ASUCR Update: Senators approve ASPB’s 82 percent stipend increase

Carina Glasser/HIGHLANDER
Carina Glasser/HIGHLANDER

ASUCR held its weekly Senate meeting on Nov. 8 following Tuesday night’s decisive election results. At the forefront of discussion was the successful passage of Proposition 30 and collaborative efforts for voter registration. During the Legislative Review Committee (LRC) report, ASPB sought passage of various constitutional alterations and a stipend increase, amounting to 82 percent dating back to the 2012 Spring quarter.

“The one thing that really stood out that all of us that have been concerned about the future of education in California is that it was the student vote that made the difference,” said Vice Chancellor Jim Sandoval during the public forum period.

Working closely with University of California Student Association (UCSA), the California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG) and the Student Organized Voter Access Committee (SOVAC), ASUCR worked effortlessly to register both students and citizens in the surrounding RiversidSe community.

According to President Liam Dow, UCSA managed to register a total of 51,846 student voters, while UCR registered a total of 5,567 voters—both of which shattered past records. “This is surely a coalition of students that made a difference in expanding the political voice of students across the state,” stated Dow, who expressed his gratitude for the voter outreach efforts of all organizations.

Later in the meeting, Vice President Pro Tempore Sai Patadia delivered a LRC report, which included alterations to ASPB’s constitution and stipend levels. Submitted in the summer, ASPB’s proposal included a request for an 82 percent stipend increase, which successfully went through due process within the LRC and finance committee.

“Any changes to the ASPB constitution must have been approved by ASUCR, so we pretty much just verified that and then we added…section seven from chapter seven of the [ASUCR] bylaws,” stated Senator Patadia, who explained that stipend levels are included in ASUCR’s own bylaws. ASPB’s constitutional updates were unanimously approved by ASUCR.

Due to the restrictions on stipend bylaws, a two-thirds senate vote was successfully obtained, which designated the ASPB stipend increase as a “special circumstance.” Through a closed ballot vote, senators passed the ASPB proposal by 11-2, which permits an 82 percent stipend increase for all ASPB director positions.

“There’s a section in the stipend that says you’re not allowed to have a stipend increase within three years,” Senator Said Patadia later explained, “They had a temporary stipend increase over summer. But this was a special circumstance because they didn’t have one for ten years before that. So they decided that in this circumstance, with all these increases and inflation, and factoring everything in, they wanted to have an increase.”

Highlights
1. Senators are reaching out to grocers such as Target to see whether or not they would be willing to contribute snack donations—this is part of an ongoing project to distribute snack packs to students during final weeks.
2. Along with Senator Ahlam Jadallah, Senator Spencer Castrellon has officially declared efforts to establish on-campus storage units for organizations at UCR.
3. During the Ex-Officio Reports, ASPB, the LGBT and the Raza Assembly talked about upcoming service projects such as: fundraisers, canned food drives and performance events.
4. The “Scotty into Space” project was presented by Senator Chris Salvador. Along with student engineers at UCR, ASUCR will be working on launching a weather balloon with a video camera into space.
5. Senators Chris Salvador and Brian Leung have been working on the Food Trucks on Campus initiative. Surveys will be sent out to students asking them for their thoughts on the foods trucks on campus and to acquire quantitative data from the overall campus.
6. Senators Ian Cavasos and Chris Leung have been working on creating a diversity committee and meeting with members of Costo Hall to create a multicultural group of campus leaders to increase cultural diversity awareness at UCR.
7. ASUCR members are working on a proposal with TAPS to bring trolleys back to campus.
8. Vice President Pro Tempore Sai Patadia focused on an initiative to make supplemental instruction (SI) sessions more accessible to students. Patadia has met with SI coordinators and is searching for various locations across campus to hold additional sessions.
9. Senator Ben Pengson is working on an initiative called Cubbies for Commuters. The purpose is to set up lockers for commuting students on campus so that they can have a place to store their items during long school days.
10. Senator Spencer Castrellon discussed his work with the Tobacco-Free Non-Smoking Implementation Committee. The senator and the committee discussed a budget proposal for the initiatives that will help students quit smoking on campus.

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