ASUC resolution to close club funding loophole

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The ASUC Senate passed one resolution and moved two others into committee at its weekly Wednesday meeting, where Dean of the Haas School of Business Richard Lyons also discussed the progress of the campus’s strategic planning process.

The senate passed a resolution establishing annual stipends for campus students who are board members of the UC Student Association, or UCSA. In addition, two new business resolutions — one to close the Annual Budgeting and Spaces Allocation, or ABSA, “years sponsored” loophole and another to reduce fees for UC Berkeley students when using BART transportation — were moved into committee.

“Years of standing with ASUC” is one factor in determining how the ASUC funds registered student organizations, or RSOs, and a loophole currently exists that allows new organizations to take over inactive organizations that are already registered with the LEAD Center, leading to newly “revived” organizations receiving more funding than other new organizations.

“Revived organizations may already be ASUC-sponsored in the past and since ‘years of standing with ASUC’ never resets, revived organizations may be given more funding than new organizations who have been continuously active on campus for similar amounts of time,” the resolution reads.

The resolution would close this loophole by requiring that, if an RSO does not obtain sponsorship from the ASUC for two consecutive ABSA cycles and does not obtain sponsorship at any time between these cycles, its years of standing will be reset to zero.

Another resolution, which passed in the meeting, requires that the UC Berkeley organizing director and legislative director for the Office of the External Affairs Vice President, or EAVP, each be given annual stipends of $1,000 for their work on the UCSA board.

“As members of the UCSA Board, the Organizing Director and Legislative Director are required to attend monthly UCSA Board Meetings, which rotate between UC campuses,” the resolution reads. “Such significant travel requirements are unjust to expect from an unstipended volunteer; and … Organizing Directors and Legislative Directors are paid at various other UC campuses.”

During guest announcements, Lyons announced that the four strategic planning working group reports — with topics including student experience, enrollment growth, grand challenges and financial strategies — are in their final stages of drafting and will be presented for campus feedback in early May.

“It would be a mistake to drop a final draft in your laps without getting feedback,” Lyons said at the meeting. “That’s not transparency, and that’s not inclusion.”

Lyons said the four working groups are in place to generate ideas on how to improve these campus elements, and the working groups’ ideas will ultimately be compiled into one document that addresses the whole campus. This document will outline how the campus should function 10 years into the future in regards to these four facets of campus life.

“The student experience group is gathering ideas and putting them into a document saying the student experience 10 years out needs to have certain features,” Lyons said. “The time horizon for all this work is ‘What do we want Berkeley to look like 10 years from now?’ ”

Contact Amanda Bradford at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @amandabrad_uc.