ASUC Senate discusses SUPERB referendum, removal of SAT, ACT requirement

A group of people sit in desks for a meeting.
Samuel Albillo/File

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At Wednesday night’s regular ASUC meeting, senators discussed SUPERB’s referendum plan for the upcoming election and the push by the Office of the External Affairs Vice President, or EAVP, to remove the SAT or ACT requirement from the UC application.

The meeting began with a presentation from SUPERB’s General Managers Rachel Arbios and Ella Warren, along with Assistant Manager Karina Ruiz Garcia, introducing the referendum that all students will have the opportunity to vote on in the upcoming ASUC election.

Their proposal would increase the student activity fee by $6 per semester beginning the next school year — $4 of which would be allocated to SUPERB, and the remaining $2 would be allocated to financial aid. They hope to use the revenue to put on events and are hoping to put on a concert similar to UC San Diego’s annual Sun God Festival.

Senator Aaron Bryce Lee is concerned about this referendum and said he would require more information on what revenue streams the organization would be getting, specifically if the referendum goes through.

“It’s just hard to reconcile a fee like this when there is a lack of basic needs resources … funds for improving retention centers, housing,” Bryce Lee said during the meeting.

SUPERB put forth a referendum in 2017 called LUX, which would have increased the student activity fee by $10 per student, but the measure did not pass.

Their presentation was followed by a presentation from Daniel Chagnon, a member of the state affairs department of the EAVP Office, on the effort to “Take Down the SAT/ACT” within the UC system. The department is currently circulating a petition that will most likely be covered at the next UC Board of Regents meeting March 12-14.

“The College Board is a very big organization, and they are making a lot of money off this test,” Chagnon said during the meeting. “Especially as a public university system where we value inclusivity and we value morality … we should not be supporting this giant organization.”

Several senators expressed concern with the idea, including Saakshi Goel and Andy Theocharous.

Goel expressed concerns over the lack of consistency between international and domestic students’ transcripts, and Theocharous mentioned the financial costs that could be brought onto the university through removing the SAT or ACT requirement from the application.

“The report card that I got wouldn’t make sense to someone looking at it here,” Goel, who is an international student from India, said during the meeting. “For us, (the SAT or ACT) ends up being very important.”

Representatives and officers from executive offices then updated the senate, including President Alexander Wilfert and Student Advocate Sophie Bandarkar.

Wilfert asked for feedback on the drafting of recommendations for the budget that will be presented to the chancellor. They have a meeting scheduled for the week of April 1 to present their ideas, which will be focused on “strengthening (their) ability to have a say and retain current funding,” Wilfert said during the meeting.

Bandarkar also discussed her work on the basic needs referendum, which will also be on the ballot for all students to vote on. She also discussed the new Title IX interim policy that was implemented, which expands the ability for respondents to appeal any decisions made, allows for indirect questioning of the opposite party and mandates live hearings.

Wednesday’s meeting and future meetings are available to livestream via ASUC-Span, a program designed by Chief Communications Officer Ken Lohatepanont. It debuted at the meeting and replaced the previous Facebook livestreams of the sessions.

Contact Katherine Finman at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @KateFinman_DC ‏.