A Bill of No Confidence in UC Berkeley’s Disciplinary Policies Regarding Sexual Assault

Berkeley, California (04/03/2013) – Tonight the ASUC Senate voted to approve SB 130, A Bill of No Confidence in UC Berkeley’s Disciplinary Policies Regarding Sexual Assault. Authored by Anaïs LaVoie, Aryle Butler and CalSERVE Senators DeeJay Pepito, Megan Majd and Klein Lieu, SB 130 passed with 12 Senators in support, 5 against, 1 abstention and 2 absences. The bill calls into question current policies’ inadequacies, suggests revisions to promote campus climate and safety, and supports the 6000 in Solidarity campaign – a CalSERVE effort to identify 6000 students willing to pledge solidarity to the estimated 6000 students on our campus today who will be sexually harassed, assaulted, or raped before they graduate from UC Berkeley.

Womyn present at the meeting shared stories of sexual assault and rape, proving the cruciality of campus work on this issue and the fundamental importance to students’ lives on campus. The bill is a step forward in making sure UC Berkeley policies around sexual assault are accountable to those harmed by it. Currently, survivors of sexual assault are afforded no rights in campus conduct procedures; this bill seeks to equalize the rights afforded to both assailants and reporters without infringing on the due process rights of the accused. The bill suggests the creation of a Crisis Management Center for survivors, an appeals process for survivors unhappy with the handling of their case, and the prohibition of using survivors’ sexual history as evidence in conduct hearings.

In support of the bill were: CalSERVE Senators DeeJay Pepito, Megan Majd, Nolan Pack, Sidronio Jacobo, Daley Vertiz and Klein Lieu; Student Action Senators George Kadifa, Emily White and Jeff Ma; Independent Senator Sadia Saifuddin; Cooperative Movement Party Senator Jorge Pacheco; and SQUELCH! Senator Jason Bellet.

Student Action Senator and Presidential candidate Rafi Lurie co-sponsored SB 130 in External Committee on Monday – but without explanation, and without removing his name as a co- sponsor, voted against it when it came to the floor. Joining him in voting against the bill were Student Action Senator and Executive Vice Presidential candidate Chen-Chen Huo; Student Action Senator and Academic Affairs Vice Presidential candidate Ryan Kang; and Student Senators Rosemary Hua and Mihir Deo.

Student Action Senator Nils Gilbertson abstained from voting; Student Action Senators Emily Chen and Tom Lee were absent from the meeting.

*Press Release written by CalSERVE: Cal Students for Equal Rights and a Valid Education
http://www.calserve.org/2013/04/03/asuc-senate-votes-no-confidence-in-administrations-handling-of-sexual-assault/

Advertisements

A Resolution Condemning Islamophobic Hate Speech at the University of California

Hello Community,

I rarely post about a specific bills, but this one in specific will have a special place in my heart. The bill addresses the hate speech UC Santa Cruz lecturer and the inaction by the UC Office of the President to address this issue. You can see the hateful words of ignorance for yourself here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnSlbOhZgGI and read the bill below!

Tonight I want to thank the MEMSA community members who showed up tonight and were brave enough to share the harsh realities faced by the Muslim community in post-9/11 America. I also want to thank Senator Sadia Saifuddin for consistently being open in sharing her experiences as a Muslim womyn. I am extremely grateful that I have been able to meet you and learn more about your experiences. I think it is extremely important for all people to become educated on issues facing the Muslim community. We must deconstruct the innacurate and ignorant anti-Islam narrative that often plagues our minds through the way in which the media shapes our knowledge of the Middle East and the Muslim community.

