Bill proposes $15,000 redevelopment of ASUC website

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A bill that proposes a $15,000 revamping of the ASUC’s website was introduced at Wednesday’s ASUC Senate meeting, alongside the nomination of a public defender and the discussion of various campus issues.

The website bill, Senate Bill 50, proposes entering into a contract with Front Group Design, a Bay Area creative studio that would redevelop the ASUC website using $15,000 from the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Student Services and Fees. The committee of students and staff decides which projects and services to fund with the $486 semesterly fee that students pay.

According to Joe Wilson, ASUC chief communication officer, ideas for the redevelopment of the website include embedding Google Calendar functionality to include a calendar of campus events, creating online donation systems for alumni, providing a platform where students can vote on new projects for the ASUC and installing the new live streaming of senate meetings.

“What we’re going to be looking for is making it a lot more transparent for students on campus,” said CalSERVE Senator Lavanya Jawaharlal, a member of the ASUC Website Development & Technology Committee, which worked to select the website development company.

The senate also voted to pass SB 1, the senate finance bill; SB 48, which created a public defender role within the judicial council and SB 49, which made several changes to the ASUC bylaws, including the creation of a process related to the removal of senators.

ASUC Attorney General Natalja Karniouchina said that during the meeting, the judicial council decided that Student Action senators Bo Nguyen and Paul Lee would not be removed for allegedly having too many unexcused absences last semester.

Karniouchina also said last semester’s absences will be reviewed.

“We are looking at the absences and that will take some time,” Karniouchina said. “We will determine if there is a specific individual who may or may not face removal.”

The public defender will defend any person or organization requiring representation in front of the judicial council. UC Berkeley sophomore Shoujit Banerjee was nominated as the new public defender, to be confirmed at next week’s senate meeting.

In addition, ASUC Student Advocate Rishi Ahuja said the campus kicked off the “It’s on Us” sexual assault public awareness campaign Wednesday. The campaign was launched by President Barack Obama in September.

Ahuja also brought up concerns that students accused of sexual assault should be educated and rehabilitated and said he wants to provide resources for rehabilitating those found guilty of sexual assault without going as far as providing them with unwarranted advantages. He said he is still determining the nuances of a position that would coordinate these efforts.

Later in the meeting, senators discussed a two-stage renovation to Cal Lodge, the ASUC’s 50-person lodge in North Lake Tahoe. The first stage would involve a multitude of interior renovations, and the second stage would be the construction of a deck. Discussion of the project included topics such as accessibility that complies with federal Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines and the matter of whether there should be private rooms or gender-neutral bathrooms.

Angel Grace Jennings covers student government. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @angeljenningss.