Sunday, March 23, 2008
On the fee
I've made a seperate post for how idiotic Josh Daniels and the Graduate Assembly were on the SUPERB fee.
Josh Daniels brought a parade of grad students to come bitch about the SUPERB fee because merely assigning part of the fee to be towards graduate entertainment wasn't sufficient. As we all know, graduate students don't go to movies, attend concerts, or enjoy comedy shows. Therefore, anything tuned towards entertainment of the type SUPERB does doesn't help graduate students at all. In fact, giving money to the Graduate Assembly to spend on entertainment was also insufficient. The only thing Josh Daniels would approve of was handing the GA a large sack of money to do whatever it wants with. At the time, such a plan wasn't approved, but who knows what happened last week?
It's sort of true that graduate students benefit less, but that's just because we don't do as much stuff. Every cent we give to the ASUC we get less out of than undergraduates, and that doesn't change when it's the GA spending the money. Giving the money to the GA just means fancier food and booze at GA events for delegates.
He also complained about the freeing up of funds for student groups. The money freed up would only go towards undergraduate groups (not really true, but whatever). SUPERB is currently entirely funded by undergraduate fees, since the GA gets every dime the ASUC collects from graduate students. Of course that money would only go towards things the ASUC Senate controls. I'm sorry Daniels has such a hard time finding anything entertaining about SUPERB. He joins me and an enormous fraction of campus in that, and that was true even when I was an undergrad. But unless he's prepared to refund the money he takes from the vast majority of graduate students who gain nothing whatsoever from the GA, there's no reason we should give a fuck about what he says about access to benefits from a fee.
Mr. Wu asked if he believed there were a significant number of undergraduate students who were not served by SUPERB and wouldn't benefit from it getting ASUC funding. Mr. Daniels said the referendum was structured to be equally accessible to all undergrads, via ASUC funding and SUPERB. But it wasn't structured to have equal access to grads due to the types of events SUPERB put on and the way undergrad groups apply to the ASUC and grad groups apply to the GA. Structurally speaking, the Referendum wouldn't provide grads with the same opportunities as undergrads.Holy shit. Holy fucking shit. The reason graduate students aren't being served is because they aren't interested in these kinds of things. But the undergraduates who aren't being served because they aren't interested in these kind of things are being served because they have equal access to the referendum. Graduate students have exactly the same kind of access, but somehow this logic doesn't apply to them.
Really, this is yet another example of why the Graduate Assembly needs to quit bitching and seek true autonomy. They gave it up a few years back with their idiotic Memorandum of Understanding referendum, and I don't know why. Actually, I do know why: They want to keep getting the money without taking on the responsibilities of actually representing graduate students, but these are the consequences of that decision, and they need to suck them up.
I'm opposed to the fee, of course, because it's absolute horseshit in almost every way (Here's some of what I said last year, which still holds), but pissing off the money-grubbing, power-hungry GA will be a nice consolation prize if it passes. That's only if it survived this week, though. Does anyone know? So rarely do I get the chance to watch two groups I despise go at it like this.
Ms. Patel said that when the Senate considers this bill, they should consider the language, faith, and quality of the Referendum, rather than Senators' personal opinions on its content. As Senators, they should vote on language and content, not whether they were for or against it. A decision on student fees should be made on election day, not in the Senate Chamber. It was unfair to bring up huge amendments since the bill has been on the floor for so long and Mr. Chow and Mr. Mazur, the Directors have been coming out. The bill has been passed by two committees. So if amendments were going to be made, they should have been made earlier. Every time an amendment was made, the language had to go back to UCOP and go through the process again. Making an amendment was a lot of work for Mr. Mazur, Mr. Chow, and other people participating in the referendum.There's no particular basis for her claim about the purpose of the Senate vote. I would argue that the point of the Senate vote is to make sure that only those bills which have support among elected officials go to the election. In any case, her whining about "too late to make amendements" would make a lot more sense if she didn't propose it at the last possible second.
Mr. Weiner asked if the impetus for the Referendum was that SUPERB didn't have the best financial situation or entertainment for both grads and undergrads, requiring more funding. Mr. Mazur said he would never say SUPERB was more important than any other group, but it was in a unique position. There were a lot of variable costs and costs that were increasing, such as with Wheeler. SUPERB was trying to get a stable source of income to better expand its services, to include grads more and have bigger and better events. Mr. Chow said if they had increased funds, they'd have a better level of entertainment on the campus.So... nothing at all about that response describes what's unique about SUPERB. All groups have those issues.
Once Gabe Weiner started asking about why other groups weren't included, Lisa Patel's tune changed really quickly from "we should get a referendum that is high quality and in good faith" to "just approve what's in front of you!"
A general entertainment fee was a little different and wasn't what the Senate was currently dealing with. It was up to the student body whether to support a referendum like this, and the Senate shouldn't make the decision for them. The Senate's decision that evening was whether this should be on the ballot. They didn't have a general entertainment fee before them that evening. Any amendment to the bill would essentially kill it because the language would have to go back to UCOP.Gee, if only there was a way to avoid this outcome. You know, maybe introduce it with a bit of time before the deadline? Despite Corey Jackson saying that he wasn't comfortable with this approach, the Senate just went along like the sheep they are, rather than standing up for students and demanding better "quality" and "faith" from those proposing referenda.
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