ASUC Judicial Council certifies results for 4 student referendums

Photo of Eshleman Hall
William Webster/Staff
Eshleman Hall is home to the ASUC. On Monday, the ASUC voted to certify the results of four student referendums from the 2021 ASUC elections.

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The ASUC Judicial Council voted Monday evening to certify the results of four student referendums from the 2021 ASUC elections.

The referendums included Proposition 21A, which would clarify the nonpartisan status of ASUC councils; Proposition 21B, the Graduate Assembly, or GA, fee, would end graduate contributions to the ASUC fee and replace them with a GA fee; Propositions 21C, which would renew the Student Technology Fund, or STF, fee; and Proposition 21D, or the Daily Cal Initiative fee, respectively.

According to the resolution, the Daily Cal Initiative fee would have extended the existing $6 per semester and $2.50 per summer fee on all undergraduate and graduate students to fund operations for The Daily Californian.

After an approximately half-hour closed-session deliberation, the Judicial Council certified the results of the four referendums, finding that only Proposition 21A passed. The referendum to pass the Graduate Assembly fee, the referendum to renew the STF fee and the Daily Cal Initiative fee did not pass.

During the ASUC preliminary tabulation ceremony, Propositions 21A, 21C and 21D initially passed after gaining a majority vote from at least 20% of eligible voters. However, during the certification, the Judicial Council did not count the number of abstentions, meaning Propositions 21C and 21D did not reach the minimum threshold.

During public comment, the Daily Cal Editor in Chief Jasper Kenzo Sundeen spoke in favor of the STF fee and the Daily Cal Initiative fee. Sundeen said the STF has personally allowed him to take classes he would otherwise have been unable to and promotes “creativity and ingenuity.”

“Failing to pass the Daily Cal Initiative (fee) threatens the existence of a free and independent student press,” Sundeen said. “To allow the virtual nature created by the pandemic to deprive students not just next year — but for years to come — of these resources only does damage.”

Addison Chen, the ASUC public defender, highlighted the Policies Applying to Campus Activities, Organizations and Students, or PACAOS. Chen noted subsection 84.12 of PACAOS, which states that any referendum must receive votes from at least 20% of the eligible voter population before it may pass.

While the ASUC bylaws do count abstentions, PACAOS does not. As PACAOS governs all UC campuses, PACAOS supersedes the ASUC bylaws, Chen added.

“If we do not follow these campus policies, it’s extremely unlikely that groups such as the chancellor or the president will give any consideration to these referenda,” Chen said.

Not counting abstentions, the referendum to renew the STF fee received votes from 19% of the eligible voter population. The Daily Cal Initiative fee received votes from 17%.

Contact Christopher Ying at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @ChrisYingg.