Senate passes bills on student privacy, hears public comment on controversial DeCal

Mikaela Raphael/File

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During its third meeting this semester, the ASUC Senate unanimously approved six of the seven proposed bills on the agenda and heard concerns from public comment over the suspension of a student-led Palestine DeCal.

The bills passed are intended to improve student safety, promote student health and maintain the practice of informed consent in student-adviser meetings.

Frances McGinley, ASUC academic affairs vice president and the primary sponsor for the bill, said improving Letters and Science advising is one of her key goals this semester. The bill seeks to protect students’ privacy and improve the transparency of a new note-taking system in CalCentral that shares notes from student meetings with other department advisers in the interest of efficiency.

According to the language of the bill, there is no protocol currently in place that informs students where their information has been shared from meetings with advisers.

In addition to the passage of the approved bills, the senate heard the concerns of students and facilitators of the “Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis” DeCal, which was suspended by the administration Tuesday.

The ASUC Senate will discuss a bill related to the DeCal advocating for academic freedom and the class’s reinstatement in its next executive meeting.

“What matters, and this bill intends to highlight, is that there was a breach of 26 students’ right to academic freedom and, as student representatives, it’s necessary that we stand in solidarity with them,” said ASUC Senator Zaynab AbdulQadir-Morris, who will sponsor the bill.

ASUC President William Morrow will represent undergraduate students in the search for a new chancellor, and Graduate Assembly President Iman Sylvain will represent graduate students as part of a 17-member advisory committee to the UC President Janet Napolitano.

“I will solicit student feedback in narrowing down and finding the best-fit person for the job,” Morrow said.

Contact Parth Vohra at [email protected].

A headline accompanying a previous version of this article may have implied that the entire ASUC met Sept. 14. In fact, it was a meeting of just the ASUC Senate.