The Associated Students of UCR’s 23rd meeting of the school year took place on Wednesday, April 27, both in person and through Zoom at the ASUCR Senate Chambers. All members of the senate were present, excluding CHASS senator Christian Martinez, CNAS senator Catelin La and BCOE senator David Kirloss, who were excused. Senator Rachel Paredes arrived late.
Motions to approve the current meeting’s agenda were called for by Executive Vice President Mufida Assaf. A motion to add two letters was called for by president pro tempore Orlando Cabalo and seconded by senator Aalani Richardson. A motion to add Green Grant #49 was called for by senator Christopher Kent and seconded by senator Amy Do. Motions to approve the agenda were called for by senator Victoria Nguyen and seconded by senator Richardson.
The previous meeting’s minutes were then opened. Motions to approve the previous meeting’s minutes were called by senator Richardson and seconded by senator Vivek Patel. Both the meeting agenda and previous meeting minutes passed with a vote count of 14-0-0.
No one spoke during public comment, and new business followed. During the new business, two letters were presented by PPT Cabalo. The first letter titled “Pell and Student Debt Letter” was sent to ASUCR from the UC Student Association. If approved, it would then be distributed and would solidify ASUCR’s support for doubling the Pell Grant and pushing to have federal student loans canceled. Motion to approve the letter was first called for by senator Richardson and seconded by senator Dorothy Doronila. It passed with a vote count of 14-0-0.
The second letter titled “ASUCR Supporting Botanic Gardens Workers” was also read by PPT Cabalo. This letter pertains to the UCR Botanical Garden student workers who are trying to secure a living wage and $2 pay increase. The letter will be sent to UCR Human Resources and the Botanical Garden Administration. Motions to approve the letter were called for by senator Nguyen and seconded by senator Blanca Alba. It passed with a vote count of 14-0-0.
Executive office reports took place next. Ethnic and Gender Program Liaison Jeanine Nassar presented that she has met with some of her Ethnic and Gender Committees and asked them what events they would like to see hosted. Nassar is also working with senator Richardson and EVP Assaf to create a committee with the Ethnic and Gender Program liaison that would be open to senators and students. EVP Assaf added that ASUCR would keep Jeanine’s position and implement a committee under her.
Committee reports followed with Green Grant #49. This grant was requested by UCR Gardening Club. They are asking for $206 to give students the opportunity to grow microgreens modeled after UCLA. A motion to approve Green Grant #49 occurred first by senator Kent and was seconded by senator Richardson. The motion passed with a vote count of 13-0-0.
No one spoke during public comment, and senator reports then occurred.
Senator Tammar Akel reported that he has reached out to UCR alumni for the alumni event but has not had any responses thus far. Akel has also worked on legislation with the academic senate for registration problems and sponsored a resolution for Ramadan accommodations.
Senator Nguyen reported that she has met with her Ethnic and Gender Committees. The Underground Scholars Initiative is still trying to find a safe space on campus in Costo Hall or HUB, and Nguyen is assisting them. She is also working with UCR Dining to create a resolution regarding food waste.
Sen Christan Torres reported last that he is working with Chicano Student Programs on their Cinco de Mayo event occurring Wednesday during the nooner. Torress also introduced themselves to the LGBTQ Resource Center and asked what they wanted to see with ASUCR.
Roundtable and Announcements followed with senator Paredes announcing a food drive that will take place May 9 to 16 at two locations, the HUB front desk and Rivera front desk. The food will go to the R’Pantry.
Senator Lauren Garcia spoke about how disappointed she is with the negative conversations and hate being spread on the app Yik Yak. She advised the senate to not post hate online and to control what they say on social media.
Senator Torrres reiterated the Cinco de Mayo and Semana de la Raza nooner at the Bell Tower that will be on Wednesday, May 4.
Senator Nguyen spoke to extend her support to senator Kent and asked for more transparency from the judicial committee. The issues regarding the election results of the Vice President of Finance have caused many senators and students to question the judicial system.
The meeting was then adjourned at 7:05 p.m.