ASUC Senate discusses technology office’s aims, advocacy agenda

Mitzi Perez/Staff

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The ASUC is working to further its technological initiatives this year — including a restructuring of the course-planning website Berkeleytime — with the help of the newly created Office of the Chief Technology Officer.

During its regular meeting Wednesday night, the ASUC Senate heard about new projects under development within the office. CTO Mihir Patil presented several projects during the meeting. A team of developers, designers and product managers will be working on Project Campanile, which will focus on maintaining and improving Berkeleytime, a website that aids campus students in course search before and during their Tele-BEARS appointments.

The CTO’s office acquired Berkeleytime at the end of last semester from a group of students unaffiliated with the ASUC, two of whom graduated in the spring.

“This project is quite necessary in order to help students find the best courses to take, and when to register for them, in a simple, easy to use manner,” Patil said in an email.

According to Jennifer Yu, product manager for Project Campanile, the team’s objective will be letting the campus acquire Berkeleytime. Yu noted that this action would eliminate maintenance cost worries for the ASUC.

The office will also be working to improve the ASUC mobile application, a project the office inherited from the ASUC Office of the President this semester. Another project aims to create a wait-list service for the Recreational Sports Facility treadmills by collaborating with students who take Computer Science 169.

During the meeting, the senate also discussed its new advocacy agenda, which, mandated by the ASUC bylaws, organizes the senate’s ideas into action steps. This year’s senate class chose to focus on campus equity, safe spaces and holistic wellness for the upcoming year.

Senators made several formatting changes during the meeting to SR-1, the bill that contains the agenda. SQUELCH! Senator Zoe Brouns said the bill should be approved by the senate next week and will then be the official agenda for the 2015-16 senate class.

During the committee reports, the Governance and Internal Affairs Committee announced that it will be holding interviews for the position of elections council chair during its meeting Monday.

At the end of the meeting, senators also reported their concerns regarding widespread campus issues such as student mental health; outreach to science, technology, engineering and mathematics students; and police brutality.

The senate assigned three new bills to senate committees to discuss at their respective meetings.

While FR-03 was assigned to the senate’s Finance Committee, SR-004, a bill establishing a charter for the Committee on the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union Basement, and SB-005, a bill establishing a chartering for the ASUC Wellness Fee Committee, were both assigned to the Governance and Internal Affairs Committee.

The senate will reconvene Sept. 16.

Jessie Qian covers student government. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @jessieq96.