Senate passes resolution advocating to make election day a school holiday

On Wednesday, Oct. 21 ASUCR held their first state of the association meeting of the quarter. In state of the association meetings, the executive cabinet (ECAB) shares their updates with the senate and gives their official monthly report on the work they have been doing throughout the month.

The senate passed three senate resolutions surrounding California ballot Propositions 22 and 16 along with a resolution to advocate to make voting day a school holiday. One of the resolutions passed was SR-F20-001, which was primarily authored by President Pro Tempore Orlando Cabalo, and its purpose is for ASUCR to stand against corporate greed and go against the points outlined in Proposition 22. 

Proposition 22 is a constitutional amendment that is on the California ballot for the 2020 general elections, and it seeks to repeal a California law passed under AB5, which outlines that gig economy workers — such as those under Uber, Lyft, Doordash and Instacart — must be classified as employees rather than independent contractors. This gives them employee benefits such as health care, paid sick leave, unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation. The senate resolution outlines that Proposition 22 was placed on the ballot and Uber, Lyft, Doordash, amongst other app based companies collectively allocated $185 million dollars to get the measure on the ballot. 

The resolution acknowledged that UCR students employed under these companies may be affected and states that ASUCR shall stand in opposition of Proposition 22, advocate for and contact local leaders to express their opposition and make a formal statement and send mass emails to students expressing their opposition. The resolution passed with a vote of 13-1-2.

Laura Anaya-Morga /HIGHLANDER

SR-F20-002 was primarily authored by Vice President of External Affairs Vincent Rasso and aimed to have ASUCR endorse Proposition 16, which would reinstate affirmative action in California’s public employment and education systems. The senate resolution acknowledged that Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) communities are disproportionately affected by poverty and violence caused by systemic racial oppression. According to the resolution, this directly affects the public education system because higher education has been deemed one of the pathways to reduce inequality and poverty. Similar to SR-F20-002, it would require ASUCR to publicly showcase their support for Proposition 16 through statements and emails, as well as acknowledge the negative effects that Proposition 209 had on the higher education system. The resolution passed with a vote of 13-0-3. 

SR-F20-003 was primarily authored by CHASS Senator Christopher Kent and backed by the UCR Civic Engagement Coalition and the UCweVOTE campaign. The resolution aimed to have ASUCR showcase their support in making election day a school holiday, thus making Nov. 3 a non-instructional day.  The resolution outlines that many students may not have time to vote on Nov. 3 if they have class and since this year there are no polling locations on campus, they will have to travel longer distances to cast their ballot. The resolution highlights the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that the University of California system entered with the Secretary of State meant to increase civic engagement amongst students and encourage them to perform their civic duties. It outlines that ASUCR would advocate that all professors, teaching assistants and administration officials cancel all instruction for the date of Nov. 3, 2020. The resolution would also ask that the Academic Senate adopt this resolution for future election days. A petition was created in support of this resolution and currently has 127 signatures, at the time of writing. The resolution passed with a vote of 16-0-0.

During officer reports, ASUCR President Luis Huerta discussed the work that he has been doing over the summer and in fall quarter. He stated that he has met with various organizations like the Black Student Union and the Let’s Take Action to discuss the distribution of a pending Black Lives Matter Donation of $5,300 that was approved by the previous ASUCR senate but has not been allocated to anything specific.  He has also been speaking and working with UCR staff and the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) in response to the recent Budget Advisory Committee’s recommendation to cut the athletics program. 

Vice President of Internal Affairs Angelica Garcia, introduced her office’s staff during her report and outlined their goals for the quarter. She also included an update on her seat on the recreation governing board. She stated that they are currently discussing the debt that the SRC needs to pay off and a reduction of the src north referendum fee. 

Similarly, Vice President of External Affairs Vincent Rasso, presented what his office has accomplished since June. He highlighted that the Office of External Affairs has been organizing meetings with the UC Student Association (UCSA) to discuss plans to work together throughout the academic year. Rasso also stated that he will soon be meeting with UC President Michael Drake to discuss issues surrounding basic needs, academic issues, campus safety and policing and support for workers and students amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The office has also been spearheading civic engagement efforts and campus organizing efforts. 

Before the meeting was adjourned, Chief of Staff at the Office of Internal Affairs Preeti Juturu raised concern surrounding the senate’s lack of utilizing pronouns in their screen names over Zoom. Since Oct. 21 was National Pronouns Day, Juturu advocated for the importance of utilizing pronouns in normal operations to improve diversity at UCR. “I think it’s important to acknowledge that all individuals, regardless of gender, have pronouns, and it’s quintessential to support and act as an ally and be there for the UCR student body,” she stated.

The meeting adjourned at 8:37 p.m.


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