Student leaders vote to endorse local ballot initiative Measure B
October 13, 2016
For the first time in Associated Student Government history, student senators passed a resolution to support a local ballot measure.
The resolution expresses ASG’s formal support for Measure B, a Santa Clara County initiative that aims to reduce traffic, increase public transportation and improve roads and funding. Two weeks ago at ASG’s first Senate meeting of the quarter, Silicon Valley Leadership Group CEO Carl Guardino pitched Measure B to students, citing the numerous benefits it would provide to the Santa Clara community. Student Senators were given a week to reach out to their constituents and decide on their vote.
On Oct. 6, the Senate reconvened and passed the resolution nearly unanimously. Guardino, who was in attendance for the vote, said that the resolution’s passage is an important moment for the Measure B campaign.
“(Santa Clara’s) campus community is vitally important to the success of Measure B,” Guardino said.
With this endorsement by student leaders, Santa Clara joins Stanford University, West Valley College and Gavilan College who have already expressed their official support of Measure B.
Going forward, Guardino said he expects to receive more endorsements.
“Over the next three weeks, several other campus communities will also publicly endorse Measure B,” Guardino said. “They also recognize the crippling effect that traffic congestion, a lack of transit options and crumbling roads have on campus life.”
During open deliberation, some senators expressed concern regarding the precedent that the resolution would set. Ahmer Israr, the only senator to vote against the resolution, was one of them. He said that ASG should avoid engaging in local politics.
“It is not what we were elected or appointed to do,” Israr said. “It sets a dangerous precedent for extensive future involvement by (ASG) in the electoral process, perhaps in ways that many of my fellow senators did not envision when supporting this endorsement last Thursday.”
Senator Jack Herstam, who authored the resolution, said he understands these concerns, but finds the setting of new precedent inevitable. He said he was excited that the resolution passed because of the positive impact it could have on the Santa Clara community.
“It’s the nature of progress,” Herstam said. “It’s a win for everyone in my mind.”
Following the passage of the Measure B Resolution, the Senate approved a rebrand proposed by the public relations branch, which includes a new ASG logo. The Senate also debated and voted on clubs seeking approval, including Ignite and Theta Tau, an engineering fraternity.
ASG Senate will meet again on Thursday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m.
Contact MarkAnthony Vogel at firstname.lastname@example.org.