During the April 22 ASUCR meeting, ASUCR President Julian Gonzalez discussed a meeting he had along with all other Associated Students (AS) UC presidents and the UC President Janet Napilatano.
Gonzalez elaborated on what was discussed during the meeting during Ex-Officio Reports. He stated that they had a conversation about many concerns students have had about the campus closures and the COVID-19 pandemic. One of their discussions centered on mandatory campus fees. Gonzalez stated that Napalitano stated that the UC has mandated that all food and housing fees be refunded to students but are still evaluating the potential for other fees to be refunded. Gonzalez said that Napalitano made it known that decisions regarding which campus fees do get refunded is in the hands of each individual UC campus. The process will be completed in the next few weeks.
Napalitano also discussed the disbursement of funds from the CARES Act. UCR received $29,734,626 and at minimum, $14,867,313 of the funds must be awarded to students in the form of emergency financial aid grants. Gonzalez stated that it is each individual campus’ decision to decide how to disperse the remainder of the funds. The student grants will begin to be applied to student accounts within the next one to two weeks, according to Gonzalez.
Gonzalez said that they asked Napalitano if they could place rent freezes for students in student housing, however, Napalitano responded that the decision is also up to each individual campus and their leadership.
During the meeting, Gonzalez also discussed the 20% student population threshold in order for referenda to be considered on-campus. Gonzalez stated that he always believed the threshold was a UC mandate but discovered in the meeting that it is a campus-based decision. “For whoever is going to be here (ASUCR) next year, that is something that should get looked at. Other schools are having issues with lowering their threshold in order to pass referenda … Napalitano said that individual universities have the ability to change the threshold.” Gonzalez stated that although it is important to get 20% of students to vote, it should be easier in urgent cases such as when the Highlander Empowerment Student Services Referendum (HESSR) failed to pass in 2018.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:34 p.m.