The ASUCR senate meeting that took place Wednesday, April 17, received reports on the UC Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP), funding allocations and the United States Students Association (USSA). The number of audience members was moderate, although the presence of the Armenian Student Association was noted by Academic Affairs Director Shadi Matar.

The most addressed topics concerned elections and ex-officio representatives’ reports. ASPB promoted awareness of Spring Splash, and the Student Health Advocacy Committee (SHAC) reaffirmed their stance to opt out of the UC SHIP insurance plan.

Jorgelina Marin, an undergraduate representative on SHAC said, “This would give UCR students full control over the design of the plan and the benefits they would like to see and also this would be great because if it turns out that the cost of our health care exceeds the money that was given to us UCR would not be held liable for these charges.”

Elections also proved to be a significant topic at the meeting. Senators emphasized the importance of “smooth transitions” for new candidates into the senate.

In her report, Controller Crystal Kim also noted an increase in allocated funds designated to clubs. “This year the projected budget allocated is $150,000 more than any in the past.” President Liam Dow stated, “It’s a really nice thing to see the fees that students pay are going back to the students.”

Two individuals spoke during the public forum and comment period. One was representative from the USSA, Chirag Bhakta, who appealed for the senate’s support of lowering all student interest rates to 3.4 percent permanently. To this, the senators showed great interest; all motioned to extend the speakers time to learn more about it.

The second presenter, Armenian Student Association representative Sabouh Tonyeumijan, delivered an emotional speech designed to sway senators to allow UCR to officially recognize the Armenian genocide of 1915. Senators decided that they would research that request with other populations on campus before they would decide to make any moves on the matter.