ASUC Senate discusses campus transportation, smoking policy at regular meeting

Aura Barerra/Staff

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The ASUC Senate met for its weekly meeting Wednesday night to hear updates on campus transportation funding and new campus policies on smoking, as well as to finalize appointments for next year’s internal positions.

The meeting started with presentations from guest speakers, including David Sorrell, the campus transportation demand manager, who shared updates about his work with the ASUC, negotiations with the city and future projects.

According to Sorrell, transportation funding for the “class pass” that students use with their Clipper cards will need to be renegotiated within the next year. According to Sorrell, similar measures were planned at UC Santa Cruz to fund campus transportation but failed because of the lack of a vote. Sorrell said he wants to avoid this happening on campus by starting to plan early.

“We need to get that discussion going because the clock is ticking,” Sorrell said.

Sorrell also shared progress that his department has made with the city on contract deals, both for ride-sharing scooters — the city has partnered with three specific vendors — and for FlixBus to facilitate transportation across the state and with neighboring states. He said he hopes the scooter deal will be in place by Caltopia in August and that FlixBus will be in place by commencement in May.

UCPD Sgt. Nicolas Hernandez also spoke at the meeting, giving updates on the department’s search for a new manager for the Office of Emergency Management, which is still in progress. He also provided updates on recent crimes, which include people “trying door handles” to find unlocked cars from which to steal contents.

President Alexander Wilfert gave an overview of his recent meetings, one of which was with the campus Compliance and Enterprise Risk Committee over new smoking laws regarding “juuling,” vaping and smoking all substances including marijuana on campus.

According to Wilfert, the new “definitive” policies will come into place after April 20, and UCPD has said it will not interfere with any activities regarding marijuana on that day.

“That was a fun meeting to have in a room full of administrators,” Wilfert said jokingly.

Wilfert also updated the senate on his progress securing expanded dining hall hours and to-go meal options during Ramadan for the students who observe the holiday.

The senate passed several new items, including its appointments for structural positions next year. Campus sophomore Krunal Desai will serve as housing commission chair for the upcoming fall semester. Bryan Huang will replace current sophomore Ken Lohatepanont as chief communications officer for the next school year, and Leon Ming will serve as chief technology officer.

Current elections prosecutor Jedidiah Tsang will be promoted to chief legal officer next year, and he will be joined by Lucy Liu, who will serve as chief financial officer.

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