ASUC senators passed resolutions and appointed officers during the weekly senate meeting Wednesday.
Proceeding with the previous week’s discussions, senators voted to pass SR 22/23-057, prohibiting political parties and coalitions from endorsing candidates, citing that it infringes upon the rights of students. The resolution was vetoed by ASUC President Chaka Tellem on Saturday.
“Formal and informal collective action are crucial aspects of the democratic process,” Tellem said in the veto language. “Penalizing future candidates for engaging in either, by its very nature, stifles students’ freedom of speech and right to assemble.”
The resolution was passed with two amendments. The first was that the ASUC would require political parties officially recognized by the elections council in the 2021-22 and 2022-23 elections cycle to release their materials to the council by the end of the 2022-23 school year. The council would then release the information to the general public at the beginning of the 2023-24 school year.
The second amendment set a sunset clause on the resolution requiring the ASUC to revisit the status of parties, accessibility and equity within the ASUC between 26 to 27 months after the resolution’s passing.
The resolution also established the Party and Coalition Formation Review Committee to evaluate and make recommendations on the formation of political parties and coalitions within the ASUC.
The committee would review the changes made to the ASUC constitution by the resolution, assess the impact of the ban on parties and coalitions and develop recommendations for future changes to “ensure a fair and equitable election process for all candidates.”
The committee would be composed of ASUC members, campus stakeholders and individuals “with diverse perspectives and experiences” within the ASUC community who will need to publish a report on their findings and recommendations no later than April 30, 2024, according to the resolution.
Another resolution approved from the consent calendar is SR 22/23-068, in support of terminating PepsiCo pouring rights on campus.
The resolution urges campus not to renew its contract with PepsiCo, which expires in July, nor to enter a contract with Coca-Cola or another Big Soda corporation on the grounds that the contract is antithetical to the goals of both the UC Healthy Beverage Initiative, which aims to reduce sugar-sweetened beverages, and campus’s commitment to zero waste through the Zero Waste by 2020 and Beyond goal and the Single-Use Plastic Elimination Policy.
“UC Berkeley is creating a campus food environment that puts students’ health at risk and interferes with waste reduction efforts,” said Kira Wiesinger, the Pour Out Pepsi Director for Senator Emma Centeno’s office. “Those who are directly impacted should get a say in campus food and beverage procurement decisions.”
Senators also passed SR 22/23-067 in opposition to the development of the 30-meter telescope on Mauna Kea, which is a designated public trust land for Indigenous communities who have not consented to the construction of the telescope.
The UC Board of Regents approved a contribution of “up to $175 million of University funds” to be used for the construction of the telescope.
“As a land-grant institution, the UC system has responsibilities to serve its native students and reinvest in Indigenous communities whose land we reside on,” said campus student Alexandra Garcia in support of the resolution.
In addition to passing resolutions, senators approved the continuation of Jennifer Rojas as chief communications officer, Henry F. Isselbacher as student union board chair and Jason Dones as chief legal officer. The senate newly appointed Vedha Santhosh as chief technology officer and Catherine Park as chief finance officer.