ASUCR calls for online classes in wake of student weapon arrest
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ASUCR calls for online classes in wake of student weapon arrest

ASUCR / The Archive

In a meeting held over Zoom last Wednesday, the Associated Students of University of California, Riverside (ASUCR) called for campus administrators to take stronger action to “keep student safety at the forefront,” and hold classes online as student concerns over safety followed the announcement by campus authorities that a student had been found in possession of an assault rifle in campus housing. 

In a statement passed unanimously at the 22nd Senate meeting of the year, ASUCR demanded that “all classes be held online until the student who possessed an assault rifle is detained or by other means deemed to no longer be able to pose a threat to the UC Riverside student body.” Additionally, ASUCR criticized the communication from the University, noting that despite the search warrant being executed on May 3, the University notified the campus community on the fifth. The statement alleged that “This is grounds to show the negligence of UC Police Department (UCPD) when it comes to student safety, as we should have been immediately notified of any threat to our safety and well-being.”

The email released by the University on May 5 stated that a student had been placed on interim suspension after a search warrant executed in the North District apartments found an assault rifle registered to the student, as well as high-capacity magazines and “hand-drawn images in a journal depicting a violent act.” Later communication from the University disclosed that the student was arrested on May 6. Riverside Sheriff’s office records have shown that the student was released on bail for $10,000. For more information on the arrest and investigation, read “Court documents paint clearer picture of campus gun arrest” by Mata Elangovan and Emyr Ortiz.

The statement from ASUCR raised concerns about student safety given current security measures on campus, stating, “The campus is open to the public so there is no way to guarantee the student will not come back which causes severe concerns for all students.”

The statement and the concerns within were addressed to Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox, Campus Administrators, UCPD, Deans, Vice Chancellor of Health, Well-being & Safety Denise Woods, and the Health, Well-being & Safety Department.

The statement passed 15-0-0. In addition to being passed by the Senate, the statement was signed by ASUCR President Ankita Ahluwalia, Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Ahman Greene and the entire Judicial council. 

With this action, ASUCR marked a continuation of the stance they have taken since the administration first informed the campus community of the incident. The ASUCR Executive Vice President (EVP) Instagram posted that, as early as May 6, ASUCR Senators had been emailing “deans, administrators, the academic senate, and other departments and personnels to demand that classes be held over zoom,” and urged students to do the same. As of Sunday, May 12, the post had been liked by over 2,400 users. Additionally, ASUCR released an email template for students to urge their professors to hold classes online. 

ASUCR also faced internal concerns during last week’s meeting, as a judicial report was presented to the senate laying out impeachment charges against College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS) Senator Alex Lu. The charges, initiated by EVP Victoria Nguyen in a judicial complaint, levied multiple accusations of senatorial offenses. 

The report laid out claims of lack of participation in senate meetings, town halls and committees from Senator Lu, as well as failing to fulfill requirements set by the EVP and a continuous lack of communication. All of these charges corresponded to violations of responsibilities laid out in the ASUCR Constitution and bylaws.

Since Senator Lu resigned the day before his impeachment hearing, these charges did not lead to any  proceedings. EVP Nguyen presented the judicial report, and no further comment was given by other ASUCR officials.

In a vote of 15-0-0, the senate approved adding a new position for a School of Business (SOB) senator. This proposal was not included on the publicly released meeting agenda, but was on the agenda approved during the meeting. EVP Nguyen explained that such a position was required in the ASUCR Constitution which states, “If a new college is established on campus, ASUCR shall add one senator position to represent that college the following year. The number of senators shall not exceed 20.” With the new SOB position, the total number of senators stands at 19. 

Despite the UCR School of Business having been established in 1970 as the Graduate School of Administration, undergraduates within the school were represented by CHASS Senators due to there being “no four year undergraduate degree,” in the SOB, according to EVP Nguyen. 

EVP Nguyen noted that Senator Sreeram “spearheaded” the new senator initiative, claiming that the SOB “did add a four year business major.”

Afterwards, State of the Association Reports were delivered, in which ASUCR Executive Cabinet members gave updates on what their offices had accomplished and were planning in the future. 

The meeting was adjourned at 8:40 p.m.

 

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