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By Nadia Urbina, Nov. 9, 2021

In its Nov. 4 meeting, the ASI Board of Directors approved a proposal to implement two ASI committees dedicated to sustainability as well as policy changes pertaining to the Election Candidate Code and to ASI’s The Green Initiative Fund.

The policies and the action items discussed were approved unanimously in a 10-0 vote by a blanket motion set forth by College of Environmental Design Sen. Ilke (LK) Suzer.

The approved proposal will create a Sustainability Ad Hoc Committee and an Ad Hoc Committee for Lifetime Membership — with both committees focused on sustainability efforts.

“The ad hoc committee is extremely important this year, the reason being is because our action plan goals heavily circulate around sustainability,” said ASI President Prabhat Jammalamadaka. “We now have two bodies dedicated to tackling these issues. It will give more options to students to attend public meetings; it will allow them to be involved in conversations surrounding sustainability.”

The lifetime membership committees will be an internal body with meetings held in close sessions. According to Jammalamadaka, the best way for students to be a part of these meetings is by applying to be student-at-large representatives.

Applying to be a student-at-large is a way to get a ticket into being a student leader,” said Jammalamadaka. “You get to vote and make decisions. The perk for this position is a $250 stipend every semester you serve. You can contact your student government leader to find out more details regarding these committees.”

The changes approved unanimously to The Green Initiative Fund now mean that a club or student organization requesting money from the fund must receive approval from the ASI Finance Committee.

As discussed in the previous meeting, the finance committee will determine if proposals are in line with The Green Initiative Fund’s mission statement. According to the fund’s website, student projects eligible for funding include those that would “encourage environmental awareness and increase sustainability on campus.”

In other business, ASI Attorney General Mia Miller discussed changes in policy for the ASI Election Candidate Code. The code sets the guideline for who can run to be a student leader, the criteria of search and the guidelines for the ASI election chair during election season in spring.

“Based on the feedback from the previous ASI election chair, one thing was issues related to falsification of identity,” said Miller. “We did include … that falsification is indeed a major violation; this wasn’t specified before. Another guideline that we included was to have the ASI Election Committee establish formal means of communication needed to be followed.”

In other business, the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences Sen. Daniel Foncello shared that he and ASI Vice President Derek Sweem are working on a textbook affordability initiative. According to Sweem, the former ASI secretary of basic needs brought to his attention the ongoing financial burden textbooks are for students.

“Students are sometimes faced with the decision to pay rent or buy the book,” Sweem said. “We are looking to advocate to the university, Academic Senate and faculty to explore other means of text via free online text or through the library database or print.”

The next ASI Board of Directors Meeting will be held Nov. 18. Previous meeting agendas and minutes can be found on ASI’s website.

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