The ASUCI Legislative Council was in for a surprise last Tuesday, as one of its most senior members and then speaker pro tempore announced his resignation from his position.
Reza Zomorrodian, former speaker pro tempore of ASUCI’s Legislative Council announced his resignation on Tuesday, Oct. 29 and formally ended his term on Thursday, Oct. 31 in lieu of new commitments from his recent appointment as a replacement residential advisor at the Lluvia dorm at Mesa Court. Zomorrodian regrets being forced to leave his position but believes it was time he moved on to different things.
“My main reason [for resigning] is because I’m going to be an RA in Mesa Court and I really want to take the time to commit to the residents there and to really develop relationships with them there, that’s the big thing,” Zomorrodian said.
Zomorrodian has served his position since he was elected speaker by the Legislative Council for spring quarter 2013 and again for the following fall quarter. As speaker pro tempore of the Legislative Council, he was tasked with preserving order at meetings, creating the agendas, making changes to the ASUCI website and also acted as the “head of Leg Council.” While he enjoyed being the leader of the Council, he admits the feeling was not the same as it was when he was a regular member.
“I think the difficulty with speaker is that you are looked at as the head of council, but at the same time you have to keep an even balance on council. So I think before I was actually made speaker I actually would participate in debates more and be more vocal on an issue I felt more strongly about, however when I became speaker I pulled back a bit and would allow other people to make those debates.”
As speaker, Zomorrodian was forced to be a voice of moderation when he was usually one of the most vocal members of the council as a regular at-large representative. He believes the speaker should not “guide the council to make a decision” but ensure that the council functioned properly.
He has served on the Legislative Council for two years starting in fall quarter of 2011 when he was still a first year. He felt the desire to serve on the Legislative Council early in his college career.
“When I first came to UCI I was interested in the idea of a student government that actually did something. That dealt with actual actions and policymaking because in high school student governments are more [of] event planning,” Zomorrodian said.
His influence came from an unexpected source that inspired him to take an active role in UCI’s student government, something that is rare for a first year.
“The way I actually got inspired to get on to Legislative Council previous to the other stuff was one of my RA’s friends comes into the hall and starts talking to her about how it’s ridiculous about how AS[UCI] wants to pull money out of reserves to spend like $200,000 on Avicii to come here. And so I was pretty angry about that too, I was like that’s ridiculous, $200,000 on a concert.”
Zomorrodian went to the Legislative Council meeting that night and brought his concern before the council in person. He says this “made me inspired to be a part of Council.” The legislation B47-02 was withdrawn by the council due to opposition from students like Zomorrodian and the majority of the council members.
Later in the year he applied to run for an open at-large representative position on the council and was elected in fall quarter of 2011. He stayed with his position and won reelection in fall quarter of 2012 as an at-large representative. Zomorrodian went on to write many bills that became ASUCI law during his terms as at-large representative. He feels that in his time on the Legislative Council he has contributed to long lasting change at UC Irvine.
“I think there’s two pieces of legislation I’m particularly proud of, that I was able to pass. Number one that was most important to me was the restructuring of the elections code… that was my best achievement on Council,” Zomorrodian said.
The elections code revisions under resolution R48-37 created a five tier structure for elections violations to prevent candidates from being expelled from elections due to minor violations.
The other legislation, R48-65 which was authored by Zomorrodian, required ASUCI Executive offices to allow the Legislative Council to review their budgets during weeks two and eight every quarter. Zomorrodian felt this was necessary to increase transparency within ASUCI.
“When I first got elected that was one of the big things I wanted to do, was to make financial presentations mandatory and having executives being forced to show us their accounts without us asking them to do it.”
Aside from the legislation he helped to write and pass, Zomorrodian also believes he has gained valuable experience that he can use for other positions.
He believes the skills he has learned from his time on the Legislative Council as speaker will help him with his current RA position.
He is grateful to all those who he has worked with but was especially thankful for the help of Mark Deppe, the assistant director of ASUCI.
“All of pro-staff has been very helpful but Mark Deppe has done a lot for me in regards to being supportive and giving very constructive support for anything I want to do. So definitely Mark Deppe has supported me so much throughout my time with Council.”
Even though he was forced to resign from the Legislative Council, Zomorrodian still wants to be involved with ASUCI in the future.
“I actually do plan in being involved with ASUCI. So I am looking at certain areas to get involved with certain offices, however I am considering applying for student advocate general potentially and things like that; in that capacity, but I am definitely going to stay involved in ASUCI. I’m still going to try to have an active role.”