ASUCR’s fourth senate meeting of the year saw the passage of two resolutions and the announcement that HEAT Music Festival will be continued in the winter quarter 2017.
During ex-officio reports, ASUCR President Shafi Karim announced that HEAT will continue this year. Later in the meeting, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs James Sandoval declared that he had adhered to the recommendation made by the HUB Governing Board to continue the festival with the prospective date currently set for Saturday, March 4, 2017, but the logistics of the festival are still in the works. HEAT, which is UCR’s most prominent music festival, was cancelled two of the last three years (2014 and 2016) and at risk of being permanently discontinued earlier this year.
Additionally, Sandoval informed students who may be experiencing emotional trauma in the wake of the U.S. presidential elections results, of the resources available to help. “I just wanted to address the senate … just to let you know, that we’re fully mobilizing our entire support infrastructure,” Sandoval said.
Following ex-officio reports, a resolution in opposition of the banning of homelessness in Riverside was presented by secondary author and CHASS Senator Carisha Moore. An ordinance banning homelessness was passed by the Riverside City Council on Tuesday, Sept. 13 which disallows camping in public places and placing personal items on public property.
“Something really important about Riverside is that, significantly throughout the last few years, a lot of the shelters in Riverside have closed down because of the lack of resources and funding for these shelters,” stated Julia Schemmer, second-year public policy student and primary author of the resolution. “So if you criminalize homelessness without putting adequate funding for shelters, you’re only continuing the problem and you’re scapegoating a very already vulnerable population.” Schemmer also described the lack of control over what means police can use in order to enforce the ordinance and how that could be problematic. The resolution passed in full support by a standing vote.
Shortly after, CHASS Senator Aram Ayrapetyan presented a resolution titled, “Resolution in Solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux and in Opposition to Dakota Access Pipeline,” for which he was the primary author. The resolution called for senate support in opposition to the construction of a 1,172-mile, 30-inch diameter pipeline that will carry crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois and cost $3.8 billion dollars. Since the pipeline is expected to be built near the primary source of water for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, leaving the potential to poison their water supply, protests have erupted around the site. The Sioux have also claimed that the pipeline would disrupt their sacred burial grounds.
Ayrapetyan described how protests in North Dakota have been received by police, “It’s criticizing the fact that instead of allowing them … all the protesting — I wouldn’t even call it that, I would call it peaceful demonstrating — all of it has been unarmed, but it has been met with police brutality, tear gas, attack dogs.” The resolution passed with a standing vote of 12-0-0.
The meeting closed with the announcement of Hayden Jackson as vice chief and Jo Gbujama as chief justice.