Associated Students Beat Reporter
After two weeks of intense and lengthy meetings, the Associated Students Senate meeting on Wednesday, April 17, resumed its normal location and followed the agenda as written while discussing items that had been tabled from the two prior weeks.
Three major items discussed in Public Forum were the Davidson Library renovation, the resolution entitled “A Resolution to Support UCSB’s Swipes for the Houseless Program,” and some comments and complaints regarding the Senate’s decision on “A Resolution To Divest From Companies That Profit From Apartheid.”
“I’m disgusted by this space, because not only did you let bureaucratic and political crap get in the way of passing this resolution, but you also didn’t take into account the fact that over 30 organizations on this campus sponsor this resolution,” said second-year Anisha Ahuja, who was a strong proponent of “A Resolution To Divest From Companies That Profit From Apartheid. “And you still decided to not only silence my voice in Senate, silence the people who came to speak at public forum, and continually silence the voices of people who are fighting for human rights.”
AS Logo courtesy of Associated Students
Third-year Katlen Abu Ata, who was a student sponsor of the resolution, came to speak about
“A Resolution to Divest From Companies Profiting From the Prison Industrial Complex,” which had been tabled from previous weeks due to the length of the meeting but was tabled again as a result of one of the authors not being in attendance.
“There are private prisons that are profiting off the lives of human beings,” said Abu Ata. “If we [look at] the 13th amendment, which abolished slavery, institutes slavery as well because it allows servitude for those who are criminalized, and most of the people that are criminalized are minorities.”
In addition, two students in support of “A Resolution to Support UCSB’s Swipes for the Houseless Program,” which was discussed later in the meeting, spoke during Public Forum. This resolution would give the Associated Students’ support for the non-profit organization, which is trying to implement and improve their plan to donate dining commons swipes to the houseless, specifically at Casa Esperanza in downtown Santa Barbara.
“At other schools that have this program [Swipes for the Houseless], there are 140 meals for the entire quarter versus 14 per week [here],” said Ali Guthy, the Hunger Homeless Coordinator of Community Affairs Board. “This allows the dining services to take all the meals that are leftover by all participating students at the end of each quarter, transferring them into canned foods and then donating them to homeless shelters.”
The program needs support from Associated Students because in order to implement it, the students believe there must be a change in how the dining plans work.
“One of the comments we’ve been getting is that they just changed the system, and they’ve created the unlimited program,” said Guthy. “Currently with our system, people with unlimited can’t donate. This isn’t a matter of our program, but so much of it isn’t conducive to the dining commons program so in order to further our program we have to change the system.”
The resolution was discussed later and passed by consent, meaning the students will hope to use the support of Associated Students to sway administration to change the way the dining commons work.
The next meeting will be at its usual time and place and will discuss the Associated Students budget for the 2013-2014 school year.