Leg Roundup: Students Criticize Leg Council Over Student of Color Conference Decision

Tim Fucci

AS Beat Reporter

Students packed the Nov. 9 Legislative Council meeting, and emotions ran high over the council’s decision to deny funds for this weekend’s Student of Color Conference at University of California Davis.

Last week representatives from SOCC requested $750 from Leg Council’s special projects fund to help cover the $10,331.88 budget for the conference.
The Student Commission On Racial Equality, better known as SCORE, sponsored the conference with $7,013.88 and the Associated Students Office of the President and Office of the External Vice President of Statewide Affairs collectively provided an additional $1,700. ?After a lengthy debate and failed motions to fully and partially fund SOCC’s request, the council denied the $750 in funding, citing the council’s limited resources for the year.
In response to this decision, close to 50 students attended Wednesday night’s meeting and many expressed their dissatisfaction with the council during public forum.

“We feel like we’re not represented,” said first-year political science major Nadya Chavies. “By coming here, we will show you guys whatever you decide, as a student of color, we feel we’re not representative.”

“I want you to all know that I’m not here representing the Student of Color Conference delegation or any other group. I am here representing myself,” said student Yoel Haile. “You are all elected officials and you are here to represent me. There’s two groups of folks I like to address, specifically the folks of color who voted against the student of color conference.”
Haile then read a passage by Malcolm X.

When he finished, Haile directly addressed Internal Vice President Chloe Stryker.

“As the IVP of UCSB you actively and consciously decided not to fund us,” Haile said. “As a person not of color you cannot understand the impact of your decision. You cannot say you represent all students. You have to understand there is so little of us here and this is detrimental to people of color. You got to understand your power and do something with it.”

Stryker replied by saying that she did not agree that Legislative Council was the proper source of funding for the SOCC event.

“I am willing to use funds from my personal IVP account- I will still fund whatever you ask from leg council from the IVP office,” she said.
Additionally, Leg Council offered to issue a written statement in support of SOCC, though some students were dissatisfied with the council’s resolution.
“The fact is the Leg board is trying to put a band aid over a huge gash,” said Chavies in statement outside of the meeting. “They’re basically saying,

‘we’re giving you the money, so why keep complaining about it?’

“But the whole issue is, if they had done their job in the first place, hundreds of students, in which whom their money they’re playing with, was not allocated correctly and did not represent the students.”

In his weekly executive report, AS President Harrison Weber said the council is sending mixed messages to the student body in its decisions to fund some groups and not others.

“This council needs to address what special projects is for,” said Weber. “And I think we need to have more dialogue outside of this council.”