ASUCI Legislative Council took a symbolic stand against global violence, hatred and police brutality with the passing of its first legislations of the 2014-2015 academic year last week.
The first resolution to pass, R50-01, affirmed ASUCI’s stance for tolerance and peaceful solutions to world conflicts, particularly the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“This [resolution] is important given the fact that this summer has seen a lot of violence in the Middle East,” said Humanities Representative, Lauren Kerner, in support of the R50-01 resolution she authored.
According to the legislation, ASUCI will support efforts to end violence, hatred and conflicts on campus and across the world. However, the legislation did not name specific campaigns or organizations that ASUCI would support.
This caused some debate as to whether the resolution would contradict with an earlier resolution aimed at divesting from companies that profit from the conflict.
Kerner stated during the discussion that the passage of the resolution will not contradict with resolution R48-15, a legislation passed by the Council two years ago that embraced the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement by formally asking the UC Regents to withdraw all investments from companies that profit from doing business with Israelis in the contested Palestinian territories.
“This is not an opposition to BDS, this money will only go to peaceful movements that cooperate with the Palestinians,” Kerner said.
After a short discussion on the matter, the resolution was brought to a vote and was passed with seven votes in favor and six abstentions.
Regarding the second piece of legislation that ASUCI passed, Alexander Fung, a member of the Executive Vice President’s Campus Action Team and former member of Legislative Council, as well as a former resident of Hong Kong, gave a presentation on the situation currently unfolding in the territory with the student protest movement and its clashes with authorities.
R50-02 called for ASUCI’s support of the pro-democracy demonstrations recently taking place in Hong Kong.
Fung gave the history of the protests and their plight to stop the Chinese Communist Party from taking control over Hong Kong’s democratic system. Fung also urged the Council to take action and support the protesters.
The Legislative Council voted on R50-02 and in an almost unanimous vote passed the resolution with 12 votes in favor, none in opposition and one abstention, or12-0-1.
During the speaking time allocated for debate over the resolution, members of the audience voiced their support for R50-02, with no one on the Council or in the audience raising any opposition.
“I just would like to add that the International Student Committee of the United States Student Association hereby endorses this legislation,” said Parshan Khosravi, a third-year political science major and chair of USSA’s International Student Caucus.
Khosravi and several other visiting audience members came to the meeting on Thursday to show their support for R50-02 and to advocate for the creation of a new sub-committee on the council to help serve the needs of UC Irvine’s international student population.
The remaining agenda item confirmed commissioners for the Executive Vice President’s office.
Any future action taken on the possibility of adding a sub-committee for international students will take place at future legislative council meetings held every Tuesday and Thursday night from 5 to 7 p.m. in Woods Cove B and C. All members of the UCI community are welcome to attend unless otherwise stated by the council.