ASUC Senate discusses transfer student housing facility, religion

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The ASUC Senate introduced a resolution in support of a designated transfer student housing facility at Wednesday night’s regular meeting, where there was also a heated discussion regarding Christianity and the LGBTQ+ community.

One new senate resolution was in support of Maximino Martinez Commons becoming a fully designated transfer student housing facility.

According to the ASUC president’s transfer student director and a former columnist for The Daily Californian, Neil McClintick, Martinez was chosen because it already houses a high volume of transfer students and the Transfer Living and Learning Community is already located on the sixth floor. The resolution is primarily sponsored by President Alexander Wilfert, who has been in a lot of conversations about housing and has tried to emphasize “affordability and inclusivity” during those talks.

There is a caveat at the end of the resolution allowing for an alternative housing site to be used under the conditions that the alternative site is designated within five years, is of equal condition as other housing buildings and can house programming similar to the Transfer Living and Learning Community.

“Martinez for me is the best option, but it’s still technically a placeholder because things are still up in the air,” McClintick said. “This is really just a symbolic thing. … My hope is that we can bring this into meetings once Cal Housing joins the discussion.”

McClintick also pointed out that other UC campuses already have designated buildings for transfer student housing and added that the lack of a building specifically for transfer students could be linked to low yield rates for transfer students in housing.

During the meeting, Senator Isabella Chow pulled two resolutions into immediate consideration for discussion, which were the Advocacy Agenda and a resolution opposing President Donald Trump’s Title IX proposed changes and affirming the ASUC’s support for transgender, intersex, nonbinary and gender nonconforming students.

Chow said she could not support either resolution because of her belief that God created men and women at the beginning of time and that God intended for marriage to be between one man and one woman.

“I am asked to promote a choice of identities that I do not believe to be right,” Chow said in the meeting. “After lengthy conversations with many of my community’s leaders and advisers, I’ve chosen to abstain from both these bills.”

While the meeting was ongoing, ASUC party Student Action disaffiliated with Chow, saying the party decided to part ways with her because of her anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric and stance on a number of issues.

Both resolutions passed with 18 out of 19 votes — Chow abstained from both, and Senator Regina Kim was absent from the meeting. Nine resolutions were also passed through the consent calendar.

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