ASUC Senate passes resolutions calling for Norman Pattiz resignation, new referendum

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The ASUC Senate held a special meeting Sunday to make up for its last Wednesday meeting — which was canceled because of safety concerns regarding the shelter-in-place on campus — and passed three resolutions, including a resolution calling for UC Regent Norman Pattiz’s resignation and another adding a referendum to April’s election ballot.

The resolution calling for Pattiz’s resignation comes after a May 2016 recording of him sexually harassing a colleague, aired in October 2016. The other resolution, called the Community and Career Connections Initiative Referendum, would increase students’ tuition by $18 beginning in the 2017-18 school year to help fund the Career Center and Public Service Center.

According to ASUC of Riverside National Affairs Director Julia Schemmer, who has been campaigning for UC-wide support of Pattiz’s resignation, the UC Student Association passed a similar resolution in January, while the ASUCR and the ASUC of Davis will review their own versions of the resolution in the coming weeks. Senator Rosa Kwak was the main sponsor of the Berkeley ASUC’s resolution.

“The goal is to show that students across the system are uncomfortable with his presence on the board, so the more student associations we can get to favor this resolution, the stronger our case is when working with administrators,” Schemmer said.

She added that letters from the multiple ASUCs expressing students’ discomfort with Pattiz’s position on the Board of Regents will be sent to the UC regents some time before the next regents meeting, which will take place March 15. Students who are not a part of the student government can show their support by signing an online petition in order to “continue to hold the UC Board of Regents accountable for their actions.”

Along with the call for Pattiz’s resignation, the Senate also passed a resolution to place the Community and Career Connections Initiative Referendum on the April election ballot. The initiative would add $18 to students’ tuition, which would increase by $3 annually for five years, ending at $33.

If passed, the funds from the referendum would be used by the Career Center and PSC to expand internship and externship opportunities for students between the two centers, among other ways designed to assist students with securing jobs in the workforce.

“The purpose of this referendum is to sustain and expand critical student services that connect students to public service and career opportunities. Currently the Career Center and Public Service Center (PSC) receive only a portion of their budgets from general campus funds, with the remainder of their budgets being generated through grants, contracts, and fees,” the resolution said. “Indeed the PSC and the Career Center receive far less campus support than their counterparts at peer institutions.”

According to the resolution, there will be a reassessment of the fee 10 years after the passage of the referendum.

Sakura Cannestra is the lead student government reporter. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @SakuCannestra.