Forever an ally of the Muslim community,
Daley

SB 114- AMENDED- PASSED

A Resolution Condemning Islamophobic Hate Speech at the University of California

Authored By: Senator Sadia Saifuddin

Co-sponsored By: Senator Sadia Saifuddin, Senator Klein Lieu, Senator Rosemary Hua, Senator George Kadifa, Senator Daley Vertiz

WHEREAS, the University of California has identified the issue of campus climate as a priority for administration, staff, and students across the UC system; and,

WHEREAS, the UC prides itself on welcoming students from any race, religion, gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation, yet pockets of racism and hate still exist on this campus which makes the UC an unwelcoming experience for certain communities; and,

WHEREAS, Islamophobia is defined as the irrational fear of Islam, Muslims, or anything related to the Islamic or Arab cultures and traditions; and,

WHEREAS, since September 11, 2001, Islamophobia has become the latest “hazing” technique across the United States and has created a chilling effect for Muslims, Arabs, and South Asians in their communities, work-environments, and campuses; and,

WHEREAS, according to a Gallup Study, 60% of of Muslim Americans say that Muslims face prejudice from Americans [1]; and,

WHEREAS, 48% of Muslim Americans say that they have personally faced racial or religious discrimination, which is on par with Hispanic Americans (48%), and African Americans (45%), while 54% of Arab Americans say they have experienced this type of discrimination[2]; and,

WHEREAS, since 2006, Muslim students have been targeted for surveillance by the FBI in Orange County, who said that they are paying particular attention to Muslim students at UC Irvine and UCLA; and,

WHEREAS, this surveillance is occurring on the East Coast as well, with the New York Police Department surveillance of Muslim students at Yale, Columbia, Syracuse, Rutgers, New York University, and Brooklyn College [3]; and,

WHEREAS, these racist and selective surveillance procedures are justified by figures in mainstream media, such as David Horowitz, who defines the core mission of the MSA to “advance the Islamic Jihad against the Jews and Christians of the Middle East, and ultimately against the United States”, and,

WHEREAS, attempts to mischaracterize and chill Palestinian activism have occurred on Berkeley’s own campus, with a lawsuit filed in July 2011(later dismissed in court) against the UC Regents and President Mark Yudof containing extremely Islamophobic and anti-Arab rhetoric referring to Students for Justice in Palestine and the Muslims Students Association as “anti-Semitic” and “pro-terrorist”; and,

WHEREAS, the plaintiffs in the lawsuit allege that “the more publicly active SJP may be understood as the more militant arm of the outwardly benevolent MSA” and that SJP, MSA, and MSU all “fund terrorism” and are tied to terrorist groups; and,

WHEREAS, more recently, UC Santa Cruz lecturer Tammi Rossman-Benjamin has been responsible for inciting racist and Islamophobic rhetoric by claimings that students in the MSA and SJP are “…generally motivated by very strong religious and political convictions, they have a fire in their belly, they come to the university, many of them are foreign students who come from countries and cultures where anti-Semitism is how they think about the world … These are not your ordinary student groups like College Republicans or Young Democrats. These are students who come with a serious agenda, who have ties to terrorist organizations.”; and,

WHEREAS, claims such as those cited above create an unsafe and divisive environment for Middle Eastern, Muslim, South Asian students, and others who may be perceived as being of similar descent, and these claims are completely opposite to the values of a premier university system; and,

WHEREAS, the President of the University of California, Mark Yudof, is responsible for advocating for all students regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation; and,

[1] http://www.gallup.com/poll/157082/islamophobia-understanding-anti-muslim-sentiment-west.aspx#2

[2] http://www.gallup.com/poll/157082/islamophobia-understanding-anti-muslim-sentiment-west.aspx#2

[3] http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/28/nyregion/nypd-muslim-monitoring-and-a-climate-of-fear.html?_r=0

WHEREAS, the University of California is no place for hateful and inflammatory rhetoric and holds its students, faculty, staff, and affiliates to higher standards that promote a positive and inclusive campus climate; therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED, that the ASUC condemn the remarks of lecturer Tammi Rossman-Benjamin and those described in the above-mentioned lawsuit as hateful and inflammatory; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the ASUC urge President Mark Yudof to condemn these inflammatory, hateful, and racist assumptions by UCSC lecturer Tammi Rossman-Benjamin against Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian students, and Palestinian rights activists; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that EAVP Shahryar Abbasi write a letter to UCOP condemning the racist and bigoted language by Tammi Rossman-Benjamin and President Yudof’s failure to address the matter, as well as passing a similar bill with UCSA; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the ASUC urge other campuses to pass similar bills in their respective student governments.

