ASUC senators considered a proposal to establish a designated transfer student representative within the ASUC at Wednesday night’s regular meeting.
The Transfer Referendum, if passed by the student body in the upcoming ASUC elections, would create a transfer representative position within the ASUC that students could vote for in the 2020 election. The senators still need to vote before the referendum can be placed on the 2019 ASUC elections ballot. Neil McClintick, the transfer student director in ASUC President Alexander Wilfert’s office and former columnist for The Daily Californian, said the vote will take place March 13.
The transfer representative would be an elected official who is separate from the ASUC Senate and executive board. McClintick, who unsuccessfully ran for senate in last year’s election, said during the meeting that the election cycle is not conducive to transfer students who are typically on campus for only two years.
“I really don’t think (the election system) is going to change,” McClintick said during the meeting. “We should seek a serious solution that will stand the test of time for year to year.”
Transfer student representation is “consistently” a problem for the ASUC, according to McClintick. This year’s senate class has no transfer student senators, and last year’s class had three transfer student senators, which was the most the ASUC had seen in recent years. In the senate classes of 2014 and 2015, there were zero transfer student senators, and in the class of 2016, there was one, according to McClintick’s presentation.
During the meeting, Senator Isabella Chow asked McClintick why transfer students deserve a designated representative when there are many communities that can be, and often are, underrepresented in the ASUC. McClintick said transfer students can constitute up to a third of the campus body, and those numbers are rarely reflected in the ASUC.
McClintick added that state laws prohibit creating positions based on religious, racial and ethnic groups, so many communities cannot have a designated representative like the transfer student community can.
“In my world, I would design a legislative system that addresses all the different communities and needs,” McClintick said during the meeting. “Given the system where we artificially cap it as 20 (senators), that’s not always the case.”
During the meeting, senators also heard key takeaways from the Moffitt board of advisers’ first sit-down meeting with the architects in charge of the library’s renovation. The architects are prioritizing “natural light,” and after the renovation, there will be more balconies, windows and glass walls on the library’s third floor, according to Aastha Jha, chief of staff to ASUC Academic Affairs Vice President, or AAVP, Melany Amarikwa.
They also plan to build a courtyard inside the basement of Moffitt Library, add classrooms to the first, second and third floors and add rental spaces to the third floor, according to Jha. She added that the AAVP office is advocating for a kitchen space for students to use in the library as well.
Jha said she expects the renovated library to be more open, similar to the recently renovated Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union building.