The ASUC Student Union Board of Directors took a stance on the Graduate Assembly’s financial autonomy controversy at its Thursday board meeting, calling for Student Union Executive Director Daryl Ansel to retract his email demanding that Graduate Assembly, or GA executives repay $10,000 withdrawn from the ASUC bank account.
At the last board meeting in April, motions were passed to place the GA’s funds into separate bank accounts from the ASUC’s and reinstate GA executives as signatories on the ASUC account until the GA has its own accounts. Ansel’s demand occurred less than two weeks after the GA’s secession from the ASUC, a culmination of tensions that have existed since the GA’s founding in the 1960s.
After demanding the return of the check, Ansel ordered that the GA’s signatories be removed from the bank account, which would “block the GA’s access to its own finances,” according to documents obtained by the Daily Californian.
“This isn’t an issue about GA and ASUC separation,” said outgoing GA president Kena Hazelwood-Carter. “This is a question about how we ensure the university … maintains student government autonomy.”
At the board of directors’ Thursday meeting, GA executives urged the board to take a stand against the university’s attempt to block the GA’s withdrawal. The board voted to direct Ansel to retract his email, but voted against a motion stating that the board found that the withdrawal of the check was within the GA’s authorized power.
“I dont think it’s the board’s authority to decide what was duly authorized by the GA,” said chair of the board Courtney Brousseau.
But Andrew Schwartz, GA Vice President of Finance, said at the meeting that there is power in the board choosing to “take a stand.”
Campus spokesperson Adam Ratliff replied to a request to Ansel for comment by saying the campus generally doesn’t comment on specific written communications to individual students.