ASUC Senate holds special meeting to pass bills, approve nominations

Sam Albillo/Staff

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The ASUC Senate held a special meeting Friday to pass several bills surrounding new appointments for various positions as well as several measures to increase disability equity on campus and reinforce support for undocumented students.

The meeting was chaired by ASUC Senator Andy Theocharous, who filled in for Executive Vice President Hung Huynh. He was approved by the other senators at the meeting; only 11 out of 20 senators were in attendance.

During the meeting, many nominations were approved for a range of positions. Current Chief Communications Officer Ken Lohatepanont will serve on the Student Union board of directors for 2019-21.

The ASUC Senate also passed measures confirming that Aaron Hall will serve as ASUC proxy, Nicole Haynes will serve as the Zero Waste Commission chair, Victoria Vera will serve as the Diversity Affairs Commission chair, Corinne Biencourt will serve as the Sexual Violence Commission chair, Julia Cheung will serve as the International Student Commission chair, and Cynthia Villalta will serve as the Intimate Partner Violence Commission chair in the next academic year.

Five measures to support disabled students on campus were passed at the meeting, including a bill to support a disability sociocultural space, a bill to support making Golden Bear Orientation, or GBO, more inclusive on campus and a bill to create an ASUC Disabled Students Committee.

“I think this is important as, like, other members get oriented properly — for example, like minority groups,” said Carlos Vasquez, internal president of the Student Coalition for Disability Rights, in public comment. “I think it is important that this community get a proper welcome so they can feel like they’re home.”

Vasquez informed the senate about the issues and difficulties he faced during his GBO experience, as he said there was confusion over what authority his aide had, which resulted in her being not permitted at all of the activities. Vasquez added that he hopes that the new bill will clarify the issue.

The senate also passed bills to support increasing enrollment of underrepresented students and undocumented students and resolved to demilitarize UCPD, referring especially to the “militarized training” and “violent altercations between UCPD and members of the UC Berkeley campus community” during protests on campus.

The senate also passed a statement in support for the FreeBox in People’s Park, which was recently removed by UC Berkeley despite community support.

No further senate meetings are scheduled for the rest of the school year as of press time. Over the summer, an Inter-Semester Committee will meet and will include representatives from both this year’s senate and next year’s senate, according to Chief Legal Officer Claire Goudy.

The representatives from this year’s senate will be Amma Sarkodee-Adoo, Andy Theocharous, Teddy Lake, Anna Whitney, Nikhil Harish, Karina Sun, Justin Greenwald and Nick Araujo.

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