The 2016-17 ASUC Senate convened Wednesday for its final meeting of the year to discuss campus security arrangements in light of potential protests against Ann Coulter, executive office reports and outgoing ASUC President Will Morrow’s return to his home state of Minnesota, among other items.
The mood inside the Senate Chambers was light as senators joked, made funny remarks and shared pizza. During the meeting, Morrow became the topic of humorous discussion due to a “joke bill” — Senate Resolution 095, which was “In Support of William Michael MacKinnon Morrow Just Going Home.”
The Senate heard remarks from UC Berkeley Associate Dean of Students Daryl Ansel about campus security arrangements. Ansel talked about restricted access to certain areas on campus and events being moved to other sites. He also presented the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability Award for redeveloping Lower Sproul to the Senate. Campus Wellness Fund coordinator Karen Rodriguez-Ponciano also presented a report on the allocation of resources toward individuals and groups offering wellness and diversity services.
Executive officers gave their final presentations to the Senate. Morrow recapped working with the Graduate Assembly to create a finance advisory committee. Academic Affairs Vice President Frances McGinley said the campus affordability and accessibility committee yielded good results in terms of textbook availability. Executive Vice President Alicia Lau thanked the senators for “being the most nonpartisan ASUC class in senate history,” while External Affairs Vice President André Luu was unable to attend the meeting because of a 103 degree fever.
SR 95 — or the “joke bill,” according to Morrow — was sponsored by outgoing Senator Marandah Field-Elliot and was co-sponsored by 14 others, including “Will’s Mother,” according to the bill text. The bill stated that in light of the current housing crisis in Berkeley and because the ASUC “has had it up to here with William Michael MacKinnon Morrow,” Morrow should go home “with haste.” Luu and External Affairs Vice President-elect Rigel Robinson were directed to advocate for the bill’s endorsement by UC President Janet Napolitano.
“I have 72 hours to decide if I am going to get my ‘lil’ heiney home,” Morrow said, referencing the wording of the bill text.
Morrow added that he feels privileged to have worked with the 2016-17 Senate class. Acknowledging the ASUC to be an imperfect institution, Morrow said he has tried to be cooperative and conducive to conversations during his tenure as ASUC president.
Morrow also expressed confidence in his successor, President-elect Zaynab Abdul-Qadir, stating that he expects her to be an effective leader who will bring a “new voice” to the ASUC.
“(Zaynab) will engage with students and communicate with the administration,” Morrow said. “She will bring a confident leadership style to other executives.”
The meeting was also attended by several senator-elects.
Student Action Senator-elect Adnan Hemani said in an email that he believes the meeting was a “great end to a productive year in the senate.” In the email, he also discussed his plans for the future.
“I would like to make the Senate and its meetings be more efficient and help see mine and my new colleagues’ platforms being carried through,” Hemani said in an email. “I’m excited to see what new positive changes we can create for the student body in the upcoming year together!”
CalSERVE Senator-elect Harshil Bansal praised the 2016-17 senate class for fairly considering all sides of issues, adding that he hopes to continue that level of bipartisanship in the future.
The meeting was adjourned with a final roll call, followed by a loud cheer and group photographs.