Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Executive Cabinet Veto of R50-70: Flags and decoration adjustment for inclusivity

Staff Writer, R. Patrick Chapman
Flags / Higher Education
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 The University of California a few days after the passage of Resolution R50-70 vetoed the measure.
Executive Cabinet Veto of R50-70

We the Executive Cabinet of the Associated Students of the University of California, Irvine convened on March 7th, 2015 to officially veto ASUCI Legislative Council legislation R50-70, “Flags and decoration adjustment for inclusivity”. We engage in this action to veto under the constitutional authority granted to us under Article V, Section B, Sub-Section 2 of the ASUCI Constitution stating:

“Vetoing, as seen fit, any measures adopted by the Legislative Council, provided such an action be exercised only once per measure, and within six (6) days from the date of the measure being passed, after which time, the measure shall become legislation with or without the Executive Cabinet’s approval.”

We fundamentally disagree with the actions taken by ASUCI Legislative Council and their passage of R50-70 as counter to the ideals that allow us to operate as an autonomous student government organization with the freedoms of speech and expression associated with it. It is these very symbols that represent our constitutional rights that have allowed for our representative creation and our ability to openly debate all ranges of issues and pay tribute to how those liberties were attained.

As students in an academic institution we encourage all students on campus to participate in open debate about a wide array of issues and to actively engage in academic curiosity, which lies at the backbone of a preeminent academic research institution. It is this freedom to be able to navigate and explore topics on a wide range of issues that we see at risk if we begin to engage in a particular form of regulation of free speech and its expression through symbols in any space associated with our organization.

We as well want to reaffirm our commitment to diversity as a campus in all aspects and ideals associated with it. The concept of inclusion and diversity is a core pillar in the mission of University of California system and we wish to continue to work to have these important discussions of what our campus is doing to make this a priority.

Signed:

ASUCI Executive Cabinet
Even the Administration of the University had this statement:

The statement below is from the UCI Administration
Earlier this week, six undergraduate members of the UCI’s student-government Legislative Council passed a bill that bans hanging a flag from any nation in the common lobby area of the student government offices.

This misguided decision was not endorsed or supported in any way by the campus leadership, the University of California, or the broader student body. The views of a handful of students passing a resolution do not represent the opinions of the nearly 30,000 students on this campus, and have no influence on the policies and practices of the university.

The American flag is still proudly flying throughout our campus and will continue to do so.

Student-body president Reza Zomorrodian has publicly opposed the legislation. The Executive Cabinet of the student government will meet today to discuss a veto. A motion to veto and a second are on the table. One more vote is needed for a veto. We encourage the student government to veto this legislation and abandon any further efforts to pursue it.

We hold the value of intellectual inquiry and the free and rigorous exchange of ideas as bedrock values of institutions of higher education. And yet, we are constantly reminded that those values we cherish are in part, guaranteed by the sacrifices made and the struggles waged to secure the freedom and democracy that the flag symbolizes. UCI never takes that for granted.

Source: University of California, Irvine

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