The fourth ASUCR senate meeting was called to order on Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 6:16 p.m. with five members of the senate present at the time. Quorum was met at 6:40 p.m.
Once quorum was met, the senate proceeded to discuss the appointment of Sergio Robles as community director in the office of external affairs. Robles was approved in a closed ballot vote of 10-0-0.
Next, Interim Acting President Arturo Gomez introduced senate resolution W17-011 which he authored in response to the UC Regents’ approval of a tuition increase by 2.5 percent for California residents for the 2017-18 school year. The resolution also cited several ethical violations and corporate interests that he found with eight of the 16 regents that voted to approve the tuition increase. The resolution called for the regents that voted for the increase to “file a motion to reconsider the vote,” for the regents to act in accordance to section 21.1 of the Regents Policy, the restructuring of the regents in order to remove any possible conflict of interest and for the regents “to not only reduce the cost of education, but to also work towards a path to a tuition-free UC.”
“I believe that this resolution makes a solid statement against these hikes and really sends a message to the Board of Regents that we are not going to tolerate having the cost of our education go up,” Gomez explained.
While there was unanimous approval for the resolution as a whole, several senators wanted to further discuss a resolve that called for the regents to be given a livable stipend to give them an incentive to remove corporate ties.
CNAS Senator Carisha Moore stated, “They shouldn’t have an incentive to be a regent. They should just want to be a regent and want to work for the students and make the student experience as best as possible. Not have it in the back of their mind that they get paid to do this.”
Discussion of this resolve was temporarily tabled so that Executive Vice President Wen-Yu Chou could read the resolution in its entirety. After Chou finished reading the resolution, the senate voted to pass the resolution in a 11-0-0 vote making ASUCR the first UC system student government to pass a resolution of no confidence in regard to the regents vote on Jan. 25 and 26.
Once the resolution was passed, debate continued over subsection D, which proposed to give the regents a livable stipend as incentive to remove corporate ties
“To not provide regents with a livable stipend would mean that they would have a lot of wiggle room to do whatever they would please in regard to making decisions that may personally benefit them,” Gomez stated.
Moore later countered, “Our tuition is already increasing. I don’t want it to increase any more by allowing a stipend (…) I don’t want the regents to be like, ‘Oh look! UCR passed this resolution’ and they read the entire thing but all that they get is that they think that we should get a stipend.”
The resolve was ultimately approved to be included in the resolution in a 8-3-0 vote.
The other piece of legislation on the agenda was senate bill W17-029, which created the executive cabinet secretary position in order to help “further the separation between the Executive Branch and the Legislative Branch.” The bill passed 11-0-0. This new position will be put through a trial run first in order to check the efficiency and effectiveness of the new position.
The next ASUCR senate meeting will take place on Wednesday, March 1 in the senate chambers, on the second floor of the HUB, beginning at 6:10 p.m.
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the executive cabinet parliamentarian position was created. The Highlander was notified of the error and the proper correction has since been made.