Council Approves New Budget, Backs 9/11 Forum

Source: dailynexus.com

By Mackenzie Weinger / Staff Writer
Published Thursday, May 3, 2007

The Associated Students Legislative Council approved next year’s A.S. budget and two resolutions last night, including one previously rejected by the council supporting an academic forum to discuss the “anomalies” of 9/11.

Along with the resolution concerning 9/11, council members passed one condemning the Los Angeles Police Dept.’s actions at a May 1 rally in Los Angeles. In addition, the council approved the 2007-2008 A.S. budget with consent and little discussion.

The budget allocates $2,482,933.94 among various A.S. departments, including administration and staff salaries, as well as boards and committees, such as A.S. Queer Commission and the A.S. Honoraria Committee. According to Internal Vice President Cecilia Perez, A.S. Finance Board will receive any A.S. unallocated funds, which in the budget is currently shown at $777,357.13.

After briefly looking at A.S. President Jared Goldschen’s suggested budget, the council added $500 for the Technology Committee. Meanwhile, funding for some committees such as A.S. periodical The Bottom Line remain up in the air pending the rollover of funds from this year’s budget.

“This is an incredible budget,” Rep-at-Large Sam Marks said. “A.S. was scraping the bottom for so many years. Students’ Initiative really improved the financial situation of A.S.”

In other council news, Leggies heard a revised version of the resolution to support an academic forum that would attempt to “clarify the scientific questions about the 9/11 Commission.” The resolution originally failed April 18 after members voted not to approve with a vote of 9 in favor, 5 against and 2 abstaining.

Daniel Komins, a senior psychology major and the resolution’s co-sponsor, said he and other interested students modified the resolution to ask for the council to legitimize the group’s desired forum.

“All we’re asking you to do is to support a group of students who are asking questions and demanding answers,” Komins said.

Off-Campus Rep Matt Jackson said the revised resolution no longer states that the council believes the assertions of the “anomalies,” but simply supports the proposed forum.

“We restructured this to not necessarily look like we’re supporting specific facts or claims,” Jackson said. “It’s worked out now not that we’re approving facts as true, but recognizing students’ desires to meet.”

Some council members wondered how Leg Council support would actually contribute to the group’s goal.

“I don’t see how us supporting or not supporting this helps it gain any momentum at all,” Rep-at-Large J.P. Slauenwhite said. “I don’t see how it furthers anything - I think they can go on and investigate it without my support.”

However, several members said the resolution simply asked the council to officially acknowledge the request to hold a discussion.

“We’re here for the students,” On-Campus Rep Scarlet Chan said. “Why are we standing in their way to legitimacy?”

The council passed the resolution with 12 in favor, 7 against and 3 abstaining.

Additionally, members passed a resolution condemning the LAPD’s alleged use of excessive force against protestors at the May Day rally in MacArthur Park, Los Angeles. A few council members said they attended the rally and saw the use of rubber bullets and tear gas.

“There was no provocation,” Off-Campus Rep Jeronimo Saldana said. “The resolution is just asking what happened and if anyone did anything wrong, please punish them.”

The resolution passed with consent.

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