Update 2/20/2020: this article has been updated to include more information from Milton Zerman.
ASUC Senator Milton Zerman, who aimed to represent conservative students, resigned at the ASUC Senate meeting Feb. 19.
Zerman had been receiving criticism for his resolution condemning the student group Bears for Palestine, which ultimately failed in committee. This failure and “the culture of antisemitism at UC Berkeley and in the ASUC” prompted Zerman’s decision to resign.
“That bill is something I put a lot of work into,” Zerman said at the meeting. “It meant a lot to me, meant a lot to the community. The bill’s downvote was a huge disappointment.”
Comments he allegedly made threatening members of the Palestinian community at the meetings were also being criticized.
Zerman ran as a member of the Students First party and advocated for student safety and increased security, supporting UCPD, defending free speech rights on campus and increasing transparency within the ASUC.
After his resignation announcement, Zerman walked out of the room.
“At a certain point, when ‘change from the inside’ becomes impossible, remaining a member of an institution with values diametrically opposed to one’s own accomplishes nothing,” Zerman said in his resignation letter. “It is for this reason that I am severing ties with this year’s incarnation of the ASUC.”
According to ASUC Chief Legal Officer Jedidiah Tsang, the senate was not given advance notice of Milton’s resignation. He added that the resignation is not effective until the Judicial Council certifies it and that the council will likely be meeting Friday.
A similar procedure will be followed from former senator Jenny Jungmin Kim’s resignation in January, according to ASUC Elections Council Chair James Weichert. The votes will be recounted, with Zerman’s name removed, and candidates who lost in the original ASUC election will be asked if they are still interested before the votes are re-run during an Elections Council meeting.
“I will refocus my efforts on getting more Jewish students and political moderates elected to the ASUC Senate,” Zerman said in his resignation letter. “We can see real change in the ASUC and on campus going forward.”