ASUC Student Union board approves Lower Sproul policies as EVP election continues

Michelle Kim/Staff

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At an ASUC Student Union Board of Directors meeting Wednesday, board members voted to update several ASUC policies and approve contracts to meet the needs of the new Lower Sproul Plaza space.

The Lower Sproul Redevelopment Project has been 10 years in the making and involves construction of a new Eshleman Hall. The new policies approved Wednesday include a “market-day” plan, which will allow community members and outside commercial entities to rent predesignated spaces at a rate of $500 per day.

Additionally, the board decided on “food concepts” — specific categories of food that will be sold in Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union and Eshleman Hall — which include Latin food, burgers, pizza and salad wraps. A contract with Chartwells, a food service operator, was also approved at the meeting. According to ASUC Executive Vice President Justin Kong, the contract between the new student union and Chartwells will result in better food options.

“(Finding) new vendors and food options students will care about was really important to me,” Kong said. “One of the problems with ASUC is the yearly turnover, so hiring a contractor that can maintain that consistently and provide consistent revenue was one of the biggest things.”

Kong said that as of Wednesday’s meeting, the board will also work on a contract with a company to run the new Lower Sproul student store.

Kong will complete his term soon, with elections beginning for new ASUC executive officers. Ismael Contreras, an undergraduate representative who sits on the ASUC Student Union board, said the EVP is “the most important (position) when it comes to Lower Sproul” because the official deals with the business side of the project.

“Whoever gets elected (to) that position will be really critical on this board as we ramp up,” Contreras said.

Kong said the next EVP should understand public relations and business, as he or she will need to fundraise $22 million after the project is completed.

To prepare for the position, CalSERVE EVP candidate Lavanya Jawaharlal said she has attended commission meetings within the ASUC Student Union. Paul Lee, an EVP candidate with Student Action, said he has met with multiple individuals on the ASUC Student Union board.

Lee said his plans include collecting feedback, building relationships with Bay Area businesses to fundraise for Lower Sproul and the ASUC and ensuring that the budget will not run a deficit.

If elected, Jawaharlal said in an email, she would allow donors to name as many as 15 conference rooms in exchange for funding and would also continue projects she worked on as a senator. Such projects include an event management system, which would allow students to reserve rooms online and through touchscreens located outside open rooms.

“This is the one year we can’t afford to fail — and I mean all positions, not just EVP. All of campus is eyeing the building,” Kong said. “Being able to put people with experience in this position is my biggest worry and biggest hope for those elected.”

Contact Jamie Nguyen at [email protected].

A previous version of this article stated that Eshleman Hall will receive renovations to make it seismically safe. In fact, Eshleman Hall was demolished in summer 2013 and a new Eshleman Hall is being constructed in its place.