Disclaimer: Calstuff and/or the opinions expressed are not affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley.
Recent Guest PostsTenants' Rights Week
by Jason Overman
SyndicationSite Feed (ATOM)
Add to LJ Friends
Cal Patriot Blog
UC Berkeley Livejournal
California Patriot Watch
The Bird House
Cal Prof on everything
Rants & Raves
Full Time Whiner
Cal "Frat" Boy
Jewish Students Blog
Personal as PublicSoft Boiled Life
Cal Alumni/ Squelch BlogsKedstuff
I Fought the Law
Ne Quid Nimis
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
I'm sure Andy will chime in with his take at some point.
I must say first of all that I am glad that not many students come to these things... because they would have been appalled at the abundance of pettiness, the lack of kindness, and the disrespect that characterized tonight's meeting.
Several Different things happened all somewhat related to each other.
Attorney General vs Bears-United: The AG came up and gave his report in which he basically laid out a very solid case for not listing BU candidates under the same party name. No one disputed the facts of the case. The arguments then were focused on two separate issues: The extra 5 minutes Bears-United received to complete their forms (which is in violation of the by-laws), and then the spirit of the by-laws as it relates to Democracy and suffrage.
Student Action vs Billy Wang: Billy got up to speak and was very humble and showed a lot of humility concerning the situation. He admitted his party's mistakes and sought to fashion a compromise around a Presidential executive order. Some, actually a small minority of, Student Action Senators repeatedly interrupted his speeches, made rude comments, and generally showed a lot of contempt and disrespect for what he was doing.
CalSERVE vs Student Action: SA exec candidates were absent from the senate meeting for a very long time. At one point CalSERVE called for a quorum which was not met and the meeting was promptly adjourned. This led to shouting match inside the Senate chambers between senators of both parties. CalSERVE charged that SA was more interested in campaigning than in actually doing their jobs as Senators. SA countered by saying that CalSERVE had betrayed their own constituency by adjourning the meeting before money could be dispensed to the Vietnamese Student Association.
Analysis: The Senate is supposed to dispense money to student groups and not to instigate themselves in drama. What we saw tonight was a lot of party drama and partisanship and not any action in serving the students.
Bears-United messed up and violated by-laws. No one argues that there was not a clear violation of the rules. If I were on the Judicial Council and heard a case from them I would be very reluctant to even accept such a case because the issues are pretty clear cut.
But now arguing from the perspective of an average student. If we are going to have an election then lets allow the people who want to run together, to do so. The fact that the Elections Council extended the time of the meeting by 5 minutes and thus violated the very by-laws they are supposed to enforce... shows that there is a certain amount of common sense that can be applied. If you can extend by 5 minutes, why not another 10 minutes? Everyone can attest that BU reps were there and were actively trying to organize their paperwork. It is not unreasonable to me that if they are willing to break the by-laws to allow another 5 minutes... that a 10 minute extension is out of the question. If the by-laws were really so sacrosanct then why the initial 5 minute extension?
As to the matter between Billy Wang: I know there is a lot of history and bad blood... but in the setting of a Senate meeting the type of behavior displayed by a small minority of SA senators was uncalled for. Take your gripes with Billy outside the Senate Chamber next time, the students don't deserve your animosity towards each other.
One more thing: If the by-laws are really so sacrosanct then the 5 minute extension granted by the Elections Council puts the entire elections process in Jeopardy. If the very institution designed to handle elections violates its own rules then I would be open to a case asking the Judicial Council to throw them all out of office for not doing their jobs and violating the very rules they are supposed to enforce.Email This Post!
Cal MagazinesHeuristic Squelch
Cal NewsitesDaily Californian
Hard Left News
East Bay Express
Cal OtherUC Rally Committee
Stand nineteen feet tall! Be united! Be tough! Be proud!
Cal's Student government
Cal's Student Portal