ASUCI Senate votes in support of additional housing, to amend bylaws and establish winter president pro-tempore

By Ashley Alvarez

ASUCI Senate voted on Jan. 8 to pass legislation R54-40 in support of additional housing, as well as R54-38 which amends ASUCI Bylaws to include a Commissioner and Chief of Staff duties, hiring and dismissal. The Senate also elected a Winter 2019 president pro tempore — Bryant Gunaman.

ASUCI Legislation R54-40 recognizes the disparity between the high cost of housing in Orange County and the economic status of working, young families and students.

According to a 2015 Orange County workforce Housing Scorecard referenced by ASUCI, “The cost of housing in Orange County is at record levels due to a deficit of 50,000 to 62,000 homes currently needed for working families in the County. Whereas only 20 percent of Orange County households can afford the county’s median home price.”

Legislation R54-40 urges municipalities and lawmakers exercising land use authority within the county to approve new and affordable housing developments that meet the needs of Irvine’s diverse demographic. This includes students, low-income working families, and individuals with mental and/or physical disability.

ASUCI’s proposed solutions include changing zoning regulations to allow for denser housing in urban and suburban areas, reducing parking requirements which contribute to the high housing cost, and investing in alternative methods of transportation such as rapid bus transit.  

Legislation R54-38 allows for the amendment of ASUCI Bylaws to include a Commissioner and Chief of Staff duties, hiring and dismissal. ASUCI members explained that “there exists no section in the ASUCI Bylaws delineating the duties, hiring process, and dismissal of Chief-of-Staffs, Commissioners, Directors, and ASUCI staff” which are all student staff positions.  

The Senate states that this amendment to the bylaws is necessary not “only for personnel management under California Labor Law and US Labor Law,” but also because it lends clarity and consistency “…as to the proper process for the hiring and dismissal of the aforementioned staff members.”

In addition to legislation, the Senate also voted on the election of this winter’s president pro tempore. The role of pro tempore is to preside over the Senate in the absence of the Vice President. Nominated candidates were senior Julie Lim, a business senator, and senior Bryant Gunaman, an ICS senator. By majority vote, Bryant Gunaman was elected president pro tempore.