ASUC Senate sees Advocacy Agenda, resolution to reassign scholarships to Academic Affairs Vice President office

Allen Zeng/Staff

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Senators introduced resolutions establishing the Advocacy Agenda and reassigning scholarships that were previously distributed by the Academic Affairs Vice President, or AAVP, office during Wednesday’s ASUC Senate meeting.

Every year, ASUC officials are required to annually update their Advocacy Agenda, which provides the student body with the ASUC’s advocacy goals for the current year.

The Advocacy Agenda is an outward-facing document that organizes and stabilizes the ASUC’s efforts ensuring that all branches receive strong advocacy. Items introduced to the Advocacy Agenda are categorized into five groups: diversity; equity and inclusion; academic support; basic needs; sustainability; and wellness, safety and campus climate.

Senator Aaron Bryce Lee helped rewrite the agenda’s bylaws — the new agenda lists specific items that the ASUC hopes to accomplish this year, drawing from senators’ platforms, and shows names and contact information to the senator working on those items.

“Every year, the ASUC should have long-term goals, but in theory, those long-term goals should be confirmed through the elections,” Lee said. “(It) makes our elections a lot more transparent, but it also makes our advocacy a lot more streamlined.”

According to Lee, the agenda also seeks to eliminate common misconceptions surrounding the ASUC and to clarify where the ASUC stands on certain issues. The new bylaws task the chief communications officer and chief personnel officer with promoting the agenda in order to increase the ASUC’s transparency.

The Advocacy Agenda was put into the University and External Affairs Committee. The resolution restoring the AAVP’s scholarships was moved into the Governance and Internal Affairs Committee.

At the end of last school year, there was controversy within the ASUC regarding funding sources for the bridges Multicultural Resource Center. A resolution was passed at the time to re-establish the ASUC Scholarship Foundation to be a nonpartisan ASUC body that charters scholarships — a move that AAVP Melany Amarikwa called “short-sighted.”

“The charter program wasn’t really communicated to Iyan and I; it was just kind of given to us one or two days (in advance),” Amarikwa said, referring to former AAVP Iyan Bullitt. They were short-sighted in the sense that … the charter program wouldn’t be up and running until next year but they took away scholarships.”

Also at the meeting, one resolution was introduced and passed immediately, condemning the recent anti-Semitic flyers that have been seen around campus. During the meeting, some senators’ names were added manually to the co-sponsors tab so that all senators would be listed as co-sponsors on the final resolution.

The resolution’s primary sponsor, Senator Justin Greenwald, thanked the senate for its support.

“You coming together representing these communities and coming together and condemning this kind of hate is why I wanted to be an ASUC senator,” Greenwald said during the meeting. “I hope that if anything like this happens in the future, for any of our communities, I hope we rally the same way.”

Contact Sakura Cannestra and Clara Rodas at [email protected].