SUA Endorses NCAA Referendum, Discusses Resignation Letter


The Student Union Assembly’s (SUA) proposed meeting agenda Tuesday night included a presentation from the Title IX Office, a funding pitch from the California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG) and a vote to endorse the athletic referendum. Student Coalition for Gender, Sex and Sexuality (Prism) representative Cibyl Engel objected to the agenda, and a motion was made to add a discussion on the pointed resignation letter of a college representative.

Title IX officer Tracey Tsugawa gave a presentation to provide more clarity into the processes of Title IX cases, and the vote to endorse the upcoming NCAA referendum passed 27-1.

When discussion turned to the resignation letter, Cowell representative Bryna Haugen requested a vote to have a closed-door meeting, with Engel seconding, both wary of making possibly personal issues public. Yet the assembly voted against the motion in the name of transparency.

While assembly members did not dispute the overall message of Jay Semana’s resignation letter, they were critical of the letter’s language and the act of resignation.

“It was very ironic to want to change a space so radically, but also just leave it,” said Rachel Carson representative Thomas Ramirez. “I feel like the letter is being played as a political trick for the elections, and I don’t think it’s fair or funny to just trash the work SUA does.”

Other members, acknowledging the tension brought on by the letter, said it was nonetheless a catalyst for constructive action.

“It is important to think about whether or not we would be talking about what we think about the structure and purpose of the SUA if the resignation letter had not come in,” said Rachel Carson alternate representative Alejandro Navarro. “I think that’s a conversation we need to have.”

SUA president Tias Webster informally proposed forming a long-term planning subcommittee, which would explore how to better serve the functions students want. A tentative straw poll of the assembly appeared to show majority support for the subcommittee’s creation.

“I think the subcommittee is a great idea,” Thomas Ramirez said. “I think a lot of people have strong feelings about transforming SUA.”

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Sean D. Ross is editor for the City News desk at City on a Hill Press. Previously, Sean served as an editor for the Investigative News desk and as a reporter for the Campus, City and Sports desks over the past two years. Before coming to UC Santa Cruz, he was News Editor for the Diablo Valley College Inquirer, contributing to the Inquirer earning the Journalism Association of Community Colleges’ “General Excellence” award at the 2016 Northern California Conference. For his coverage of California fires in the fall of 2017, Sean was awarded third prize in the California College Media Association’s Breaking News competition. Sean is pursuing a career in law, and has interned for renowned California attorney James M. Wagstaffe. Besides casually browsing LexisNexis, Sean enjoys board games of all stripes, competitive Magic: the Gathering, playing the french horn, automotive racing and the literary stylings of Neil Gaiman.

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