During last week’s ASUCR senate meeting on March 8, ASUCR President Stephen Lee announced that a resolution would be made in condemnation of the defacement of the Israeli flag. “It jeopardizes a lot of the principles that we as students hold… we are in solidarity with the Hillel organization,” said Lee in regards to the recent writing of the word “terrorists” on an Israeli flag on campus.
Senators also spent a significant portion of the meeting addressing the upcoming ASUCR elections; senators approved an extension of the elections timeline passed for referendums and ballot proposals from March 16 to April 6. Changes to the Constitution are also in the process of being made to reflect the opportunity of having general (direct) elections. “This will take [ASUCR] away from parliamentary systems to a three branch system,” stated Jonathan Mansoori, the elections chair.
The public forum period of the meeting largely centered on the concerns regarding the electoral representation of UCR’s School of Business Administration (SoBA) in the upcoming ASUCR senator elections. The question was whether SoBA should be represented as either a separate school or under the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS). Liam Dow, a fourth-year pre-business major, argued in favor of the latter. Pre-business majors at UC Riverside are currently classified as CHASS students and are not classified as SoBA students until later in their academic career.
Dow, who is currently in CHASS and entering SoBA next quarter, noted that this decreases the ability of business students to be represented since SoBA is only allowed one seat. Therefore, a consolidation of pre-business students and business students into CHASS would theoretically allow for more representation.
However, senators have noted that administrative efforts are already underway in the opposite direction, strengthening the representation of SoBA by allowing it to remain as its own distinction and potentially incorporating pre-business students in the future. This was revealed when administrators recently allowed for SoBA to be distinguished aside from CHASS to have its own distinct representation.
“Normally, in order for any change in representation to take place it would have to be through the elections process and even so, it would not take effect until next year,” said Mansoori. The move requires an official request to change the constitution through a resolution which requires a majority vote from senators. Meeting reports occupied the remainder of the ASUCR meeting. Taylor Garrett from the Student Alumni Association provided an update on this year’s Dance Marathon. Over $15,000 was raised for the event and planning for next year’s Dance Marathon has already begun.
Vice President of External Affairs Andrew Whall provided an update on voter registration. He stated that early voting booths would be available for next quarter’s elections and that a total of 388 voter registration cards have been filled out. He also noted that the UC Student Association (UCSA) student lobby conference went well, with 48 students from UC Riverside and a total of 13 lobby visits to Sacramento.