ASUC Senate votes against resolution waiving president’s stipend reductions

Yiran Chen/Staff

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CBS News reporters attended an ASUC special meeting Thursday hoping to cover a resolution that would reallocate funding from the Berkeley College Republicans, or BCR, to the Black Student Union, according to ASUC Senator Taehan Lee but no discussion of the resolution occurred because BCR was allocated funding in the 2018-2019 Annual Budgeting and Spaces Allocation.

Instead, during the brief meeting, the senate voted against a resolution to support President Zaynab AbdulQadir-Morris receiving the full payment of her stipend for the presidential position.

AbdulQadir-Morris faced reductions to her stipend because she did not meet the deadline for submitting her accountability reports. But the resolution language argued that the deductions to her stipend should be waived because her role as president has caused her to experience academic and financial difficulty.

Acknowledging the importance of turning in reports on time, AbdulQadir-Morris requested an “extraordinary exception to and suspension of these bylaws” that reduced her stipend.

But President-elect Alexander Wilfert said at the meeting that other officials face reductions to their stipends and questioned whether the resolution would be equitable.

Senator Harshil Bansal, who voted against the resolution, said the resolution was “a bit biased.”

We should not have passed it, because there are certain accountability regulations that apply to all appointed executive and senator officials, and they must be uniformly applied,” Bansal said.

Chief Personnel Officer Evan Cui, whose responsibilities include supporting students in the ASUC and their work, also said he will work with the legal office to improve the accountability of elected officials.

The meeting also addressed the senators’ decision to allocate 90 percent of the original funds allotted to bridges Multicultural Resource Center after many students protested defunding bridges at the ASUC Finance Committee’s special meeting Tuesday.

“I think it’s irresponsible that this group is taking away bridges’ funding,” said Amir Amerian, director of the Queer Alliance and Resource Center, during public comment.

Contact Isabella Sabri at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @isabella_sabri.

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that ASUC Chief Personnel Officer Evan Cui will work to address legal issues of defunding student organizations. In fact, Cui did not say he had these intentions.