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Sunday, December 12, 2004
Okay Now, Give Me A Break
Or, If It Smells Like a Shit, and They Call It A Recall...
In Wednesday's meeting, the ASUC Senate narrowly approved a proposed Memorandum of Understanding to allow the University to place a Multicultural Center in Heller Lounge. The debate played out like it was on a script - SA tries to bully its way to moderation, the URMs (this time, in the form of the virtually ancient Third World Liberation Front) got really uppity, CalSERVE senators got flustered, and the meeting lasted until 4:30 AM. No big shock, and a very unsurprising meeting...
... save for one exception. At the end of the night, protesters threatened 8 SA senators with a recall for their actions throughout the semester, claiming that upwards of 1300 signatures had already been collected for the petition. These signatures would be turned in at a January meeting.
First, the irony of this must first be established. How could these people, a majority of whom probably protested vehemontly against Governor Davis' recall, actually think that this was at all a clever idea? If it ever takes hold, recalling any senators would unleash a whole Pandora's Box of uncertainty and major problems striking at the heart of the ASUC and democracy in general.
That being said, there are still a lot of obstacles here that have to be overcome in order for the recall to get any momentum:
1) The petitions have to be turned in. It's quite possible that this is just a scare tactic to try to persuade SA senators to take URM projects more seriously. But if the recall effort is legitimate, there are still problems because
2) The portion of the ASUC Constitution concerning recall efforts has not been updated since the new election process was initiated. Prior to the old system, it was not a Australian (secret) ballot system, and each senator's constituency was maintained. The text:
B. Any Senator may be subject to recall by presentation to the Senate of a petition signed by at least one thousand (1,000) students represented by that Senator and containing a specific statement of the reasons for the proposed removal.
So, the language is vague, to say the least. This means...
3) The Judicial Council must assume an active role in this process and clarify/allow the recall to happen. And, it needs to be done in a reasonable period before the regularly-scheduled ASUC elctions next spring. After that,
4) The URMs need to follow through and get people to the polls. This wouldn't be too difficult, and if the process gets this far, then the 8 SA senators are as good as cooked. Now, for those of you curious as to who would be the next eight in line for the spots in the Senate, here's the list:
22. Betty Kim Duong - CalSERVE
23. Michael Tsia - CalSERVE
24. Amaury Gallais - Berkeley College Republicans
25. Gagandeep Singh Rajpal - CalSERVE
26. Jenna Petersen - BEARS-United
27. Katherine Ortiz - Save Our Senate Party
28. Yangho Charles Shin - Independent
29. Natasha Paracha - Student Action
30. Brandon Smith - CalSERVE
I'm guessing one of the major parties may be tempted to get involved to reclaim the seat lost by a certain removal earlier this month.Email This Post!
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