The Nov. 8 Student Union Assembly (SUA) meeting began with a drastically calmer tone than the last.
Following the recall of SUA President Alfredo Gama Salmeron on Oct. 26, the intent of the following SUA meeting was clear — it is a time of transition and rebuilding in the SUA space.
Leading the meeting was Amanda Pepe, reinstated in her role as the SUA parliamentarian after being removed by Gama Salmeron. Throughout the meeting, transparency in SUA processes and student outreach efforts were key talking points. During discussion, many members raised the issues of properly informing students about SUA resources and elevating student representation in discussions with the administration and the SUA space.
Vice President of Internal Affairs Jimmy Gomez formally accepted the position of SUA President. Gomez served as Interim President after Gama Salmeron’s removal, as constituted by Article II, Section G of the SUA Constitution.
“Never did the position initially become a goal to attain; however, I feel both professionally and personally ready to undertake the undergraduate SUA Presidency and be a president that listens to fellow students’ thoughts, problems, and insights and enhances their UCSC experience,” Gomez read aloud in a statement during the meeting.
Gomez’s transition to President leaves the role of Vice President of Internal Affairs vacant. The position is available to undergraduate students and will be open for two weeks following an announcement from the Dean of Students.
During the meeting, Pepe outlined the process of calling a constitutional emergency in order to amend a previously-passed constitutional amendment for the implementation of a Students with Disability and a Transfer Student SUA Representative.
Currently, the elections to determine these positions were held in the summer. Pepe noted that by holding a separate summer election where few students are on campus during that time, both the voices of students with disabilities and transfer students were not being properly represented.
As stated in Article 10, section 7 of the SUA Constitution, the SUA is able to amend the Constitution and bylaws if a two-thirds majority in the SUA votes for a constitutional emergency. The vote for approval of amending the amendment was unanimous.
By approving this emergency, both the Disability Resource Center and UCSC Services for Transfer and Re-Entry Students department will be able to fill their designated seats for the year through their own appointment process. The emergency amendment will be reintroduced on the ballot during the spring elections for the entire student body to vote on.
The discussion for the budget proposal for the 2022-2023 academic year was also introduced during the meeting. Typically, the budget is never approved in the same meeting it is introduced in. Key elements of the proposal included the allocation of $3,500 in funding for each organization in the Big Five and the reinstatement of the treasurer position for the SUA.
The meeting ended with closing remarks and an official adjournment, a business-as-usual end to a tumultuous period within the SUA.