ASI approves campus climate resolution

With no dissent, the Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) Board of Directors unanimously approved a campus climate senate resolution on April 10 as the board once again met virtually through Zoom. 

The “Resolution in Opposition to Racial Profiling and Harassment on the Campus of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona” was drafted by Senator-at-Large Micah Parker and ASI Attorney General Manshaan Singh after discussing possible solutions to recent racial profiling incidents with African American student organizations on campus. 

Singh, a third-year environmental biology student, explained the structure of the resolution, saying, “We split it up into what ASI can do and what we want the university to do.”

ASI Senate meetings (pictured on March 3) now take place virtually through Zoom every Thursday.
(Joanne Guintu | The Poly Post)

According to the resolution, the actions to be taken within ASI include creating a form where individuals may report discriminatory incidents that occur within ASI’s facilities, such as the Bronco Recreational Intramural Complex and the Bronco Student Center, or incidents which involve ASI staff and employees.  

These reported incidents are then to be reviewed by the ASI executive director and the ASI officer of diversity and inclusion.  

Additionally, ASI is required to conduct a review of its policies and operations to “rectify for any possible discriminatory practices.” 

As for the university, the resolution demands that the administration create a database to gather the reports of all incidents from a variety of offices and departments throughout the university. A monthly summary of this database is also to be distributed throughout the campus, with the goal of bringing higher awareness of these incidents to the campus community.  

Finally, the resolution advocates for reforming the existing Inclusive Excellence Council. It calls for creating a subcommittee under the council with the goal of reviewing the harassment reporting process. The subcommittee’s membership is mandated to include one leader and one other student from each of the campus’ six cultural centers and from the Bronco Dreamer’s Resource Center. The resolution also calls on the larger council’s general body membership to increase its proportion of student membership.  

The approval of this resolution came only a day prior to the university sending a campuswide email, seeking input on the finalists for the position of presidential associate for diversity, inclusion and campus climate.  

The two finalists for this administrative position are Nicole Butts, who is currently serving the position in an interim capacity and who formed the Inclusive Excellence Council, and Terrance Mayes, who currently serves as the inaugural associate vice chancellor for equity, diversity, and inclusion at the University of California, Irvine. Whoever ends up being appointed is sure to play a large role in leading the university’s response to campus climate incidents and will have to decide to what degree he or she fulfills the demands set out by this ASI resolution. 

In the meeting, the board also listened to the last of the preliminary presentations, which provided an overview of next year’s ASI budget. 

Having already presented both the ASI and the Facilities and Operation portions of the budget, Director of Financial Services Carol Lee provided a proposal for the funds to be allocated in the ASI reserves.  

The ASI Reserves Policy mandates the minimum amount of funds required and the purpose of each of the reserve accounts. Year-end projections of the 2019-2020 budget show a total of $3.5 million in the reserve accounts and all of the accounts meeting their required minimum allocation.  

With the revisions to the Student Opportunities Initiative approved by the student body last month, the proposed budget for the next academic year includes an increase of $200,000 for the Facilities & Equipment Replacement Reserve, an increase of more than $102,000 for the Special Project & Program Reserve and $100,000 for the Green Initiative Fund. This amounts to a total recommended increase of about $402,000 for the upcoming budget. 

Lee also touched on the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic could have on next year’s budget. 

She explained that the current projected budget was created under the assumption that there would be a growth in enrollment next academic year. 

However, Lee said, “If we do see a decline in enrollment, the expenses will have to be adjusted accordingly.”

ASI Vice President Rachel Hunter, a fourth-year political science student, informed the board that the next board meeting will include time for any questions and possible adjustments to the budget. 

However, Hunter also stated that if the board has no questions or changes, then approval of the budget may occur as soon as this Thursday. 

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