The ASUC held its second senate meeting of the year Aug. 31 to outline its priorities for the year and its progress thus far.
The meeting began with executive officer reports, in which Bailey Henderson, external affairs vice president, introduced the UC Student Association, or UCSA, fee that was implemented this year. In the second half of the meeting the 2022-2023 ASUC Advocacy Agenda was adopted, and each senator made announcements.
“All nine campuses that have undergraduate programs all come together and decide the priorities that we will fight for,” Henderson said, describing the UCSA. “We are officially recognized as the voice of UC students.”
According to Henderson, the UCSA fee is an optional fee for undergraduates across the UC system and constitutes $3.50 per semester. Students can choose to opt out during any term, and those who fail to pay it do not incur an academic hold, Henderson added.
Henderson said the fee was necessary due to fluctuating funding the UCSA has experienced in prior years which at times, makes their advocacy work difficult.
Following the announcement about the UCSA fee, the ASUC Advocacy Agenda was adopted without objection.
“The ultimate goal of the Advocacy Agenda is to promote the general welfare of the student body,” the resolution reads. “It serves to coordinate the overall advocacy efforts of all parts of the ASUC, and to be a means of accountability for its officials.”
The resolution focuses on three areas of student concern: equity, inclusion and belonging; academic support and professional development; and student support and community engagement.
The first goal is centered around building a more equitable ASUC, retaining disproportionately impacted students and uplifting basic needs resources. The second focuses on increasing grant opportunities, equitable financial aid distribution and creating and improving upon professional development opportunities on campus. The third focuses on improving ASUC transparency and on improving campus safety and sustainability.
Lastly, the senators commented on projects and events. Notably, Sen. Shay Cohen called attention to antisemitic banners that were allegedly hung around the UC Davis campus. She asked her fellow senators to join her in writing a statement to the chancellor of UC Davis and the city’s mayor.
Sen. Tyler Mahomes’ office is working to integrate Cal IDs and Apple Wallet. Sen. Mahathi Kandimalla’s office is working with the campus school of public health to introduce Corsi-Rosenthal filtration boxes in poorly ventilated campus classrooms. Her office also collaborated with Sen. Thin Rati-Oo on a pilot program for a mental health decal.
Sen. Stephanie Wong’s office partnered with UC Berkeley School of Law to create lecture sit-in opportunities for undergraduate students. They are also selling mooncakes for a restaurant in Oakland’s Chinatown to support the business owners.
“When we’re talking about ‘Stop Asian Hate,’ let’s try to think about how we move beyond that,” Wong said. “Stopping Asian hate means giving people the tools, the financial resources to actually escape the cycle of poverty that a lot of people in Oakland Chinatown are still held down by.”