PRESS RELEASE: ASUC Textbook Scholarship Program

PRESS RELEASE: ASUC SENATE INSTITUTIONALIZES THE ASUC TEXTBOOK SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

UC Berkeley, March 7th: The ASUC Senate approved Senate Bill 52, A Bill In Support of the ASUC Textbook Scholarship Program authored by CalSERVE Senator Daley Vertiz, CalSERVE AAVP candidate Valerie Jameson, and Monica Ruiz, on the consent calendar Wednesday night. The bill passed unanimously through the Constitutional and Procedural Review Committee of the ASUC Monday night.

The ASUC Textbook Scholarship Program aims to directly address the increasing costs of textbooks, which have risen at more than double the rate of US inflation in the past twenty years. The new ASUC program will provide students with the opportunity to apply for scholarships ranging from $100-$250 to be used for textbooks at the Cal Student Store. A portion of the funds awarded will be refueled into the ASUC through its commercial relationship with the Cal Student Store.

Students from all economic backgrounds will be eligible to apply for this scholarship; however, the strict allocation breakdown of funds will divert the most resources to students most in financial need. The allocation breakdown aims to make the greatest impact on students most affected by the soaring costs of textbooks.

The passage of SB 52 allocates $2000 a year to this new ASUC program. The authors of the bill hope to work towards the long-term sustainability of this scholarship through a comprehensive fundraising effort across various campus departments. Students can look for the release of the Textbook Scholarship application in April on the ASUC website.

For more information, please contact:
Daley Vertiz
ASUC Senator
CalSERVE
dvertiz@asuc.org

ASUC Textbook Scholarship Press Release

A Bill In Support of the ASUC Textbook Scholarship Program

Wrapping Up Fall 2012…

Hello everyone,

Hope you are all off to a great semester. In wrapping up Fall 2012, I wanted to share a list of my Senate Office’s accomplishments with you all. I want to thank you all for your support!

Community Work

• Voto Latino 2012
o Established the first Voto Latino RAZA Coalition to engage our community in the November 2012 election and inform students about the need to inform ourselves about legislation on the ballot and educate our community on the importance of voting.
o Coalition organizations: Office of the RAZA ASUC Senators, Lambda Theta Alpha, Lambda Theta Phi, and Omega Phi Beta.
o Registered over 500 students and community members before the October 22nd voter registration deadline.
o Tabled over 50 hours on Xican@ corner.
o Along with Senator Lieu, I organized the first ever National Voter Registration Day at UC Berkeley on September 25 (250 students registered on NVRD alone).
o Community Registration Day at MacArthur BART to inform community members about the voter registration deadline (60 Bay Area community members registered).
o Educated the community through distributing resources informing them about voting day logistics and propositions.
o Facilitated Proposition debate for RAZA RRC interns
o Organized Presidential Debate Viewing Party as a RAZA General Body Meeting

• Save MSD: The fight for the Multicultural Student Development Offices
o I have been active in the planning of the fight for the MSD offices
o I have been a part of all major townhalls, both RAZA specific ones and Multicultural ones
o My interns sit on both the Outreach and Action committees through which I continue to stay informed about this issue
o I have been verbal in making sure the community is informed about all meetings through Facebook outreach to various RAZA groups and writing emails to the community.

• Organization Funding Outreach
o Sent community letter to organizations explaining the three sources of funding: Student Opportunity Fund, AAVP Grants, and Senate Contingency Fund.
o Met with Hermanos Unidos, Hermanas Unidas, Lambda Theta Nu, and Lambda Theta Phi to explain all funding sources in depth.
o Make sure to email dvertiz@asuc.org and sjacobo@asuc.org to set up a meeting!

• RAZA Day “Cal Leadership” Workshop
o My office organized a leadership workshop where we talked to middle school and high school students about the many leadership opportunities.

