Mamata Elangovan / The Highlander

The sixth Associated Students of UCR (ASUCR) Senate meeting took place on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023. All senators were present, excluding Senators Teesha Sreeram, Alex Lu, Rayhan Khan, Kevin Nguyen, Anjana Narasimhan and Naia Pizzaro, who were excused. The meeting began with a land acknowledgment to the local indigenous tribes who lived on the land before and was called to order at 7:04 p.m.

The first item covered on the agenda was approving the previous meeting minutes for Senate Meeting Minutes #5. The meeting minutes were approved 12-0-0.

Public Forum began with the Vice President of External Affairs Angel Renteria on the podium. He congratulated Senator Sreeram for going as a student advocate for the University of California Student Association (UCSA) conference and voicing out the issues that UC students are facing.

Next, a Vice President Candidate for the 2024 Presidential Elections came to the podium. He explained that he had come to ASUCR and to the board of supervisors earlier to present some information that he had found regarding corruption in the music and media industry. He explained that if he were to become VP, he would ensure that this would not happen and that he would put a stop to it.

Last on Public Forum was Mata Elangovan, the Lead News Editor at the Highlander. She stated that the meeting minutes that were being approved were approved with errors to the names of individuals as well as missing information about their affiliations which is important for the context of the meeting. She noted the ASUCR page was not updated with those elected during special elections and missing contact information for various individuals and missing meeting minutes for the meetings approved the week prior. She explained that this is an issue for those who are unable to attend ASUCR meetings and read the minutes to catch up on what has occurred and for those seeking to contact their representatives and are unable to find their contact information. Executive Vice President Victoria Nguyen responded that the meeting minutes are sent beforehand to the Highlander for their activities and that the Senate approves the meeting minutes the week after the meeting. News Editor Elangovan responded that this was not the issue that was brought up and that the issue was students are unable to read the meeting minutes which have incomplete information and that the minutes are not available on the website. EVP Nguyen responded that updating the website is not ASUCR’s responsibility but that of Pro Staff.

Nothing was reported during Ex-Officio Reports.

Nothing was reported during New Business.

During Committee Reports, Green Campus Action Plan (GCAP) proposed a new grant. Green Grant #6 Food Waste Tracking and Green Grant #6: Food Waste Tracking Budget, as Senator Grace Su explained, would implement a food-based tracking system at the Glasgow and Lothian Dining Halls as there is no way to track how much food waste is being produced daily. The current system makes it difficult to track how much food waste is generated as unwanted food goes on a conveyor belt and goes to the back. The solution is to implement a food waste tracking system and add a scale and trashcan to dump waste to, the number on the scale would then be noted down by student workers by scanning a QR code reporting how much food waste there was. President Pro Tempore Abby Choy asked if there were plans for composting. Senator Su responded that as for now, all the food waste goes to the R’Garden and that they compost it. A motion to approve the Green Grant was made by PPT Choy and seconded by Senator Crystal Toral and passed 12-0-0.

During Public Comment, VPEA Renteria asked News Editor Elangovan if the statements said during Public Forum were said in reference to last week’s meeting where a student came to the podium and had their full name and affiliation reported on without them wanting it to be reported, as it made them feel unsafe. News Editor Elangovan responded that she only reports on what is stated during the meeting and that the individual mentioned had introduced themself by name and affiliation and that is something that has to be reported. VPEA Renteria then asked if it would be helpful if ASUCR had a disclaimer for individuals going up to the podium that they do not have to give their name for any reason. News Editor Elangovan responded that it would be beneficial.

During Senator Reports, Senator Amariah Peedikayil reported she has been working with the Highlander Action Committee and worked on creating posters for the protests for the Homeland Security and CIA presence event. She also stated that there is a Starbucks Boycott on Nov. 16, where they are going to be boycotting because Starbucks sued their workers union for standing in solidarity with Palestinians, and that the event is happening in Glen Mor from 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Senator Crystal Toral reported that she has been working on the Legislative Review Committee as well as the Community Service Committee. There will be a canned food drive going on until week 8 and that the club who donates the most cans will receive a reward and there will also be a Town Hall on Nov. 16 from 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

During Roundtable and Announcements, PPT Choy announced to the Senate that LRC Meetings are happening this week and to submit legislation.

VPEA Renteria announced that like Senator Peedikayil said, Red Cup Day is happening at Glen Mor and that next Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023, there will be a banking and email banking event to support Armenian and Palestinian students.

EVP Nguyen announced that there will be no Senate Meeting the next week as they are observing the mini fall break and that she hoped that everyone will have a restful and enjoyable break.

The meeting adjourned at 7:26 p.m.

Disclaimer: The Highlander Newspaper did not receive Meeting Minutes #6 from ASUCR to fact check information before publication this week. If there is any information missing, it will be amended after those minutes are received.