The Associated Students of UCR’s fifth meeting was called to order on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021 in the ASUCR Senate Chamber. All senators were present, excluding senators La and Alba. Motions to approve the current meeting’s agenda were called for by Executive Vice President Mufida Assaf and saw the addition of a STEM high school presentation under New Business and Finance Hearing Minutes No. 9 to Committee Reports. Senate Resolution SR-F21-011 was also removed from the agenda for it was tabled during the latest Legislative Review Committee meeting. Motions to open and approve the previous week’s meeting minutes also took place.
A public forum then began with an introduction from former Aram Ayra, a UCR alumni from the class of 2018 and former ASUCR president. As part of his presentation, Ayra discussed UCR’s Student Resource Center and how food preparation is no longer continuing as a result of the chef being on maternity leave. Ayra wants a program to get Riverside involved in meal preps and resources and hopes to obtain a sponsorship from a student organization like ASUCR.
New business was then addressed to the senate and saw a return of Ayra to the stand, along with Rich Davis of the University Neighborhood Association. Their presentation concerned the building of the STEM high school and the opposition that was present by not only Ayra and Davis’s respective organizations, but also the greater community of UCR. Ayra cited how the school, proposed for building in 2015, will affect UCR students in a variety of ways from giving access to the same resources without paying tuition to issues with the location that may impact traffic, parking and general safety of students. Three proposed locations were discussed before it was settled upon using six acres of land on the cross of Blaine and Canyon Crest. The school has already seen opposition from the UCR and the Riverside community from organizations including ASUCR and Riversiders for School Equity.
The senators then asked Ayra and Davis a series of questions, many of which clarified details of the project. CHASS senator Victoria Nguyen began by asking about why this issue does not have more awareness, and Ayra responded by explaining that the issue had subsided overtime and that the UC is rather excited to push the legacy project. Through CNAS senator Rachel Paredes’ question, Ayra was able to explain how one can find important documents and statistics related to the project online, primarily through the Riverside Unified School District website. Senator Angelina Chavez also inquired about the timeline of the project and Ayra clarified that the school wants to open in 2024 though this date may be rather ambitious. In addition, she also asked what Ayra and Davis wanted from ASUCR to bring more awareness to the project, and they hope to work with the Associated Students and reach out to the dean or chancellor.
Following this lengthy presentation, ASUCR President William Wang then took the floor and introduced four candidates for Judicial Nominations, a continuation from last week’s meeting after the candidates were tabled. Each candidate was instructed to come to the stand individually and deliver their presentations for three minutes, after which questioning by the senators would take place for five minutes. Senators, however, have the option to motion to extend each candidate’s time, with approval from the whole senate.
A closed session was then held amongst the senators, allowing for the galley to have a recess. Once the session was over, the senate then voted to approve Fadi Zaki, Audrey Tang and Lakshya Gutti for the judicial council with a vote count of 14 each.
Following the judicial nominations, a special election was held for the School of Education senator. Of the three candidates, two were present at the meeting and presented. The third candidate for SOE senator, Atom Jesus Mong was not present.
An open session was held to elect one of the two present candidates for the senate position. While the senators appreciated the passion and commitment of both candidates, the senate ultimately chose Dorothy Leigh Bercilla Doronila with a 10-4 vote, citing her vast experiences and how Xochilt Angelica Salgado, with her goals, would be more fitting for the role of Transfer/Non-traditional Director.
Committee reports then commenced with a motion passed to open and review Finance Hearing Minutes No. 8 for the finance meeting which took place on Oct. 21, 2021. A total of $16,956 were allocated to a variety of programs and clubs on campus, such as $3,500 for UCR’s Society of Women Engineers and $3,500 for the Chinese Student Association. Another motion was passed to open and review Finance Hearing Minutes No. 9 for the finance meeting which took place on Oct. 27, 2021, where a total of $8,392 were allocated. Both meeting minutes were approved with a vote of 14-0-0.
Four pieces of legislation were subsequently reviewed following their approval from the Legislative Review Committee. Constitutional Amendment CA-F21-001 amends Article IX of the ASUCR constitution and would remove the requirement for the Senate to approve all university-wide committee members. A motion to approve CA-F21-001 was called by senator Nguyen and seconded by senator Christian Martinez, but this motion did not pass with a vote of 7-0-6.
Senate Resolution SR-F21-008 was then on docket and resolved for ASUCR to stand in solidarity with the UC-AFT act. The Senate motioned to approve the resolution and it passed with a vote count of 13-0-0. Next on the agenda was Senate Resolution SR-F21-009 which resolved to Publish and Promote Data Report from In-Person Transition Survey. Written primarily by BCOE senator David Kiroloss, the resolution will have ASUCR by Week 9 of spring quarter conduct a survey regarding the in-person transition, especially with the upcoming winter quarter. The resolution was approved with a vote of 12-0-1. Finally, Senate resolution SR-F21-010 UC Riverside Fair Trade & Labor Resolution called for UCR to become a fair trade campus and to be more accessible. More fair trade products should be available that were sourced ethically. This resolution was approved through a motion passed with a vote count of 13-0-0.
The meeting concluded with multiple senator reports from senators Garcia, Do, Vu and Usmani. Final announcements included senator Chavez announcing that she is writing a resolution to allocate funds for the Campus Safety Task Force, senator Kiroloss advocating for Mental Health Awareness Week, SPP senator Arleth Flores-Aparicio reporting on how the lack of notifications for COVID-19 cases on campus needs to be addressed and CHASS senator and President Pro-Tempore Orlando Cabalo commemorating Oct. 25 as the day which commemorates Filipino and Mexican farmworkers. The meeting was adjourned at 9:40 p.m.