ASUC Senate passes resolution in opposition of City Council actions

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The ASUC Senate unanimously passed a resolution in opposition of Berkeley City Council’s handling of the police response to the Dec. 6, 2014 Black Lives Matter protest and a city ordinance that will place restrictions on group-living accommodations and “mini-dorms.”

The ASUC resolution, drafted by ASUC External Affairs Vice President Marium Navid and passed at its regular meeting Wednesday evening, calls the ordinance’s regulations “draconian,” citing misleading rhetoric and the exclusion of student voices in the process of forming its finalized version.

Mini-dorms are housing units occupied by six or more adults and group-living accommodations are residences designed for use by nonfamilial individuals, such as student cooperatives, fraternities and sororities.

According to Student Action Senator Will Morrow, the version passed Tuesday is “significantly better” than what was originally proposed.

Morrow said, however, that certain provisions remain problematic. One such provision limits parking permits for residents of mini-dorms and group-living accommodations.

“Ideally, we will continue moving forward to see if there’s any way to fight for future amendments,” Morrow said. “We want to make sure to hold the city accountable in how they enforce this measure.”

The resolution also asserts that City Council “repeatedly” delayed meetings that would allow for public comment on police response to the Dec. 6, 2014 protests.

Additionally, the senate decided to continue its search for a new ASUC public defender after revoking a previous nomination of campus junior-transfer student Ferdous Joya by the ASUC Judicial Council in early December.

Morrow said it is essential that the person ultimately chosen for the position is better able to represent the interests of all candidates during elections season.

Campus freshman Jerry Chiang, the new nominee for the public defender position, will be interviewed by the ASUC Governance and Internal Affairs Committee on Monday.

Ariel Hayat is the lead student government reporter. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @ArielHayat.