ASUC Senate discusses rent control, ongoing edits to student conduct code

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At its regular Wednesday meeting, the ASUC Senate moved three resolutions into committees, with one resolution calling for the senate to support Proposition 10, or the Local Rent Control Initiative.

The resolution calling for senate support of Prop. 10 was passed into the University and External Affairs Committee for further assessment. Along with that, Student Advocate Sophie Bandarkar updated the senate on the progress of editing the UC Berkeley Campus Code of Student Conduct.  

The code of conduct is a set of regulations that students are expected to follow. The code includes how to investigate if a student has violated the codes and what response the violation should be met with, such as being suspended or having one’s degree withheld.

Bandarkar said the process of editing the campus’s code of conduct was nearly done. According to Bandarkar, the committee tasked with editing the code started meeting in January and finished its recommendations last week.

Bandarkar, who now sits on the committee, said during her executive officer report to the senate that there were many revisions to the timeline of investigations and the appeal process in order to make the process more efficient.

“It’ll have a pretty big impact, just because everyone goes through the student conduct process, and I think students are going to be more informed going through the student conduct process,” Bandarkar said.

She added that the edits are in the process of being approved by multiple campus officials and will be made public in January 2019.

Prop. 10 is a state measure and will be on the November ballot — it will repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act if it passes, allowing local governments to enact rent control policies that would control the rent prices that landlords set.

According to the resolution, passing Prop. 10 would alleviate parts of the city of Berkeley’s housing crisis by allowing city officials to set city-specific rent-control policies.

“Therefore be it resolved that the Associated Students of the University of California endorse the actions and language of The Affordable Housing Act (Proposition 10) including: Repealing the 1995-Costa Hawkins Rent Control Act … (and) Protecting landlords’ fair rate of return on a property in local governments’ rent control policies in accordance with California law,” the resolution reads.

The resolution’s primary sponsor, External Affairs Vice President Nuha Khalfay, said the Costa-Hawkins Act hurts students quite a bit, as students don’t typically live in apartments for longer than four years.

“I don’t need to tell you that we’re in a housing crisis, but the solution to the housing crisis is both long-term and short-term,” Khalfay said. “It’s both the university’s responsibility and everyone else’s. … The local and state government need to play a part.”

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