Cortez Basic Aid and Needs Referendum takes center stage at ASUCR Senate meeting

On May 15, the seventh ASUCR Senate meeting of the quarter was called to order at 6:33 p.m.

During senator reports, President Pro Tempore and CHASS Senator Julian Gonzalez addressed the recent shooting threat directed toward UC Riverside. Gonzalez claimed that the UCPD and UCR, as a whole, did not properly inform UCR students in the aftermath of the shooting threat: “We got to our classes and there were like five people in there because we weren’t feeling safe due to UCR doing a bad job of informing about what was going on.” UCPD emailed the campus that they were investigating the threat at 12:28 a.m. on May 10, and sent out email updates on their progress throughout the morning until they reported that a suspect was arrested at noon.

Vice President of Campus Internal Affairs Jose Cortez-Hernandez shared an update on the Cortez Basic Needs and Aid Referendum during public comment. According to Cortez-Hernandez, $230,000 will be directed toward basic needs and $90,000 will go toward financial aid per academic year. Cortez-Hernandez stated that he plans to present the full budget on Week 9 to the ASUCR Senate.

The Highlander reached out to Cortez-Hernandez regarding the Referendum’s funding allocation to the R’Pantry. In an email response, Cortez-Hernandez stated that the Basic Needs working group has not decided the amount of money to be allocated to the R’Pantry. However, according to Cortez-Hernandez, the Basic Needs working group said that the passage of this referendum will make R’Pantry and other basic needs funding no longer an issue.

BCOE Senators Sarah Al-Khalili and Johnathan Thai were absent. Thai’s absence was excused, while Al-Khalili’s absence was not. CHASS Senator Jacky Chang was also absent for this week’s meeting (excused).

The meeting adjourned at 6:53 p.m.

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