ASUC buys Berkeleytime at senate Inter-Semester Committee meeting

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All three resolutions were passed unanimously at Wednesday’s 20-minute ASUC Senate Inter-Semester Committee meeting.

The agenda listed three resolutions for consideration, one of which authorized the purchase of the Berkeleytime website. The other two resolutions were in support of motions — one to extend the ASUC and campus’s laptop rental program and one to allow the UC Berkeley Model United Nations conference to rent hotel rooms for high school students.

The senate already approved of buying Berkeleytime, the widely used course catalog for UC Berkeley students, but Wednesday’s meeting solidified the deal. They agreed to give $70,000 to the website’s co-founders, Noah Gilmore, Yuxin Zhu and Ashwin Iyengar, to split among themselves.

“Pretty much every student at Berkeley uses Berkeleytime,” said Senator Josh Wilson. “We’re buying it … because it’s a super useful website.”

Moffitt Library currently has a laptop rental system in place, but the passed resolution allows the academic affairs vice president, or AAVP, to help expand the program’s scope.

The resolution, which came from AAVP Melany Amarikwa, was introduced because of “feedback from students and senators who felt the program was too short,” according to Amarikwa. Because the resolution includes a memorandum of understanding between the UC Board of Regents and ASUC officials in order to extend the program, the resolution had to be approved by the senate, Amarikwa added in an email.

With the current program, students can rent a laptop for two weeks. The new program uses $24,166.34 from the AAVP’s funds to pay for two-laptop carts, 26 new laptops, spare chargers and cases.

The Berkeley Model United Nations, or BMUN, needed the senate’s approval in order to spend the estimated $97,500 in hotel fees at the Hilton San Francisco Financial District for next year’s conference. The event hosts more than 500 high school students from across the nation, and the Hilton rooms will house them for the duration of the conference, according to the resolution’s text.

The ASUC’s approval is required when student organizations spend more than $2,000, according to Senator Katya Yamamoto.

BMUN will not receive the money required to stay at the Hilton from the ASUC, according to Wilson, who noted that it must raise the money independently. The ASUC allocated $9,200 to BMUN for fiscal year 2018-2019.

“I assume people pay to be there. We give them funds the way we give every other group funds,” said Wilson.

Contact Jackson Guilfoil at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @GuilfoilJackson.