In preparations for the spring elections and Homecoming Week, senators are thrusting their support behind a series of referenda and record-breaking events.

The UCR community will once again attempt to break the Guinness world record for the most hugs by a mascot within an hour during the “Hugs & Scotty” event from noon to 1 p.m. at the Bell Tower on Feb. 27. The records for the most hugs stands at a little over 2000. A previous attempt was made in 2011, but was unsuccessful due to poor weather conditions. Scotty received just 800 hugs that day.

“Scotty the Bear represents and symbolizes our university. If we succeed collectively as a campus and set a Guinness world record, we’re letting the world know UCR has been on the rise and will continue to rise,” said Senator Chris Salvador, who is spearheading the initiative.

Jackie Jacoby, ASUCR commissioner of diversity council and second-year UCR theatre student, has formed a diversity council referendum for the spring elections. If passed, the student referendum will increase student fees by $3 per quarter. All funds will go into a shared account between student organizations in Costo Hall and ASUCR, for promoting speaker series, diversity events and the creation of the Middle Eastern Center.

Senators have passed the Racist Ragers Resolution in condemnation of a party held by the fraternity Kappa Sigma at Duke University in early February. Tagged the “racist rager,” the party consisted of students who wore stereotypical asian attire and mimicked accents.

“[We want to] let students know that we don’t condone those kinds of behavior and that it displays a negative image on our campus,” stated Senator Ian Cavasos, who is spearheading the campaign. The purpose of the resolution is to promote inclusiveness and diversity. “ASUCR is against any form of discrimination or marginalization of any group on our campus,” said Cavasos.


UCR Student Health Center Policy Analyst Tony Yang delivered a report on the UC Student Health Insurance Program (UC SHIP), which suffers from a $57.4 million deficit due to actuarial errors at the administrative level. This may lead to an increase in student premiums if the campus decides to remain in the plan.

Assistant Dean of Students Tonantzin Oseguera handed out Scotty posters to promote Homecoming week from Feb. 25 to March 1.

ASPB is celebrating Scotty’s Birthday on Feb. 26 at the Bell Tower and will feature henna artists, radio screenings and dance performances by student organizations. The Bonfire event will take place on March 1 at the UCR Amy S. Harrison Field. The first 200 students will receive a free In-n-Out burger.

In collaborations with Senator Kristina Morelos, Senator Ian Cavasos is working on a project to reach out to more undocumented students who are eligible for financial assistance through Assembly Bill 540.

Senator Cavasos has also started a food policy committee which will show student organizations the proper procedures for selling food for an event.

Senator Chris Salvador is establishing a KUCR referendum to increase funding to the campus radio station.

Salvador also reported on his spring project called Scotty in Space, where senators planned on launching a weather balloon with a video camera into space with the assistance of UCR student engineers. The project may be postponed during to poor weather conditions and lack of funding.

Senator Sai Patadia has written a “letter of purpose” to represent the voices of CNAS students in the quest for a video podcast during supplementary instruction sessions.

With the theme of “Celebrating Awesome,” National Engineering Week will include interactive programs where BCOE students will showcase various projects at the Bell Tower.

Senator Megan Crail became a member of the UCR Task Force for Campus Safety. The organization was established by Chancellor Jane Conoley in response to ongoing criminal activity on campus.

Senators will pass out snack packs during finals week in continuation of the snack wagon project, which is an initiative that started last quarter.

Senators are developing a $3000 undergraduate travel grant for 2013 to 2014, which will be jointly funded by ASUCR and the Office of Undergraduate Education.

The finance and budget committee plans to close all budget allocations for new organizations in the spring quarter due to the limited time window for clubs to obtain funds. Student organizations who already have a budget with ASUCR will continue to receive funding and obtain grants.

Senators voted to extend the student referendum deadline to March 1 in order to allocate additional time for senator-led initiatives, such as the trolley system. All referenda must be turned in by 5 p.m. to the ASUCR office.