The ASI Senate discuss the rise in tuition and advocate for more Ally training

The tuition increases, the mood decreases

Outside the Senate chambers, the gloomy, overcast sky encircled campus. Students sitting at the round tables occupied themselves in quiet conversations and silent note-taking.

Inside the chamber walls, the mood was no different. The Associated Students, Inc. Senate was overcast with sullen faces. One senator, with his back hunched and one arm rested on the table, stood over his seat and looked blankly at the beige walls.

The news of the 5 percent tuition increase took the meeting hostage.

ASI Vice President Logan Vournas tried to uplift the senators’ spirits by addressing their efforts.

“This battle wouldn’t have been this close if it wasn’t for your leadership,” Vournas said. “Today we took a loss, but tomorrow we bounce back.”

Senator-at-large Yasmeen Azam said the senators should remain adamant toward their goals.

“There are obstacles [like the tuition increase], but that’s part of the entire concept of resistance,” Azam said. “[Resistance] is a persistent thing, but it grows as momentum builds. Thus, we should keep moving forward and not be discouraged.”

New ally training resolutions

During the meeting, the ASI Senate discussed establishing student ally training for Jews and Muslims in two new resolutions.

Citing recent and local hate crimes, Senators-at-large Yasmin Elasmar and  Azam and College of the Arts senator Sofia Musman contributed to the ally training resolutions.

“Jews are highly targeted by anti-Semitic groups in the United States,” Musman said. “In 2017, there has been an increase in all of the hate crimes in the streets, college campuses and Jewish community centers. There has been about 100 bomb threats targeting the centers, including the one in Long Beach.”

Azam discussed the need for the training due to the negative perceptions of Muslims.

“The purpose of ally training is to create more institutional measures in response to the negative political rhetoric that is surrounds Jewish and Muslim communities,” Azam said. Just in general, Muslim community has been a victim of this rhetoric especially after the presidential campaign.. Hate crimes have increased.

The Senate passed both resolutions for their first reading, If approved, the ally trainings would start next semester.

In addition, the Senate passed the Affordable Feminine Hygiene Act for its final reading. This act aims to bring free menstrual products to all campus restrooms.

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