Editorial: ASUCSD Violated Student Trust With a Private Senate Meeting
February 4, 2020 | The Triton Editorial Board
The Triton’s Editor-in-Chief Ella Chen filed a grievance against ASUCSD last night. Read the grievance here.
On January 15, 2020, the Associated Students of UC San Diego (ASUCSD) held a closed session for a presentation by University Centers Advisory Board (UCAB) Chair Joey Mendoza, entitled “Student Mental Health.” About an hour later, ASUCSD voted unanimously to approve the language for a student mental health/CAPS student fee referendum. The discourse that influences AS’ decisions should be public, especially when potentially related to the allocation of our student fees. The Triton believes that the justification given for this closed section was not legitimate: it is a violation of Section 8 of the ASUCSD Constitution and reveals a negligent lack of definition within said section.
ASUCSD Vice President of Campus Affairs (VPCA) Melina Reynoso justified the closed session by invoking the “matters of personnel” exception within Section 8. She writes:
“Any presentation regarding personnel of UCSD can warrant a closed session, our constitution does not clearly define what personnel matters are … ”
Section 8 of the ASUCSD constitution reads as follows:
“All meetings of the Senate shall be open to the public except when dealing with matters of personnel, existing or anticipated litigation, license or permit determination, threat to public services or facilities, labor negotiations, investments, contracts, or real property negotiations.”
This explanation does not justify the closure of the session and makes clear how problematically undefined the term “matters of personnel” is in Section 8 of the ASUCSD Constitution. Above, Reynoso interprets “matters of personnel” to include all discussions of UCSD staff, regardless of context. Such an interpretation gives AS power to close any session pertaining to a staff member with no substantial justification.
As members of the press and the greater UCSD community, we feel obligated to submit a grievance against AS regarding this interpretation. We hope that the Judicial Board will institute much-needed specificity to Section 8 of the ASUCSD Constitution in response to this grievance.
Read the full editorial here.
Editorials represent the majority opinion of The Triton Editorial Board. This article was written by Opinion Editor Kate Zegans and Managing Editor Ethan Edward Coston. If you’d like to submit a response, or comment on a different issue affecting the UC community, please submit here.