Recent Resignations Bring Up Dissidence in Associated Student Senate


Lily Cain
AS Beat Reporter

Just one week into Winter Quarter, four Associated Student (AS) Senators announced their resignations at the meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 16, adding to the six that resigned during Fall Quarter.

Two On-Campus Senators, Steven Beringer and Tejas Patel, and one Off-Campus Senator, Ricardo Mora, announced their resignations in emails to Internal Vice President Mayra Segovia.

Neither Beringer nor Patel cited specific reasons as to why they were resigning, although they attributed much of the reason to Senate interfering with their academic performances.

“I have been having a lot of family [and] personal issues in regards to my academic performance and other things going on,” said Patel in his email. “I want to wish you and the Senate best of luck with the rest of the school year.”

Mora cited personal and financial problems in regards to his resignation.

On-Campus Senator Mac Kennedy was the only one to announce his resignation in person, which he did at the beginning of the meeting.

“I’m here to tell you all that I’m quitting Senate; I’m resigning,” said Kennedy. “It’s a really tough decision for me, but the length of these meetings has taken a toll on my personal well being and grades.”

Although all four ex-Senators cited different reasons for their resignations, the rebuttal from other members of the Senate focused on the time commitment to Senate and the length of the meetings, some of which have gone until 4 a.m.

“I’m tired of the resignations where it’s just ‘I didn’t have time,’” Off-Campus Senator Kaitlyn Christianson said. “You didn’t try to have time.”

In addition, Christianson voiced her concern over why people ran for Senate in the first place.

“For those two awful weeks, why are you here?” said Christianson. “It’s a big deal. We can do so much for the students, but you have so much more power than so many people who want to make a difference.”

Kennedy, however, believes being a member of Senate isn’t the only way to make a difference.

“I’m not going to go back to Senate, [but] I recommend people get involved,” said Kennedy. “That’s one thing I really want to work on—outreach and recruitment of people to AS. There [are] so many BCCs so I don’t want to discourage anyone from getting involved, I just couldn’t do the long meetings.”

After the bill Kennedy and Off-Campus Senator Taquan Harrison introduced in the first meeting of the quarter, which would create a cap on the meetings at 9:45 pm, was tabled indefinitely, Kennedy felt that there would be no consensus among the Senators in regard to a time limit.

“There’s this mountain that is Senate and they can’t see around it,” said Kennedy. “People are so ingrained to this ‘this is how it is, this is what you should’ve expected’ that they can’t imagine any alternatives or solutions to fixing the problem that is the length of the meetings.”

The main argument from Senators against setting a time limit was the inability to hear students’ full ideas if they were constrained to too little time.

However, the Senators that resigned, both this quarter and last quarter, did so because too much time was not being used efficiently enough that it affected their academic performances.

“I didn’t quit because I didn’t have the time for my meetings,” said Kennedy. “I quit because of the length of the meetings. I had the time commitment for the job. That’s why it was a really hard decision, but it ended up making sense.”

According to Segovia, many other schools in the UC system do not have this many problems about the length of the meetings, nor have they had this many resignations.

Until new Senators are appointed to the now-empty positions, current Senators will be taking over the posts of the resigned Senators.

“I just want the best thing to happen for the campus, whatever that is,” said Kennedy.