Students may vote on whether the ASUC should call for Birgeneau’s resignation

Kevin Foote/Senior Staff
Chancellor Robert Birgeneau speaks to the ASUC Senate in Stanley Hall. Over 90 students and members of the public attended the meeting.

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UC Berkeley students may vote this spring on whether it should be the official policy of the ASUC to call for Chancellor Robert Birgeneau’s resignation.

A bill being introduced to the ASUC Senate at its meeting Wednesday would place a referendum on the 2012 ASUC general election ballot asking students if the ASUC should call for Birgeneau to resign. The bill was authored by senior William Skewes-Cox and states that “numerous highly controversial and questionable decisions have been made … under the leadership” of Birgeneau.

Cooperative Movement Senator Elliot Goldstein sponsored the bill. Goldstein said he was approached by Skewes-Cox to sponsor the bill and that his personal views are not expressed in the bill language.

The bill points specifically to Nov. 9 Occupy Cal protest, which involved police use of force on protesters attempting to set up an encampment. Emails released last month showed that Birgeneau did not object to reports of the baton use at the time.

“Just getting (this question) on the ballot shows that the ASUC has at least acknowledged that this is something that needs to be talked about,” Skewes-Cox said.

Campus spokesperson Janet Gilmore said in an email that she was unable to comment on the referendum at the time.

Nov. 14 senate committee minutes state that Skewes-Cox spoke to senate members about passing a bill asking for Birgeneau’s resignation.

Per usual process, the bills introduced at Wednesday’s meeting will be passed on to committee for further discussion and will likely be considered by the entire senate at a future meeting.

Due to the deadline to pass referendums through senate for this year’s elections, the bill will need to pass both committee and the entire senate next week. If it does, it would appear on the ballot along with a referendum to renew the the Class Pass, which gives students unlimited free rides on the AC Transit and Bear Transit bus systems.

Chloe Hunt is the lead student government reporter.