, Anisha Makhija was nominated as the Mental Health Commission chair, and Jon-Luc Dargenton was nominated as the Sexual Violence Commission chair. Hussein said both commissions have since been active.

The resolution has gone to the Governance and Internal Affairs Committee for further discussion. If the resolution passes, all ASUC commissions will be up and running again.

Contact Mariam Zagub at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @MZagub.