At last night’s Senate meeting, students discussed whether or not ASCMC should be restructured.
The discussion was prompted by President Pro-Tempore Michael Irvine ’16, who brought to Senate’s attention that ASCMC’s current practices are in violation of California non-profit law, which mandates that every member of the Board of Directors have a vote and board committees consist solely of board members. Currently, not every member of ASCMC’s Executive Board has voting power — for example, the President Pro-Tempore and presidential advisors — and some committees, such as the Budget Committee, are composed of both Senators and Exec Board members.
Irvine said that he will soon introduce constitutional amendments to bring ASCMC into compliance, but in the meantime, used the Senate meeting to elicit feedback about ASCMC’s organizational structure. Senators brainstormed how to bring more students to Senate and retain upperclassmen, with several pointing out the high attendance rates at Senate when a “hot button” issue was on the agenda. This opened the conversation about whether the purpose of Senate needed to be re-envisioned to serve more as an open forum, or if only minor tweaks were needed. In addition, students debated the pros and cons of making the role of senator an elected position, citing both efficiency and accessibility concerns.
Talk of ideas for spending ASCMC’s surplus also continued, and an email survey regarding the surplus is ready to be sent to the student body. Additionally, the proposal to create more gender-inclusive housing is in its final stages, was recently approved by the Residential Life Committee, and passed almost unanimously in a straw-poll confidence vote in the Senate. This expands gender-inclusive housing to Berger, Benson, and Claremont Hall, which, in addition to Beckett, brings the number of gender inclusive dorms up to four. Chair of Campus Improvements Committee Thomas Schalke ’18 explained some of the adjustments in the proposal.
“Stark and Marks were dropped from the proposal over concerns that creating that much GI housing (and logically removing gendered housing) might result in some first-years who indicate not being comfortable with GI housing being placed into a GI dorm,” he said. “As such, we will continue to monitor the situation with a view towards continuing to expand availability in the future, but in a measured way.”
Finally, updates were delivered on Wedding Party (which will be held on February 27) and a spring music festival called McKennaPalooza. The meeting adjourned with a reminder to support One Billion Rising, an event to show solidarity with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, on Friday at Gann Quad.