Kelley Manzo / The Highlander

The fifth Associated Students of UCR (ASUCR) Senate meeting took place on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023. All senators were present, excluding Senators Alex Lu, Kevin Nguyen, Leila Haider and Naia Pizzaro. The meeting began with a land acknowledgment to the local indigenous tribes who had lived on the land before and was called to order at 7:03 p.m.

The first thing covered on the agenda was approving the previous meeting minutes for Senate Meeting Minutes #1, Senate Meeting Minutes #2, Senate Meeting Minutes #3, and Senate Meeting Minutes #4. All four meeting minutes were approved by the Senate 14-0-0.

First on the Public Forum was Vice President of External Affairs Angel Renteria. He commended student life for their advocacy efforts. Afterward, he presented a missing flier that his office had made when Chancellor Wilcox had not shown up for the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) sit-in and encouraged everyone in the room to hold the administration accountable. He ends by telling everyone that if they are passionate about something, to get involved and organized.

Next on the podium was Rumzi Asad Halim, treasurer for UCR’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). He came to the podium hoping to get a statement update from ASUCR regarding Palestine. Executive Vice President Victoria Nguyen responded that the members working on the statement were not present at the meeting but will ensure that someone from ASUCR will reach out to him or his organization to provide updates.

During Ex-Officio Reports, the Senate reviewed ECAB Meeting Minutes #2. A motion to approve the minutes was made by Senator Grace Su and seconded by President Pro Tempore Abby Choy and was approved 13-0-0.

For New Business, ASUCR delivered their Charles Young Statement. Charles Young was the first ASUCR student body president. He helped establish many traditions during his time at UCR, including popular things like the Big C and the term Highlanders. A motion to adopt the statement was made by Senator Ray Khan and seconded by Senator Anjana Narasimhan and was passed 13-0-0.

Next on the agenda was Committee Reports, which began with SR-F23-004 Resolution to Support the Use of Increased Funding for UCR’s Collegiate Recovery Services. PPT Choy explained that the resolution would be used to support funding for collegiate recovery services and would act as a call to action for the university to support the program. VPEA Renteria elaborated that the program is for students suffering from substance abuse and that UCR does not have a program established for it at the moment. This would be an individual effort to improve sustained wellness and would promote a low-barrier approach and confidentiality to ease stress and stigma surrounding substance abuse. A motion to approve the Senate Resolution was made by Senator Khan and seconded by PPT Choy and passed 13-0-0.

The next bill was SB-F23-009 Updating External Position Titles on Chapter 8, which, as PPT Choy explained, would update the titles and budgets in external positions to reflect changes that have been made. A motion to approve the Senate Bill was made by Senator Narasimhan and seconded by Senator Philson Ho and passed 13-0-0.

SB-F23-005 Amendments to Student Voice Committee Bylaws was a change to the bylaws that was made to include an existing committee to the Office of the President and officialize its existence. Senator Juan Campos, chair of the committee, explained that the Student Voice Committee has two subgroups, Outreach and Survey, who go to connect with the student body, organize data and pass the message on to the respective office in ASUCR so that student voices are being heard. A motion to approve the Senate Bill was made by Senator Khan, seconded by Senator Su and passed 13-0-1.

SB-F23-008 Amending Chapter V: Vice President of Finance and Committee Budget Exemptions, as explained by PPT Choy, is an amendment to the bylaws for the Vice President of Finance that allows for clubs and organizations to surpass their limit and spend more for competitions and similar events. Senator Kaden Ho elaborated that the purpose is to make things more flexible and open to make it easier for clubs and organizations to receive exemption approvals for financial reasons. A motion to approve the Senate Bill was made by Senator Khan and seconded by Senator Amariah Peedikayil.

The final item from the Legislative Review Committee was SR-F23-003 Student Protection from Political Harassment. This resolution was a call of action to the university to stand up for its students. Vice President of Internal Affairs Ruhi Barman elaborated that it called for Student Conduct and Academic Integrity Programs and Title IX to ensure that students are being safe and protected on campus. A motion to approve the Senate Resolution was made by Senator Pizzaro and seconded by Senator Rachit Shah and passed 14-0-0.

Next on the agenda was the review and approval of Finance Meeting Minutes #4. The meeting minutes were presented by Senator K. Ho. During this time, PPT expressed their concern as to why the majority of the committee had abstained from voting, but despite that, the Future Pills Exemption had passed. Senator K. Ho stated that a lot of people were present on Zoom and were not completely sure and were new to their positions. PPT Choy then asked why it says abstained if the members were unsure and Senator K. Ho responded that he cannot speak on their behalf. PPT Choy asked again whether or not they discussed this during the meeting. Senator Su then asked for an explanation on the Future Pills Club, to which it was responded by Senator K. Ho that it was a pre-pharmacy club and that they had asked for an exemption to their budget for transportation for traveling to certain events. A motion to approve the minutes was not made, but a motion to approve line item A (Org Allocations) passed 14-0-0 and line item B (Future Pills Exemption) was tabled 14-0-0.

Next on the agenda was to review and approve Green Grants. Green Grant #4 Loan a Lock, which included Green Grant #4 Loan a Lock Budget, was presented by Senator Narasimhan, who explained that it is a service to provide free rental bike locks to make bringing bikes to campus more accessible. A motion to approve the grant was made by Senator Pizzaro and seconded by Senator Peedikayil and approved 14-0-0.

Green Grant #5 GCAP Shuttling Service included Green Grant #5 GCAP Shuttling Service Budget. It was presented by Senator Su, who explained that every year Green Campus Action Plan (GCAP) provides shuttling to Ontario International Airport around Dec. to help reduce the overall carbon footprint. Senator Viraj Ala asked about a section on the grant entitled “other shuttling fees” for “$2000” to figure out what would happen to the allotted money if it were not used. EVP Nguyen responded that whatever is not used would be sent back to GCAP for future Green Grants. A motion to approve the Green Grant was made by Senator Narasimhan and seconded by Senator P. Ho and passed 14-0-0.

No one went to the podium for Public Comment.

During Senator Reports, Senator Narasimhan reported that she sent an email to the Senate table to see if anyone had an interest in working during the Global Fair, which will most likely be at the end of the winter quarter or spring, and to fill out the form for their availability. She also stated that Bourns College of Engineering is planning on having its Town Hall at 4:00 p.m. and will have the dean, assistant dean and other representatives from BCOE present. EVP Nguyen encouraged her to reach out to the International Student Director as well for the Global Fair.

Senator Ala reported that he had worked on the Afghanistan and Charles Young statements that ASUCR had adopted and that he had also worked with Senator Khan on the Breast Cancer Awareness event.

Nothing was stated during the Roundtable and Announcements.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:51 p.m.