The ASUCI Legislative Council took symbolic action to ensure that ASUCI assets would remain under the jurisdiction of ASUCI and keep all financial actions under student control in the wake of a perceived usurping by UC Irvine administration.
The Legislative Council passed Resolutions R49-38, 39 and 40 to maintain ASUCI control over their accounts and prevent any attempt to remove them from ASUCI jurisdiction at their meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 26 in Woods Cove B in the Student Center. The resolutions were drafted and voted on in response to an announcement from UC Irvine administration.
“What these three bills aim to do is to make sure that ASUCI maintains control over everything that we are supposed to have control over,” ASUCI President Nicole Hisatomi said in response to the announcement by administration. “A few months ago student affairs came to us and said they wanted control of our Anteater Express Budget.”
The Anteater Express, which is under the control of ASUCI and had a budget of $2,113,207 according to ASUCI’s 2012-2013 budget, constitutes a large part of ASUCI’s focus. Historically, the Anteater Express has always remained under student government. Hisatomi believes this should remain the case into the future.
The budget for the Anteater Express is expected to rise due to the passing of the Bus Love Initiative last year that increased student fees $8 per quarter to pay for repairs to the busses and the addition of the Newport Beach line. This amount is set to increase another $8 per year for the next four years until reaching a total of $40 per student per quarter for the 2017-2018 school year.
Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Dan Dooros, argued that the goal of the administration was to transfer ASUCI accounts under campus supervision to increase accountability and accessibility of funds and not to reduce the power of ASUCI.
“A lot of the impetus was to streamline things and understand where the money is going. Right now the students get paid through a UC Irvine account. The money for that is sent to AS[UCI] and then AS[UCI] reimburses the campus, so you have all this money going left and right, left and right,” Dooros said. “The campus believes that if it’s one accounting system the money goes in and the money comes out, it’s a lot cleaner. That’s the real reason this is going on.”
Proposals from campus administration to house ASUCI accounts under a university account were largely rebuffed by the Council. According to Hisatomi, Dooros’ argument is void because of online accounting tools that report where money goes. She believes that there is more to the administration’s plan to combine the accounts of ASUCI under the campus accounts.
“I want ASUCI to keep hold of its accounts because let’s be honest, whoever has the money has the power.”
Hisatomi fears that ASUCI would ultimately lose control of the Anteater Express if the legislation were not passed. She believes that the Anteater Express should always remain under the jurisdiction of ASUCI.
“I think that [the] Anteater Express is a valuable asset to student government and I think it provides a service to students that’s invaluable to many people on this campus. ASUCI created, fostered and grew Anteater Express to what it is and I think it would be a shame to let it go.” She continued in the belief that “next if we let the university take part of our budget, a small portion of our budget and hope for a more streamlined system, then what is to say that in another five years they take another part of the budget.”
Most of the council members agreed to this and voted in support with the rest of the council. The final vote was a unanimous 18-0-0 for all three resolutions. Whether this will lead to conflict between ASUCI and UC Irvine administration in the future has yet to be seen.
The exact wording of these legislations, as well as all other legislation passed by the Legislative Council, can be found on their website.