ASUC president vetos bill supporting campuswide ban on use of latex balloons, gloves

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Update 03/07/2016: This article has been updated to reflect additional interviews with student leaders.

ASUC President Yordanos Dejen issued a presidential veto Wednesday regarding a bill in support of a campuswide ban on the use of latex balloons, rubber bands and gloves.

The resolution, written by Student Action Senator Andre Luu, was approved unanimously at Wednesday’s ASUC Senate meeting. It urged the campus to hold facilities such as the Tang Center, Cal Dining Services and science departments accountable for providing latex-free gloves.

In addition, student organizations would be accountable for using only latex-free balloons and rubber bands at all activities on campus.

In a letter sent Wednesday night addressed to members of the ASUC, Dejen said the bill did not thoroughly address harmful situations in which students with latex allergies might find themselves.

“The fact that contraceptives were not specifically included in this bill leaves out a large cause of potential harm to students with latex allergies,” Dejen wrote in the letter.

Luu said he did not include a ban on latex contraceptives in the bill because it’s impossible to completely eliminate all latex from campus. He said he was disappointed that Dejen did not consult him before the veto was issued.

“I don’t remember the last time there was ever a veto for a bill that was unanimously passed,” Luu said.

The bill, Dejen stated in the letter, asks specific departments and student organizations to make large changes in the types of supplies they use — a demand that is “short sighted,” considering recent budget constraints.

Luu said he is confused as to why this particular bill was singled out for close examination.

“Other (ASUC) bills have demanded far more drastic demands from the university,” Luu said. “They haven’t received the same amount of scrutiny or a veto.”

Dejen previously issued a presidential veto in October on a resolution establishing a BART-affordability working group, the first veto since 2010.

“It seems like the number of vetos this year is highly unorthodox and feels like it is for partisan rather than institutional purposes,” said former ASUC President Pavan Upadhyayula in an email.

Dejen previously said she issued the veto on the BART-affordability working group resolution, also drafted by Luu, for logistical purposes and would approve a version of the resolution with her suggested amendments included.

Dejen could not be reached for comment.

Suhauna Hussain is the university news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @suhaunah.