ASUCR highlights limited food options for commuters and Muslim students

The third ASUCR senate meeting of the quarter promptly began at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 19.

Following ex-officio reports, the Finance committee’s allocation of $7,678 overall to campus student organizations was approved 16-0-0. The organizations who received these fundings included, but were not limited to the Badminton Club, Film Society and Women’s Water Polo.

During senate reports, CNAS Senator Priyanka Garg shared her plans to work with Transportation and Parking Services on an initiative that would allow students with a Gold parking permit to park in the Glen Mor parking lots. Garg said this idea arose after students expressed frustrations with the limited parking available on campus.

Following Garg, CHASS Senator Semere Mengistu shared African Student Programs’ fundraising campaign to visit students at Martin Luther King High School in Riverside and seek out ways to increase graduation rates amongst the African-American student population. CHASS Senator Solomon Demeku-Ousman drafted details for a project in regards to distributing umbrellas around campus on rainy days.

A key part of Wednesday’s meeting was the discussion held on the limited food options available in the HUB. CHASS Senator Mariam Alkhalili shared that many of the dining restaurants in the HUB have removed their halal meat options, leaving Muslim students frustrated and with sparse options on campus. Alkhalili also shared that she and other students have consulted David Henry, executive director of UCR Dining, Hospitality and Retail Services, about the removal of halal chicken in the HUB restaurants such as La Fiamma and Panda Express and their concerns for future restaurants’ approach to halal meat such as the upcoming opening of The Habit in what was Latitude 55.

According to Alkhalili, the new restaurant’s management has stated that they have closed a deal with a source which will allow them to use halal chicken in all of the meals prepared at the new restaurants. For this reason, Henry encourages everyone to wait and allow the restaurants to settle before pressing on this change. In addition, La Fiamma will now receive halal chicken from The Barn to be used in their meals.

CHASS senator Roy Tongilava shared his proposal to implement a dining plan for commuter students. It was revealed during the meeting that it was dismissed by executive director David Henry due to his concern of commuters crowding the dining halls. Per Tongilava, Henry planned to prioritize first-year students for the dining halls and views the HUB as designed to prioritize other students’ dining needs.

The meeting adjourned at 7:20 p.m. The next ASUCR meeting will be held next Wednesday, October 25 at 6:30 p.m. in the senate chambers (HUB 221). This meeting will be the second state of the association meeting of the quarter.

 

Correction (10/25/17, 9:00 a.m.): A previous version of this article suggested that CHASS Senator Marco Ornelas met with David Henry to discuss a dining plan for commuter students. We have since learned that was senator Roy Tongliava. The correction has been made above.

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