• RAZA Senator Townhall
o Organized 2 part Townhall selection process to select new RAZA senate candidates to run in Spring 2013.
o Thanks to everyone who was part of the process! It just begins now. There will be plenty of opportunities to help get 2 RAZA Senators elected.

Platform Accountability

• Voto Latino 2012
o Registered over 500 students and community members through campaign spanning 2 months.
o Educated community on legislation and voting logistics.

• Increased Access to Student Services
o Promoted the opening of the SLC to 24 hour study access through community emails and Facebook outreach.
o Part of the Committee for the Future of the Library under the AAVP to ensure long=term plan for increasing Moffitt Library hours during midterm and final season, without cutting access to smaller libraries like the Ethnic Studies Library.

• Diversifying Career Center Resources
o Met with Tom Devlin, Career Center Director
o Working to institutionalize ASUC committee composed of a variety of majors to give feedback to the Career Center on the relevance of its resources to students from a variety of colleges and majors.
o Collaborating with Senator Bellet to create Internship for Credit Program, through which students would be able to receive 2 units for an internship during the school year. We hope the program will be institutionalized by next Fall 2013.

ASUC Committee Work

• Standing Committee on University Relations and External Affairs
o This committee meets every Monday at 9pm in the Blue Conference Room, 112 Hearst Gym. All community members are welcome.
o In this committee, I have been able to debate bills relating to University and external affairs. This has been a great semester to se3rve on this committee because I have been able to learn how to deconstruct legislation on the November 2012 ballot and learn how to take a stance in a debate. Along with Senator Megan Majd, we have been able to successfully pass bills taking a YES position on Proposition 30, 34, 36, and Measure S. We have also been able to take a NO stance on Proposition 32.

• RISE Scholarship Committee
o Committee for development of RISE Scholarships given by the AAVP office to AB540 students. Look out for the application in Spring 2013.

• Business Development Committee, Commercial Student Services Board (CSSB)
o This committee plans the development of the new commercial spaces in Lower Sproul after Redevelopment
o I have been a part of the process of developing RFP’s that determine the characteristics that we want the new vendors in the Food Court and Bookstore to embody.

• Campaign Finance Reform Committee
o This committee is tasked with setting new guidelines on the money spent by political parties on ASUC campaigns.

• Committee on the Future of the Library
o Committee to develop long-term plan for increasing library hours.

Best,
Daley

PLATFORM UPDATE: Voto Latino 2012

Image

 

Voter registration is a critical step to making sure our voter rolls reflect the diversity of our communities.  Although the 2008 electorate reflected an unprecedented level of diversity, the final voter turnout showed a lack of civic engagement from specific ethnic groups, namely the Latina/o community.  In 2008, 19.5 million Latinos were eligible to vote, but half did not cast ballots, because they were not registered or did not turn out to vote. 

Honoring UC Berkeley’s commitment to civic engagement, the ASUC’s elected officials initiated collaborative efforts to register voters on campus and across California. The Office of Senator Daley Vertiz led the dialogue about the Latina/o community’s role in the larger conversation of voter turnout.  Working together with the ASUC External Affairs Vice President’s Office and CalPIRG, Senator Vertiz organized efforts to engage the Latina/o community on campus and the Bay Area in the 2012 election.

This year marked the establishment of Berkeley’s first RAZA Voto Latino Coalition dedicated to mobilizing, registering, and educating the Latina/o community about key legislation, including Propositions 30, 32, 34, and 36. The coalition was composed of Lambda Theta Alpha Sorority, Inc.; Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity, Inc.; Omega Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.; Sigma Pi Alpha Sorority, Inc.; RAZA community members; and the Office of ASUC RAZA Senator Daley Vertiz.

Voto Latino 2012 Accomplishments:

    • Registered over 500 students and community members
    • Tabled over 50 hours on Xicana/o corner on Sproul
    • Along with Senator Lieu, the Office of Senator Daley Vertiz organized the first ever National Voter Registration Day Rally at UC Berkeley on September 25
    • Community Registration Day at MacArthur BART to inform community members about the voter registration deadline
    • Educated the community through distributing resources informing them about voting day logistics and propositions.
    • Facilitated Proposition debate for RAZA Center interns
    • Organized Presidential Debate Viewing Party at a RAZA General Body Meeting

 

 This couldn’t have been possible without community support! Thanks for the support RAZA!

