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Nap Time!!!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Stuff from seven or so days ago, in ASUC

Let's see what Josh Daniels is up to...
Mr. Daniels said he previously distributed the informal results of a survey showing how grads voted on referenda last year. The primary thing that grads care about with regard to Lower Sproul was a "graduate-focused facility," which was the term used in the survey. That didn't mean a building, but an area of Lower Sproul that would feel like home to a grad student. Lower Sproul currently did not cater to, serve, or really interest most graduate students as a destination. The second condition, which concerned the ASUC the most, was that the GA asked for proportionality. If grads were asked to contribute one-third of student fees to any redevelopment, they would like one-third of the space, one-third of commercial residual revenue, etc. If they're asked to pay 10%, they would take 10%. Whatever they pay as a percentage, grads would like that percent to be set aside to focus on graduate students.
As long as he doesn't think "grads=GA" that's great, but I sort of think he does. One third of commercial revenue would go to the GA? Even though graduate students would also have a say in the remaining two thirds? Yeah. What about, say, stuff that can serve both grads and undergrads? Will that count? Probably not. Daniels knows that the ASUC is always willing to compromise, so if the GA doesn't, they can just keep getting more and more power as the ASUC keeps meeting them halfway. One of these days, the ASUC Senate needs to learn to protect its authority with the same vigor as the GA, so they can deal with them on reasonable terms.
Mr. Daniels said grads had a number of preferences for Lower Sproul, such as a graduate student café.
Okay, I'll bite. What's a graduate student cafe? And how does it differ from, say, a public cafe?
Mr. Daniels said that the GA's informal survey, which wasn't statistically significant, showed that graduate students actually favored the Student Life Referendum and The Green Initiative Fund, whereas undergrads didn't. Student Life lost because undergrads outnumber grads.
Those are some pretty broad conclusions from a study that isn't statistically significant.
Regarding the bill to select a new ASUC attorney, Mr. Daniels said this was a good example of how he would like to have better communication. This attorney will represent the GA as well as the ASUC. Mr. Daniels said he only knew by informal conversation with Pres. Nguyen that this bill was even coming forward, and that there was one GA rep on the committee. He would request that if the Senate or the ASUC had five or six representatives, that the GA got three, or however it would work. He didn't want to cause lots of confusion, but the GA was one-third of the student body, which the GA represented. Having proportional representation would be appropriate.
It would... except that graduate students are represented by the Senate, as well. So proportional representation doesn't actually work the way he says. (Thankfully, the ASUC didn't cave this far this time) As usual, Josh Daniels wants to deny the graduate student voice in the ASUC Senate, because it weakens his own power and authority.

Several motions failed unanimously by voice vote, which I find sort of funny.
Ms. Kuo said she browsed through the entire page [the ASUC website] and couldn't see what would be worthy of $6,000 for the site. Ms. Allbright said she didn't sign the contract, so they would have to ask last year Execs. She understood that former President Oren Gabriel headed up this effort.

The ASUC then tried to talk about forming a committee to find a new lawyer.
Lastly, Mr. Nguyen said he thought that a lot of time students felt they need quote "experts," someone older than them, people who would be there longer than students. That might have some validity, but Mr. Nguyen said he didn't want Senators to underestimate their own input and knowledge. They were voted in as Senators for a reason, to give input on things like this, and the students trust them to make decisions like this. They could ask for advice, but they didn't need to be told what was best for the students.
Way to pander! The reason to not listen to "experts" isn't because Senators have valid input or knowledge (they don't), but because those "experts" have their own goals. Still, putting it in those terms might have hurt some Senators' feelings, and that's the most important thing to Senators (they call it "respect").

Christian Osmeña is the one who was most vociferously defending the Senate's authority, and so far, I think he's one of the more respectable Senators I've seen.

Most folks were trying to add folks who were affected to the committee, and apparently only Senator Weiner bothered to point out that you don't give authority to people just because they're affected.
Mr. Osmeña said grad students vote in ASUC elections, and he thought the Senate represented grad students. None of them were grads, and there could be knowledge the GA could present to them in a committee, which was why he thought the GA President should be a non-voting member.
Oops! Don't say that! Josh Daniels won't like it if you say that! He doesn't want you to represent graduate students. He wants graduate students to be represented by the folks they don't vote for (i.e. the Graduate Assembly).

The By-Laws include an unconstitutional part, apparently, saying that if someone leaves while quorum is being verified, they are counted absent. Presence is defined in the Constitution, and the By-Laws can't put a different condition on it. I don't know if anyone noticed, though.

posted by Beetle Aurora Drake 10/02/2007 11:04:00 PM #
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