ASUCR’s Feb. 6 senate meeting witnessed a series of reports ranging from the upcoming spring elections, a resolution to support a statewide student association and wrapping a “crumbling C” in green vinyl wrap for Earth day.
Due to sediment erosion over the next five years, the “C” on the Box Springs Mountains is expected to fall apart, according to ASUCR Senator Chris Salvador, who is also a member of the GCAP committee. He has been in touch with the physical plant department and Assistant Dean of Students Tonantzin Oseguera. The department is responsible for the maintenance of academic facilities and landscape services on campus.
Senators initially wanted to paint the “C” green for Earth day in order to publicize sustainability efforts made at UCR. Due to the current state of the monument, the “C” holds the risk of crumbling if it is repeatedly painted over within a short period of time.
“If we put primer and then paint the ‘C’ green and [back to] yellow again, it actually might cause the C to [create a] landslide,” Salvador said of the shaky state of the “C.” He proposed the use of a green vinyl wrap as an alternative to repainting the “C” altogether.
Built in 1958, the “C” falls under the ownership of ASUCR. The Box Springs Mountains is federally-owned land, which preserves the species of wildlife that currently inhabit the area. Senators plan to help rejuvenate the monument, but are awaiting a response from the physical plant department before moving forward.
Senators Ian Cavasos and Kristina Morelos have co-authored a constitutional amendment to permanently proportion the number of elected senators to each college. The process of proportional representation is traditionally used to elect senators, but it was never incorporated into the ASUCR constitution or bylaws.
“All students pay the same tuition and therefore deserve equal representation on our campus,” said Cavasos. The amendment will be voted on by the student body during the upcoming spring elections and, if passed, will go into effect fall 2013.
Kareem Aref, the ASUCR legislative affairs director, took to the public forum and proposed his caucus initiative to establish a statewide student association. In collaborations with a UCSB undergraduate, Aref aimed to create the California Union of College University Students, which would represent all three tiers of California’s system of higher education.
“As powerful as we are as UC students, we are a very small number…compared to the community colleges and Cal States,” Aref said. He emphasized the need to reach out to a larger demographic of students under one umbrella as a means to effectively lobby legislators. “There’s not united force putting students together and stating that this is what students need.”
In response to Aref’s proposal, Vice President of External Affairs Lazaro Cardenas emphasized the impact of statewide and nationwide associations such as the United States Student Assocation (USSA), the Student Senate for the California Community Colleges (SSCCC) and California State Student Association (CSSA) that made past initiatives possible. He also offered support for mobilizing a larger student body and continuing activism in the state legislature.
In collaborations with CALPIRG, senators passed the Citizens United resolution, which condemned the 2010 ruling in the Citizens United Supreme Court case. The ruling allows corporations and unions to donate an unrestricted amount of money to a political campaign. Riverside is the second UC campus to pass such a resolution.
Senator Aaron Johnson suggested the idea of offering more supplementary instruction classes for CHASS classes that have low pass rates.
The GCAP committee held a “Cash Can Rufurbery” demo day Feb. 7 in Corporation Yard. Committee members spray-painted old trash cans to encourage better waste management and recycling initiatives.
Senator Spencer Castrellon is seeking to increase the limited stock of reserve books by meeting with William Folden, a librarian at the Tomás Rivera Library. There is supposed to be one book for every 100 students, yet many books are often refurbished or misplaced.
Senators are verifying cost estimates, environmental impact and health and safety concerns encompassing the food truck initiative. The project will allow food trucks access to university grounds, although they are prohibited from selling food in the county of Riverside.
Influenced by local shops in Los Angeles, Senator Niela Darmani is negotiating with vendors to bring clothing shops with familiar brands back on campus. She is reaching out to various vendors that can set up shop near the Bell Tower.
In collaboration with Director of the Academic Resource Center Michael Paul, Senator Sai Patadia has implemented Wiki SI. The supplementary system allows SI leaders to post their notes on ILearn for students to access.
On Feb. 19, Senator Megan Crail is hosting a dodgeball tournament, demoing engineering projects and holding banquets prior to Engineering Week.
Senator Ben Pengson is planning to create a “feedback group” for students to rate the proficiency of a professor’s teaching through the Academic Senate.