 

 

ASUC Senate Meeting Update -10/10/12

Hello everyone! I will be updating this blog at least once a week with a quick wrap-up of each week’s eventful committee and Senate meetings!

Here are this week’s Senate meeting updates:

Kelsey Finn, Executive Director of ASUC Auxiliary

  • Cal Dining Food Day will be October 24th from 10am-2pm on Upper Sproul
  • Nationwide celebration and movement toward more healthy, affordable and sustainable food.
  • What can you expect? 
     Cooking demonstrations, free samples, student organization booths, musical performances.

Advocacy Agenda Reports

  • The Advocacy Agenda is compiled from survey research responses of the larger student body. The 20 senators are divided into 4 committees who sift through the responses into action items.
  • Some Action items decided upon by the Advocacy include:
  • Informing students about the importance of a student district in Berkeley
  • Educating students on procedures when dealing with earthquakes.
  • Increasing resources devoted to crime reporting and awareness by students, specifically educating students on what constitutes a hate crime and hate crime reporting procedures.

Behar Nevab, Graduate Assembly President

  • Chancellor search meeting ended their meetings and sent their recommendation to UC Regents. 
  • Mark Yudof will make the final decision on new chancellor by November Regents meeting.

Connor Landgraf, ASUC President

  • Rock the Vote Concert at Memorial Glade will be on November 3rd from 7pm-10pm
  • Main artist will be Super Smash Bros.
  • Get out the vote effort educating students on propositions.

Justin Sayarath, ASUC Executive Vice President

  • SURGE Town Hall on October 23rd, at 7pm in Eshleman Library.
  • Come voice your opinion on the SURGE process and the relocation of the RAZA Center. Space reapplications for next year released at the meeting.

Natalie Gavello, ASUC Academic Affairs Vice President

  • RISE Scholarships: Working to raise money for AB540 Scholarships given by the ASUC.

Shahryar Abassi, ASUC EAVP

  • Vote Coalition voter guide on propositions.
  • Over 4000 students have registered to vote on campus, we are leading the UC system.

Hello Community!

Senate Office Heading
Hello Community,

After a very successful 1st month of the school year, our blog is now LIVE! We have been hard at work.

Voto Latino 2012

We have established a community wide coalition working towards ensuring our Latin@ community is registered and educated on important legislation affecting our communities on campus and across California. The coalition is composed of Lambda Theta Alpha Sorority, Inc.; Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity, Inc.; Omega Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.; Sigma Pi Alpha Sorority, Inc.; RAZA community members; and the Office of ASUC RAZA Senators Daley Vertiz and Sidronio Jacobo. To get involved email me at dvertiz@asuc.org!

The Fight for OUR Multicultural Student Development Offices

As you all know, we are in a fight to reaffirm the spaces for which our community fought in the 80’s. Our MSD offices and their Directors, including Lupe Gallegos of the CLSD, are in danger of being demoted. Last Wednesday night, over 40 community members showed up to represent for our communities! An ASUC Bill in Support of the MSD Offices and their Directors was discussed and passed unanimously by the 18 Senators present. Although this is a temporary win that will allow us to put further pressure on the Vice Chancellor to reinstate our Directors and Offices’ positions, we must remember that the fact we are needing to reaffirm these spaces fought for by our communities is unacceptable. We must push forward and work to expand our offices and continue the struggle to expand the resources available to our communities on this campus!

Please get involved by attending the following events:
RAZA MSD Town Hall

ASUC Funding
Please reach out for support with finding funding for any event! Please email Sidronio Jacobo and I at dvertiz@asuc.org and sjacobo@asuc.org. There is money available! We will find a way to support your organization. Please read the ASUC Funding tab of my blog for more information.

Stay tuned for more regular updates!

Best,
Daley Vertiz