After the DASB Senate president directed personal comments at another senate member, an enraged student cussed out the DASB Senate and stormed out of the meeting on April 22.
The outburst resulted from the Baylands Festival debate that began weeks ago when senate members Pedro Alberto Enriquez and Mina Aslan said that the $25,080 budget set aside for the festival could be used more wisely by directly improving campus clubs and programs. They created an alternative budget plan.
At Wednesday’s meeting, Enriquez attempted to persuade the senate to cut the budget by sharing his personal struggles.
“It’s an issue of equity. Right now I have less than $20 to my name, I don’t know how I’m going to pay my rent,” Enriquez said. “It’s really hard to come to school everyday and not know if I’m going to eat. And then there’s programs out there that do help me to get through the day, and we help fund them.”
Enriquez attempted to shift the perspectives of senators and help them understand that this money could go toward programs on De Anza’s campus that directly help struggling and involved students like himself.
When Enriquez shared his argument against the festival, DASB Senate president Julia Malakiman responded on a personal level.
“Pedro, I’m sorry about your situation, that’s unfortunate,” Malakiman said. “I don’t know if you’re trying to say you want this $20K to go to you or something.”
Dropped jaws and appalled faces followed her statement.
Malakiman then proceeded to correct Enriquez for not voicing his opinion, which she said he and every other senate member has had a chance to do since September 2014.
In reaction to Malakiman’s response, an angered student stormed the front of the senate chambers with a profanity-laced outburst against Malakiman for belittling Enriquez and against the senate for disregarding student concerns.
DASB senate advisor John Cognetta tried calming the student, but had to lead the student out of the room.
The festival discussion reached its boiling point in the course of Wednesday’s meeting. Some members of the public showed upwith signs promoting the festival, while others accused the senate of greenwashing the event for profit.
But the tense emotions did not convince the 2/3 senate majority required to downsize the festival.
The alternative budget plan Enriquez and Aslan created would cost the Senate a maximum of $7,935, less than 1/3 of the original festival budget.
The proposed budget would have limited the capacity of the festival to the 400 people maximum allowed in the Visual Performing Arts Center. With such a large drop from the original estimate of 1000 to 3000 attendees, the senate would not have profited.
The senate said they plan to still have the festival on Saturday June 13 from 2 to 7 p.m. in De Anza’s Sunken Garden.
The only change in the festival is the budget, which was reduced from the original $25,080 to around $20,000 by downsizing the $13,000 security cost and the $3,000 insurance cost.
In order to earn back as much as they could have saved by downsizing, the Senate would need to net a profit of about $12,000, which they plan on making by collecting donations and selling T-