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Nap Time!!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007
UCSA, last week on ASUC

Andrew Peake, a Senator at Davis's ASUC (ASUCD), came to talk about whiteliners. It's been mentioned briefly here. Essentially, the UCSA said "no" when Davis asked for access to the Regents for its students:
Mr. Peake said he would like to talk to them about whiteliners. "Whiteliners" are what the Administration and the Regents calls it when students come to speak to the Regents. Years ago, the system was established where the UC Student Association decided which students could whiteline. Last year, ASUC Davis left the UCSA. So their students no longer had a voice to the Regents. Mr. Peake said he was there to ask for UC Berkeley's support in getting UC Davis students a voice. He's already talked to Mr. Montes about sitting down with the UCSA leadership. Early last summer, late last year, he talked to the UCSA President. Mr. Peake said that when he asked him the President gave him a simple answer, "No," and said he wasn't willing to negotiate. But there was now new leadership in the UCSA and the ASUC-Davis would really like some solidarity from UC Berkeley.
They're going to other associations, too. Best of luck to them. One could argue, I guess, that if they wanted access, they shouldn't have left the UCSA, but the UCSA should only be considered a representative of students as long as it's recognized by the students as such, not the Regents. When the students choose not to be represented by the UCSA, they still have a right to representation.

And yes, Danny Montes makes exactly that case with a disturbing comment:
UC Davis pulled out of the UCSA and wanted to have the privileges that were given to the UCSA.
Why does the UCSA have privileges? Is it for any reason other than because it represents students? Is it its own interest group? (This is part of the reason Davis left) If the UCSA doesn't represent all students, then, should it have those privileges?
The student reps from Davis want to pass a Resolution having the ASUC Berkeley supports Davis' efforts in getting a whiteliner, instead of taking with the UCSA and working out a way where they could get privileges or have open comments. Instead of having a unified voice, the Davis students were going to different campuses, and going backwards up through the UCSA. Mr. Montes said he saw that as problematic because it was a way to divide and conquer, something the Regents could use against the students. If the UCSA told the Regents one thing and UC Davis said something else, then the Regents would not take the students seriously and would use one of their voices against each other. If they don't have a unified voice, there was no way students would get things done through the Regents. It would be very problematic.
Yes, that's exactly the way it should work. If the UCSA refuses to take an approach that students agree with, it won't be able to claim authority as a "unified voice of students" because there is no unified voice of students. That's why UCSA needs to shut the hell up about stuff that it can't get a unified student voice to support, like affirmative action or money for illegals (both of which Montes pushed in the very same speech, without recognizing the connection at all). The problem isn't on Davis's end.
Mr. Montes said he knew it was important to hear what other campuses like UC Davis were doing, but the Senate should make sure Davis was going about things in the right way. These students were not talking to the UCSA and were still trying to get what they wanted. He agreed that Davis needed a voice and needed representation to the Regents. But they weren't doing it in a way that would result in a unified voice.
Translation: They weren't doing it in a way that would result in unified voice supporting our goals. The UCSA appears to be taking the "WE ARE THE TRUE PATH, COME TO US, MY CHILDREN" path, rather than the "we're supposed to be representing the interests of students" path.
If they want privileges the UCSA had to lobby for, then the Davis students should talk to the UCSA.
Hmm... I thought the UCSA was lobbying on behalf of the students, rather than for itself. Does the UCSA also claim the money saved for students through halting fee increases as its own? "We saved you this money, and if you want to use it, talk to us." (Yes, I know it's a total hypothetical, since the UCSA doesn't actually stop fee increases)

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 9/18/2007 05:54:00 PM #
Comments (4)
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I am probably the person to blame for ASUCD pulling out of UCSA.

UCSA is staff driven rather than board driven. UCSA meetings revolve around what the staff has done, what they plan to do, and what little things they need the students to do. There is very little organize interaction between students.

I was ostracized for, ariing my grievances and questioning what UCSA did and how effective it was, which I did not actually fully understand until I began working in the Capitol.

As a current Capitol staffer who advises a Senator on the Education committee, I am lobbied by dozens of groups from across the state. They send me letters, they sit down and talk to me, they take positions on bills. I have only seen UCSA's single rep, who is very cool in her own right, testify for a few bills during committee. I have never seen position letters from UCSA, nor I have I ever been lobbied.

In fact on one of the most important UC related bills, SB 190 which would require budget-related Regent meetings to be publicc, UCSA did not take a position! Only ASUCD's Lobby Corps did...and they sent letters and met with officials. Although I have to admit I am biased as I oversaw that program for two years.

UCSA can and should be a powerful voice for student issues. However, it needs to become student driven not staff driven.
Hey, I saw a link to this and wanted to comment. UCSA has no formal bylaws or method for selecting whiteliners. I am currently working with members to UCSA to formalize the method and make sure non affiliated campuses have equal access.

Seems pretty simple that everyone should have a voice.
Sorry, I forgot to sign the above note.

I wanted to add that I am worried that UCSA is becoming a "Kool-Aid" organization. They are are supporting and teaching student governments how to raise student fees by hundreds of dollars to pay for (among other things) UCSA. That blows my mind. How could you justify protesting student fee increases from the regents when UCSB students raised fees by 450 bucks a year?

Andrew Peake
to respond to andrew's comment...

isn't Davis the second highest campus that charges their students because of their athletics program? I just want a clarification on this because there is a lot of blame on ucsa staff. but the reason why ASUCD left is because they were not heard by the BOARD correct? And in the minutes from the ASUC meeting, you said you talked to the UCSA President about this. The president is a student that also sits on the board, not a staff person.
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