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)
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