AS Beat Reporter
The 2014-2015 Associated Students Senate held their final meeting of the academic year on May 20, during which they discussed rollover funds and the possibility of a new mascot for the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Former off-campus senator Hiro Bower discussed A Bill to Update Article IV Section 1 of the AS Legal Code, which she authored alongside former off-campus senator Brandon Lee. The bill states that if an AS entity funded by a lock-in fee is denied the request for the remaining of their budget to be rolled over to be used by the entity for the next fiscal year, the remaining funds will be placed into a new category in Finance and Business Committee with the opportunity of being allocated to any Office of Student Life group or AS entity that is requesting funds for a project or program that is relevant to the specified language of the lock-in fee. According to Bower, the bill’s purpose is to “smooth out the process” of granting or denying AS entities access to their rollover funds by “raising a red flag” to entities that are not spending the entirety of their lock-in budget.
“In the long term, there are flaws with it,” said Bower. “But I think it would be good to try out for a year. And another thing that I would like us to consider is that for the past two years, Finance and Business has been running out of funds [during] Spring Quarter… [Passing this bill] would create a lot of collaboration within AS entities, which is one of the goals of AS.”
While few former senators, including former off-campus senator Erika Martinez and College of Letters and Science collegiate senator Nikka Kurland spoke in favor of the bill, many were hesitant to pass it.
“I would like to start off by applauding the efforts behind this bill,” said College of Engineering collegiate senator Jonathan Rothschild. “I believe it is a step in the right direction. However, I don’t think it is quite the best way to do so.” Rothschild mentioned what he believes to be some “holes” in the bill, specifically that there is no clear mention of what happens to the allocated funds after the end of the fiscal year.
After two votes to pass the bill, both resulting in a majority no vote, the bill was tabled indefinitely after a vote of 13-10-0.
Ultimately, senate granted the rollover requests to be moved to the trustee accounts of AS Media Center, Bike Committee, Department of Public WORMS, Commission on Disability Equality, Food Bank Committee, Environmental Affairs Board, Zero Waste Committee, Take Back the Night, Office of the Controller, and Student Initiated Recruitment and Retention Committee.
Additionally, senate passed A Resolution in Support of Reevaluating Class Mascots, authored by former off-campus senator Cassie Mancini and former on-campus senator Emani Oakley. Both expressed their concerns for the current UCSB mascot, the Gaucho, stating that it keeps some students from participating in school sanctioned events because it is cultural appropriation. The former senators suggested the megalodon as a new mascot, adding a “Bite, bite, bite!” cheer.
After a 16-6-0 vote, the resolution passed.