A.S. Passes Virginia Tech Bill, Denies 9/11 Forum

Source: dailynexus.com

By Mackenzie Weinger / Staff Writer
Published Thursday, April 19, 2007
Issue 106 / Volume 87

At a three-hour Associated Student Legislative Council meeting, members passed three resolutions and one bill, but did not approve plans to set up a nuclear oversight committee or an academic forum to discuss the “anomalies” of 9/11.

After passing a resolution supporting Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University students and their families, council members approved a resolution asking that UCSB workers be allowed to participate in planned demonstrations on May 1 - International Workers’ Day. In a third resolution, members demanded that former internal vice president, Felix Hu, return the money spent on his educational fees for Fall Quarter.

Meanwhile, council members narrowly defeated two propositions - a bill to create a student oversight committee of the UC-managed nuclear weapons research laboratories, and a resolution to support a faculty discussion group to question the 9/11 Commission’s findings.

During discussion, the president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, as well as about five students and at least one professor, spoke in favor of the bill to create a UCSB student-run oversight committee.

“If students take on the responsibility of oversight, you’ll find out so much,” NAPF President David Krieger said. “You can bring about change that will alter a U.S. policy that is exceedingly dangerous and driven by nuclear weapons laboratories.”

However, some council members said they opposed adding another branch onto A.S.’s bureaucracy in such a manner.

“We don’t usually have committees in A.S. that are focused on one issue,” University Owned Housing Rep Amanda Burlingame said. “It would be a great club on campus, but I don’t know if it’s really an A.S. committee.”

Due to the A.S. Legal Code, which requires a two-thirds vote to create a new committee, the bill failed after a vote of 12 in favor, eight against and two abstaining.

The council also motioned against creating a forum to discuss the scientific “anomalies” of 9/11 with a vote of 9 in favor, five against and two abstaining to not approve. Members tabled the resolution last week in order to study its specific claims.

“After looking into it, I can’t support this bill,” Rep-at-Large J.P. Primeau said.

Additionally, members passed a resolution with 11 in favor, none against, and six abstaining to “reclaim squandered student money” - in other words, to request that Hu, who resigned from his position Fall Quarter, return the student money spent on his tuition during his term as IVP. The resolution states that Hu “failed to meet even the most basic duties.”

“I had all these expectations for Felix [Hu],” Off-Campus Rep Matt Jackson said. “To me it was very disappointing and I feel the students at large should be very disappointed.”

Primeau questioned if the resolution was the proper way to express frustration with Hu’s term.

“What do we have to gain by publicly shaming Felix [Hu]?” Primeau said. “This seems malicious to me.”

In internal news, the council struck the removal of Off-Campus Rep Evan Ingardia from the agenda with a vote of 13 in favor, five against and four abstaining. Ingardia, who appointed Raymond Meza as his proxy for all of last quarter, is currently on the UCDC Program.

Ingardia again appointed Meza to the position, despite some confusion over the interpretation of the A.S. Legal Code’s procedures for excused absences. According to the Legal Code, “one and only one quarter shall be considered an extenuating academic circumstance,” but there is no clarification as to whether a member may miss two quarters for another reason and not be officially replaced.