At its weekly meeting Monday, the ASUC Senate’s Governance and Internal Affairs Committee unanimously decided to postpone discussion of all bills put forth for consideration, three of which were populated with filler text when discussed.
Monday’s agenda had initially scheduled discussion of five bills, ranging from SB 83, a bill seeking to establish a memorandum of understanding with campus administration relating to the Lower Sproul Redevelopment Project, to SB 88 and SB 89, bills aiming to uphold or increase the financial accountability of The Daily Californian and the ASUC Student Union Board of Directors, respectively.
The Daily Cal is currently funded in part by the V.O.I.C.E. Initiative. Passed in 2012, V.O.I.C.E. charges students $2 a semester to help fund the Daily Cal. It is set to expire in 2017.
During public comment, Chloe Hunt, the Daily Cal’s editor in chief, discussed the bill with senators.
SQUELCH! Senator and committee member Dree Kavoussi said at the meeting that the decision to expedite discussion of SB 88 — despite the bill being incomplete — was partly the result of an op-ed published in the Daily Cal last week. The piece was written by a former ASUC finance intern, who commented on alleged financial irregularities in the ASUC Office of the Executive Vice President.
Hunt, who posted an editor’s note Monday on the Daily Cal website regarding the blank bill, said at the meeting that the senate’s decision to approve discussion of the bill prior to making the bill available to the public was a “failing of accountability and of giving students a right to their due process.”
EVP Justin Kong, SB 88’s primary sponsor, said in an email that his intention in putting the bill up for discussion prior to its completion was “so that it would be on folks’ radar,” adding that “it was never my intent to pass unfinished bills nor would the senate ever let that happen.”
Hunt later added that many concerns of hers were assuaged upon meeting with Kong on Tuesday evening.
“This situation seemed to escalate really quickly,” Hunt said. “(But) I’m very happy with the next steps.”
Hunt will work closely with Kong’s office to draft the final version of the bill. Hunt; Kong; EVP-elect Lavanya Jawaharlal; and Kimberly Veklerov, the Daily Cal’s next editor in chief, will be meeting Wednesday to further discuss the proposed bill.
While all other bills have been postponed for further discussion at next week’s meeting, discussion of SB 87 has been postponed indefinitely.
The committee will be meeting for the final time next week.