Spring quarter’s third senate meeting took place in the senate chambers on Wednesday, April 26. A majority of the meeting centered on the appeal of censure on CHASS senators Semi Cole and Jose Cortez-Hernandez and BCOE Senator Arneil Liban, as well as a request from fourth-year political science student Summer Shafer for the senate to assist her in her push to ensure that the gender studies breadth requirement is passed through the academic senate.
The meeting commenced with the only legislation on the agenda, SB W17-040, being tabled.
Next, Executive Vice President Wen-Yu Chou read aloud judicial ruling W17-C-02, to present an explanation as to why and how senators in a judicial opinion had been issued censures and strikes following a lengthy discussion that occurred at last week’s state of the association meeting.
Chou had an outside parliamentarian review the ruling alongside the ASUCR constitution and bylaws in order to determine whether the proper procedures had been followed.
Chou read aloud sections of the chapter 23 ASUCR bylaw which laid out the process of the act of censure. Following the issuance of the judicial majority vote in favor of censure, the proper procedure as outlined in the bylaw requires that the case be brought forth to the next scheduled senate and executive cabinet meetings and that the censures could only be confirmed by a majority vote by one of the aforementioned branches, which had not been done. “The censure was never imposed,” Chou concluded.
“We’re not interpreting anything, we’re just following what the constitution and bylaw states,” Chou announced before allowing a vote to be called to appeal the censures on the three senators. In a collective motion, all of the senators’ censures were appealed through a vote of 7-1-2.
Discussion then moved to Shafer’s presentation advocating for the implementation of a gender studies requirement at UCR, a project she has been working on for four years. In May of 2014, ASUCR passed a resolution in support of implementing a gender studies breadth requirement for all UCR students, though it failed to pass through the academic senate. If passed, all UCR students, beginning with the newest freshman class, would be required to take a gender and sexuality course to graduate, with over 200 already existing courses able to fulfill the requirement.
“I want to stress that this is a very historical thing. We would be the first ones in California … and we’d be the third in the United States to have a gender studies requirement,” Shafer explained. Shafer described her frustration with the process of passing the requirement through numerous committees each year, while being pushed back and unable to have the requirement added to the academic senate’s agenda.
“The problem is that the academic senate has been pushing it back every single year,” Shafer detailed. Additionally she asked the senate to put pressure on the academic senate in moving the requirement forward to ensure that the resolution will be placed on and passed during the fall meeting.
The senate symbolically held a unanimous standing vote in favor of the previously passed resolution.
– Third-year English and political science law and society major Diana Jekki was appointed as the president’s chief of staff by a vote of 9-0-0.