An increase in the student population of the School of Humanities led to the creation of a new Associated Students of UC Irvine legislative seat, which is to be appointed by ASUCI.
The new opening is one of four empty seats on the council. The three seats representative of the biological sciences, physical sciences and one at-large seat are open due to the graduation of the officer or the lack of a candidate during the past spring election. These seats will be elected this fall election.
ASUCI Executive Vice President Zachary Avallone explained that the duties of these positions will include increasing voter turnout and participation in general elections, evaluating and improving the dining facilities and improving the parking and transportation situation, as put forth in the new ASUCI budget. The feasibility of running a weekend shuttle from Arroyo Vista and Vista del Campo to Newport Beach will also be explored.
‘We want to make sure we hear our constituents’ concerns,’ Avallone said. ‘The representatives will need creative ways to communicate with their student body as their number-one liaison.’
This new legislative seat will be appointed rather than elected. When questioned as to why this seat will be appointed, Avallone said that having a special election for short-term seats is too impractical.
‘Elections are very expensive,’ Avallone said. ‘To advertise it, and all the computing power, it’s a couple thousand dollars. Another reason that it is imperative to fill these seats is that much of the planning for the year takes place during the first quarter.’
Richard Bannister, a third-year literary journalism major, believes that elections should be held for the position.
‘If there were [elections], the candidate would be more involved,’ Bannister said. ‘I think he or she would go after the position, and be more active about it.’
On the other hand, James Ung, a third-year psychology major, felt that the legislative position should be appointed to ensure that the legislative council can soon perform its duties.
‘Appointing someone for the position will be a good test to see who will do the job well, to see who is serious,’ Ung said. ‘[ASUCI] should take care of the matter as soon as possible. They should get together so someone can take control and there’s a sense of order.’
The ASUCI Legislative Council consists of elected or appointed students from each academic school at the university, depending on the size of the school. Each school is allotted one representative until their constituency numbers over 2,000, at which time an additional seat is created.
A quarter of the council is automatically comprised of at-large seats, elected by the entire student body. These council members deal with issues that span more than one school, as well as those students that are as yet undeclared. There are also four ex officio seats that are appointed by a club or organization for representation at legislative council meetings.
Avallone also explained that students are welcome at all council meetings, including the interviews for candidates about to be appointed, which will take place in one to two weeks. There, students are welcome to ask questions and voice their concerns. Regular council meetings take place every Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. in Administration 107.
Applications for the new position went out last week. Among the questions asked of applicants were their interest in the position, opinions on and identification of student issues, and the concept of representation. They were also asked about creative methods to reach out to the student population, and their opinion on the absence of spending limits in campus elections.
The applications for the positions were due at the ASUCI front desk on Friday, Oct. 7. At the time of printing, it was unknown how many applications were turned in.
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