ASI expedites approval for COVID-19 paid leave

The Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) Board of Directors elected to suspend usual procedure and unanimously approve a recommendation from ASI Human Resources to provide administrative leave to full-time and part-time ASI employees affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Originally scheduled only as a discussion item, College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences Senator Alexis Ruiz motioned to suspend the normal procedure, which would have mandated waiting until the next board meeting to vote on the proposal, to instead vote on the item within the same meeting. With no dissent from the board, this recommendation was unanimously approved. 

Director of Human Resources Daniesha Lawrence explained that this time off policy was mirrored after the California State University’s (CSU) recent provisions that provided employees with up to 128 hours of leave until the end of the year but did not include “auxiliaries” such as ASI. 

ASI’s policy similarly provides 128 hours of leave for full-time employees as well as 64 hours for part-time student assistants. However, according to the document, these hours are only available for use up until June 30. 

Similar to the CSU provisions, ASI employees may use these hours if they themselves have COVID-19 related illnesses, if they are caring for a family member with illnesses, if they are instructed not to come to the workplace and are unable to work remotely, or if, due to school or daycare closure, they must care for a dependent or child and are unable to work remotely. 

Lawrence confirmed that these hours will “not affect any employees who are already on leave” and that those who use the hours will be paid at their usual hourly rate. 

With this approval, the hours of paid leave may be used by ASI employees beginning April 6. 

During the board meeting, there was also discussion on a senate resolution recommended by the Rules and Policies Committee on campus climate.

The Resolution in Opposition to Racial Profiling and Harassment on the Campus of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona sets out several objectives within ASI’s purview but also requests action from the university administration.

Within ASI, the resolution calls for creating a form on the ASI website to “report campus climate issues, either anonymously or identifiably” for incidents that occur in the Bronco Student Center and the Bronco Recreational Intramural Complex, as well as committing to a review of ASI’s operations to “to rectify for any possible discriminatory practices within ASI departments.”

The resolution also calls for the university to establish a database of all reports from several organizations and offices in the university, to create a “student-majority subcommittee under the Inclusive Excellence Council to review processes for reporting harassment” whose membership must meet guidelines of at least one “Social Justice Leader” from each of the six cultural centers, one “Immigrant Justice Leader” from the Bronco Dreamer’s Resource Center (BDRC) as well as one additional student from the cultural centers and the BDRC, and to increase the proportion of student membership within the larger Inclusive Excellence Council.

“The reasoning behind this was after the series of racial profiling incidents that happened, we had a period within a six-month period in which four different black students had the police called on them for simply being students on campus,” said Micah Parker, fourth-year political science student, who also serves as the senator-at-large for the Student Interest Council, as well as the vice president of the Black Student Union.

ASI Vice President Rachel Hunter, a fourth-year political science student, encouraged the board members to carefully consider the resolution. 

“Any resolution we pass is a representation of our collective voices and the voices of our 28,000 students, so this is a pretty big deal to pass a resolution,” Hunter said.

The board is scheduled to vote on the adoption of this resolution during the next board meeting. 

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