Since October, the ad hoc committee created to restructure Associated Students Legal Code has put forth its plans twice to a room of unimpressed BCCs (Boards, Committees, and Commissions) and AS senators. The most recent presentation, on Friday, Jan. 31, in the GSA Lounge, showcased the committee’s extensive adjustments to their first proposal, and ultimately concluded in yet another stalemate.
The committee was formed to structurally increase the efficiency, collaboration, operation, and fiscal responsibility of AS. It aims to “assess how Associated Students can be better organized and work more cohesively and unified as an organization.” AS President Jonathan Abboud and the committee have encouraged participation throughout the Association in this restructure; however, they do not have many allies.
Essentially, in its latest form the restructure is intended as “an aerial change, not an on-the-ground change,” stated AS Internal Vice President Ky Scarlet. The main changes to the Legal Code are the introduction of “units,” new ASUCSB workgroups, and the most contended issue–the selection process for boards, committees, commissions, and unit directors.
According to the restructure mark up, a unit is an “operational facet of ASUCSB with either a single function or multiple functions” that carries out different kinds of services to the student body, campus, local community, or ASUCSB itself. For example, Community Affairs Board would operate as a unit whose main function is volunteer opportunities for students.
The new ASUCSB workgroups hark on the aspect of unity and collaboration that the committee wishes to encourage. Workgroups would function as a forum on specific topics for BCCs to come together and exchange ideas. The workgroups would take place the second week of each quarter and BCCs could attend whichever workgroup they feel would best benefit their charter or organization. BCCs would only be required to attend one workgroup.
Upon presenting workgroups and units, the GSA room was mildly quiet; however, when the selection process was brought to the table, hands shot up and a speaker’s list had to be created in order to lull the chaotic room. The selection process was suggested to encourage fairness and consistency across BCCs and to increase accountability in appointments that occur through internal elections or presidential appointment.
“Senate, at the end of the day, is in charge of ratifying appointments. The senate is above all of us–including me,” Abboud said. “The point of this new process is to have them involved in the process so they know what’s going on. Previously, every time appointments have gone up, they just kind of pass through, rubber stamped up the stream. If they wanted to object an appointment they couldn’t because they don’t even know who they’re rejecting because they haven’t been involved in any part of the selection process.”
The only exceptions to the proposed selection process would be KCSB and The Bottom Line. According to Abboud, “this is because they are the press and it is absolutely critical for the sanctity of their organizations to be separated from the government.”
“You said it’s a matter of standardizing hiring, but BCCs operate in different ways, so standardizing the selection process is counterintuitive–we do different things,” Chris Cubbison, AS Program Board Concerts Coordinator, said in response. “We know what is specific to our BCC and that power is slipping now.”
Reiterating their desire to create a restructure most agreeable with all BCCs, Abboud and the restructure committee made adjustments on the spot, taking into consideration the BCCs’ complaints. The selection process presented was entirely scrapped during the meeting, and a new one will be formed and proposed at a later date.
According to the current Legal Code, should any revision occur, the Senate has to give a two-thirds vote to approve it.