ASUC Senate introduces resolution to clarify Advocacy Agenda, supports United Against Hate Week

Janie Chen/Staff

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The ASUC Senate introduced five resolutions at Wednesday’s regular meeting, one of which is to change the ASUC’s Advocacy Agenda editing process and another to support United Against Hate Week.

Typically, the Advocacy Agenda is the first resolution passed by a new year’s ASUC Senate, but because of this year’s bylaw edits, other resolutions were passed first. Currently, the resolution editing the Advocacy Agenda’s bylaws has been moved into committee along with another resolution expressing the ASUC’s support of United Against Hate Week.

The Advocacy Agenda is a document that outlines the ASUC’s primary advocacy topics and has historically been introduced and passed by the ASUC Senate’s fourth week of operation. Senator Teddy Lake, the resolution’s primary sponsor and one of the people tasked with updating the Advocacy Agenda, said the agenda was incomprehensible when she received it.

“As a student, I had no idea what the advocacy agenda was. It is (an) outward-facing document that’s supposed to summarize all of (the ASUC’s) goals, but the document we inherited was almost exclusively jargon,” Lake said. “It was so lengthy, basically a really convoluted mess of really good intentions.”

The former agenda includes the three pillars organizing ASUC goals: environmental sustainability; basic needs; and diversity, equity and inclusion. Lake said these broad categories have presented some difficulty in the past.

If passed, the new agenda will instead include five less generalized pillars to outline ASUC Senate goals. According to Lake, the pillars are: sustainability; basic needs; academic support; diversity; equity and inclusion; and wellness, safety and campus climate.

“(In years past) the matter of abortion ended up in diversity, and it’s a really important issue, but it’s not a diversity issue,” Lake said. “We expanded the pillars, something we knew we had to do no matter what happened. … They’re way more specific so abortion goes where it belongs.”

Lake said the agenda’s publishing has been delayed until now because she and other collaborating senators have been working on individual programming assignments. She hopes to have the agenda completed and public as soon as possible without sacrificing quality.

Another resolution introduced at this meeting was to support the upcoming United Against Hate Week, which originated in Mayor Jesse Arreguín’s office. The resolution’s primary sponsor, External Affairs Vice President Nuha Khalfay, said she plans to hold campus events during that week as part of the larger movement and demonstrations playing out across the Bay Area this year.

Though the campus-specific programming has yet to be finished, Khalfay said it will be discussed and finalized in the coming weeks. United Against Hate Week will take place from Nov. 11 to 18, and each stakeholder organization, from cities to the media project Not in Our Town, will host its own events.

“It just demonstrates that we’re thinking beyond just campus and that we’re forming coalitions with other stakeholders and working for the same goals,” Khalfay said.

Contact Rachel Barber and Sakura Cannestra at [email protected].