ASUCR update: special election held for new senator

Daming Ye/HIGHLANDER
Daming Ye/HIGHLANDER

Assembling for the weekly Senate meeting on Oct. 25, ASUCR members reported on campus-wide projects to strengthen bonds within the student body, which began across the board. A special elections meeting was conducted on Monday, Oct. 22, which saw the instatement of CNAS Senator Ahlam Jadallah to the student government. President Pro-Tempore Sai Patadia and head of the Legislative Review Committee (LRC) motioned for the passage of a public relations and outreach bylaw for greater transparency purposes. During the public forum, a student proposed the entry of food truck venues to increase dining diversity options on campus.

According to chapter six and item 13 of the ASUCR Elections Code, a special elections meeting may be held to fill a vacated senate seat. “Due to the change in the Constitution, any representative from any of the three colleges (CNAS, CHASS, BCOE) could fill the vacant spot in Senate,” Special Elections Director Harmony Chai told the Highlander. The meeting was open to the UCR campus, where speeches were heard by the top two alternates of each college from the previous election cycle. ASUCR senators voted in favor of Ahlam Jadallah, who will be succeeding former CNAS Senator Martin Maduakor.

Announced by Senator Patadia, the LRC passed a public relations bylaw in order to encourage greater accountability between ASUCR and the student body. An outreach bylaw was also passed, which now includes a clarification section that specifies certain roles of general outreach members. Lastly, Senator Patadia announced finalized efforts to restructure the brand-new ASUCR constitution, by fixing grammatical errors, renewing senatorial positions and updating bylaws.

Taking the podium during the public forum period, Campus Ambassador of Student United Way (SUW) Elliot Thompson requested ASUCR support for his food truck proposal.  Establishing initial collaborations with Senator Chris Salvador and Brian Leung, Thompson hopes to allow food trucks temporary on-campus entry to expand an ethnically-diverse array of healthy and vegetarian options. Thompson seeks to network through ASUCR in order to garner student input about possible food options. A flat-rate passage fee for food venues may potentially raise revenue for student organizations that partake in the festivities, while creating greater campus involvement.

Top 10 Meeting Highlights

  • Over 800 students were registered to vote during the final voter registration day on Oct. 22; continuing efforts will include the Get Out the Vote (GOTV) initiative.
  • Free pizza, senatorial photos and a public whiteboard drew attention to the “Meet the Senate” event located at the HUB Plaza last week. Students were given a chance to interact with ASUCR senators and learn about campus-wide initiatives.
  • To increase campus involvement, portable storage units may one day be provided to organizations during weekly nooner events.
  • Works-in-progress include the Big Buddy program, which involves matching a fellow UCR student with a first year, while maintaining contact throughout their college career. A Cubbies-for-Commuters program is also starting up to provide a storage space for on-the-go students.
  • Discussions with UCR Director of Housing Andy Plumley has bred the idea of renovating the Barn to include surrounding buildings and ultimately a Barn Plaza.
  • To increase ASUCR public relations, plans for a GPS-monitored weather balloon launch is currently underway, which will be located at the Bell Tower.
  • Collaborations with CNAS Dean Marylynn Yates involve the planning of Discovery Day to showcase graduate research on-campus and a UCR-version of the Long Nights of Arts & Innovation.
  • Recent GCAP projects include a waste characterization project as an effort to improve composting and recycling practices. Additional funding was passed to support the solar panel program in Lot 30 for one year.
  • Future on-campus events include a Fear factor tournament, which is still in its initial stages and a Guinness World Record event, scheduled for next year’s Homecoming.
  • Senators are looking into the possible distribution of snack packs during midterm or finals’ week.
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