1st ASUC commission summit held Sunday to review new bylaw requirements

Maya Valluru/Staff

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The first summit for ASUC commission chairs was held Sunday, following a suspension of three commissions for failing to follow protocols that were set last year.

According to the ASUC’s Chief Personnel Officer Evan Cui, the senators passed a bill last spring on commission accountability, which included multiple new requirements for commissions. These new requirements were not properly communicated to the commission chairs themselves, however, who in turn could not inform the new chairs for the next school year, Cui said.

“We were not sufficiently notified,” Cui said. “If the previous commission chairs knew it was really important, they would have passed it on.”

The new requirements for the commissions include attending a senate meeting once every four weeks to give an oral report, submitting at least one formal report per semester and having at least one official meeting per semester, according to Cui. Not complying with these requirements would result in suspension, he added.

Early this semester, the Intimate Partner Violence, Sustainability and Financial Wellness commissions were suspended for not meeting the new bylaw’s requirements in the fall semester. The Mental Health and Sexual Violence commissions were not active until late last semester because they had no commission chairs, and the Housing Commission and Diversity Affairs Committee were not suspended, as they followed the bylaw’s requirements.

According to Cui, the commissions’ suspensions will end in the coming weeks.

At the summit, committee chairs provided updates and stated future goals of their respective committees.

According to Jason Liu, Financial Wellness Commission chair, his commission will work on providing financial wellness information for students this semester through a few mediums.

“We plan to do workshops to introduce financial wellness information to Berkeley students,” Liu said. “It’s just a weak plan right now, and we need to still discuss details.”

Jon-Luc Dargenton, Sexual Violence Commission chair, said his committee will be working on a grant project with PATH to Care this semester.

According to a presentation delivered at the meeting, nominees for new committee chairs for the next academic year will be chosen by current chairs before spring break. Candidates will then be interviewed, and the senate will have to approve the new commission chairs with at least two-thirds votes in favor.

The presentation also provided the requirements of the bylaw for maintaining commission status, including that committees must give public notice of meetings at least 48 hours in advance. If public notice is not given, nothing that occurs in the meeting is valid.

“Commissions needed to be more accountable to the ASUC, so more guidelines and requirements were set,” Cui said. “If they didn’t fill these requirements, they would be suspended until the governance committee reviewed their status and determined what went wrong and discuss future steps to prevent this from happening.”

Contact Amanda Yao at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @AmandaJYao.