During a short ASUC general meeting Wednesday, ASUC officials and meeting attendees discussed hotel prices in the Berkeley area, plans for the fall semester and Graduate Assembly, or GA, restructuring plans.
After the meeting convened, Matthew Lewis, secretary of the Berkeley Tenants Union, spoke during general comment about hotel prices allegedly increasing as graduation nears.
Lewis, who clarified that he was not speaking on the union’s behalf, said he had seen a post on the Overheard at UC Berkeley Facebook group about hotel prices allegedly being doubled or tripled due to partially in-person commencement options. According to Lewis, this presents issues for parents or families traveling into the city for commencement and is illegal, as hotels are required to limit such raises.
“I wanted to bring that to the ASUC’s attention,” Lewis said during the meeting. “I think that the ASUC, particularly the Office (of the External Affairs Vice President), should work with folks at the city attorney’s office, and or the district attorney’s … to basically stop these for-profit hotels … from basically screwing over your parents with doubling and tripling of the rates.”
Executive officers then gave their reports. Josh Lewis, chief of staff for Academic Affairs Vice President Nicole Anyanwu, said the office’s “Student Voices @ Every Table” campaign had achieved two major “victories.”
The first allows two ASUC representatives to be added to the admin-Academic Senate working group on accommodations for remote instruction. The working group plans to address accommodations for students who are international or in the Disabled Students’ Program, as well as for faculty.
The second achievement allows three ASUC representatives to enter the Instruction Planning Committee for the Recovery Management Team, which will continue to address plans for the upcoming fall semester.
Additionally, Josh Lewis announced that campus has doubled course capture availability in general assignment classrooms — now, 125 classrooms are equipped with course capture. All classes held in course capture-compatible classrooms will be required to use the service and an additional 35 classrooms, he said, have “Zoom integration functionality.”
ASUC Chief Legal Officer Athalia Djuhana then gave an announcement about the ASUC Senate Resolution titled “Framework Agreement” on GA separation, which she described as a “good faith” attempt to address concerns of the GA before they move to proceed with a separation from the ASUC. The agreement acknowledges that there will be a joint committee created on the ASUC/GA restructuring.
“The goal here is to elevate the Graduate Assembly’s voice in the ASUC, give them equal standing,” Djuhana said during the meeting. “At the end of the day, if this pilot proposal doesn’t work because this will be a several-year process, the GA will have the option either to continue continued reform or just proceed with separation as they see fit.”
The resolution is currently in the ASUC’s governance committee.