Hundreds of students rally in support of guests at UCR’s 2021 commencement ceremonies

All ASCUCR Commencement – Archive /The Highlander

ASUCR held its sixth meeting of the quarter on Wednesday, April 28 where they discussed legislation related to UCR’s admission requirements, student advocacy for an in-person commencement and period product availability. 

Senate interns Ridwan Syed, David Kiroloss and Joshua Moran authored senate resolution SR-S21-003 Proposition to Make Highlander Orientation More Accessible. Kiroloss explained that the resolution was inspired after an experience Syed had before attending UCR. UCR admission requirements state that in order to be admitted as a freshman or transfer student, the individual must attend one full session of Highlander Orientation. Being that he was in India at the time, Syed had to fly to Riverside with his family in order to be able to attend his Highlander Orientation session, a trip that cost him thousands of dollars.

The resolution states that with the rising price of tuition, housing, textbooks and food across the UC system and the rising cost to attend college nationwide, an in-person Highlander Orientation should not be mandatory. The resolution states that an in-person orientation is very cost-inefficient for out-of-state students, international students, low-income students, students with disabilities, student-parents and students from other nontraditional backgrounds. The resolution was passed with a vote of 14-0-0.

Next, the ASUCR Student Voice Committee amended the Student Voice Chapter bylaw in the ASUCR constitution. The amendment made slight adjustments to the legislation and clarified the wording along with typos. Additionally, the amendment clarifies the tasks and duties of the committee. The amendments in SB-S21-004 were approved unanimously with a vote of 14-0-0.

SR-S21-007 PAD Resolution was authored by former ASUCR President Semi Cole and members of PERIOD.@UCR, an organization that celebrates and promotes menstrual hygiene through education service and advocacy. The resolution demands that campus administration provide menstrual products in female and all-gender restrooms in facilities throughout campus, including residential halls, campus apartments and libraries in order to best support student success — and to provide them free of cost. During the meeting, members of PERIOD.@UCR stated that this legislation is especially important as the campus transitions back to in-person classes. SR-S21-007 was approved with a vote of 14-0-0. 

SR-S21-008 was authored by CHASS Senator Juan Morales, Senate Intern Angelina Chavez and CHASS Senator Alyssa Marchan, and it outlines students’ support for an in-person commencement with guests attendees. Per UCR’s commencement update, graduates will have the opportunity to walk across a stage in their graduation regalia while the ceremony is broadcast live, but no guests will be allowed at the ceremony. Various campuses across the UC system, including UC Davis, UC San Diego and UC Irvine have announced their plans to host limited scale, in-person commencement ceremonies with the presence of two guests. Hundreds of students signed on in solidarity with the resolution, and it passed through the senate unanimously with a vote of 14-0-0. 

“This resolution really resonates with a lot of our students who, for many different reasons, would love to have their family members present,” stated Morales.

ASUCR representatives will continue to advocate for the attendance of guests at UCR commencement ceremonies and will work with the Commencement Task Force to ensure that student voices are being heard.

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