By Athena Acevedo
The American River College Associated Student Body Senate met Sept. 4 for the second meeting of the semester. The new director of activities, Amaan Shafia, was sworn in and updates on various projects the senate introduced this summer were addressed.
The Senate approved Bill SB F20-01 during its first meeting of the semester which was introduced by Student Senate president Naomi Dasari. The bill allowed for the creation of an independently-operated ASB website that will hold meeting agendas, recordings of meetings and contact information for both the Student Senate and Clubs and Events Board (CAEB).
“When I first joined the Student Senate we couldn’t really find what the Student Senate had voted on and what resolutions or bills they passed,” ASB president Naomi Dasari said.
Dasari said that because the ASB webpage on the official ARC website had yet to be updated, that was a motivator for her to create the bill so the community will have full access to ASB information.
“With this website, we have a record of everything that the Student Senate has been doing,” Dasari said. “It’s not just an internal record that we know of, but students can track what we’re doing.”
The Senate also introduced a joint newsletter with CAEB to inform students and faculty about ASB activities and bills that the community could benefit from, according to Dasari.
“This newsletter is a really good opportunity for us to communicate with students and them to help keep us accountable for what we’re doing,” Dasari said. “It lets us know what students like and what they want to see more of.”
The Student Senate has created two new committees that are chaired by the Director of Legislative Affairs Jacob Couch, according to the ASB website.
The Basic Needs Committee is a temporary committee, in which the Senate is proposing two projects that will help students get the resources they need, according to Couch.
One of the projects includes an “advocacy event that will make it easy for students to get involved in legislation while providing aid to students with a priority given to those suffering from basic needs insecurities,” Couch said. “It is set to provide a $100 Walmart gift card and a $50 bookstore gift card.”
The committee is also planning to create a scholarship to help students that are struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic. Students who need basic needs help will be able to receive up to $1,000 and up to $1,500 for those who did not qualify for federal aid.
The Constitutional Amendments Committee is another temporary committee that is focusing on changing and adding rules to the ASB Constitution that can help students during this unprecedented time.
“The constitution lays out many of the constraints on ASB members which affects the quality of service our students receive,” Couch said. “Getting that committee into the constitution ensures there is a voice actively advocating for the resolution of issues faced by our students struggling with basic needs insecurities.”
The next meeting is scheduled for Sept. 11 at 10:30 a.m. on Zoom.