ASUCR approves bill to stand in solidarity with the School of Public Policy

On Wednesday, Nov. 18, ASUCR held their eighth meeting of the quarter where the senate passed four pieces of legislation surrounding the fate of UCR’s School of Public Policy (SPP), the allocation of certain budgets and amendments to the ASUCR constitution. 

Laura Anaya-Morga /The Highlander

SR-F20-005 Standing in Solidarity with the School of Public Policy was aimed to push back against the Budget Advisory Committee’s (BAC) recent recommendation to eliminate the SPP in order to offset the steep budget cuts as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The senate resolution highlighted the accomplishments of the SPP, including its commitment to ensuring their students’ success through internship and peer academic advisor programs. SR-F20-005 also addressed the four research centers provided under the SPP: The Blum Initiative, the Center for Social Innovation, the Inland Center for Sustainable Development and the Robert Presley Center of Crime and Justice Studies whose purpose is to “conduct renowned research” and “have had successful achievements both in the Inland Empire and in the state of California,” as stated in the resolution. SR-F20-005 passed with a vote of 18-0-0 and ASUCR will be sending it to Budget Advisory Committee Co-Chairs, Thomas Smith and Gerry Bomotti. They hope to showcase their dissatisfaction with the recommendation, and they will demand an in-depth budget proposal and statement regarding the process in which the SPP was chosen as a primary contender of elimination relative to other programs on campus.

The next senate bill, SB-F20-008 Amendments to Orders of Business and Regulations for the Meetings of the Student Senate, proposed to change the time limit for individuals to speak during public forum and public comment from three minutes to five minutes, stating that the three-minute is exclusionary to students with disabilities. “At ASUCR meetings, there are no interpreters, there are no live transcription devices used to transcribe these meetings … which may be inaccessible to students who are hearing divergent or cannot process information very quickly … [this legislation] proves to be much more accessible,” stated Preeti Juturu, primary author of the bill and chief of staff of Campus Internal Affairs. The motion was passed with a vote of 18-0-0.

Up next, SB-F20-009 Adding Budget to Chapter XLVII Student Voice, was proposed to assign the Student Voice Committee’s budget from the ASUCR president’s budget to their own independent budget in order to have direct autonomy over their funds. The bill passed unanimously with a vote of 18-0-0.

Finally, SB-F20-011 Chapter LV: ASUCR Social Media Guidelines enacted certain guidelines that shall be added to the ASUCR bylaws. The new bylaw was created over the summer after social media became the main source of communication for many organizations on-campus due to the campus closure and remote learning, ASUCR included. The chapter includes guidelines on the steps needed to create a new ASUCR affiliated social media account and who gets access to the ASUCR social media accounts. The motion was passed with a vote of 18-0-0. 

Towards the end of the meeting, CHASS Senator Juan Morales was chosen as the senator of the month for October. He was chosen for his dedication to UCR and his ability to connect with fellow students, his professionalism and his outreach to his fellow ASUCR constituents according to ASUCR Executive Vice President Natalie Herrera. 

The meeting was adjourned at 7:26 p.m.

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