During the Associated Students of California Lutheran University Government’s first Senate meeting of the 2020-2021 school year, held on Zoom Monday Sept. 21, senators prioritized assessing the current budget and determining how to safely deliver student programming.
“The Senate budget is much higher than we were expecting, so we will be able to allocate a lot of the club [budget] requests now,” Noah Camcam, ASCLU Finance Director said.
Camcam said the current budget is $95,249 for Senate projects and events and $200,008 for clubs and organizations.
Despite the “higher” budget, senators only allocated $3,175 of the $7,037 Circle K, a service program of Kiwanis International, requested.
In an email interview, Ariana Gamble, ASCLU Sophomore Senator said Senate can’t always give clubs the money they request because they have to be mindful of other clubs and circumstances—such as the pandemic—that may affect clubs’ ability to use their budget.
“I always want to be able to give clubs all that they ask for but the reduction of the Circle K club’s felt right for now because it’s really hard to predict what’s coming next with this pandemic, so planning for spring semester financially is really tough to do at the moment,” said Gamble.
Senators moved to approve three new clubs, African Student Association, Digital Cinema Guild and Every Nation. They tabled the approval and allocation of Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) Fashion Club until the next allocation meeting. A club representative was not present and senators said they wanted more clarification on the club’s requests.
Alyssa Frausto, ASCLU Programs Board Director, announced multiple upcoming events, starting Sept. 25. The upcoming raffle, is simple to enter, Frausto said. Students can post a “CLU Pride” picture, dressed in Cal Lutheran gear and tag ASCLUG’s Instagram page to enter for a chance to win prizes.
Frausto said Programs Board has another event, “Pumpkin Patch and Post” slated for Oct. 23. This event, in collaboration with he Executive Alumni Board and Student Life will allow students to visit a pop-up Cal Lutheran pumpkin patch, decorate the pumpkin at home and post it on social media for a chance to win prizes.
During announcements, Melinda Roper, vice president of Student Affairs and dean of students said Cal Lutheran has received national recognition for its three outdoor classrooms, which are currently being used by nine or 10 classes. She also highlighted that Student Life is planning some in-person events as county and state guidelines permit.
“We’re really starting to look towards what we can do to have a more vibrant campus life, to give you the experience you want and deserve,” Roper said. She added that they are also in the process of opening up an outdoor fitness center in addition to the Samuelson Aquatics Center, which has already been offering open swim hours.
Overall, the senators were happy to be virtually reunited, Karyme Lara Chagoya, ASCLU Senior Senator said in a phone interview.
“Since my freshman year, I’ve seen the board become more diverse, so I’m really excited for that. I really love the diversity. This is also the first year since I’ve been a freshman that it’s a full board. That means we have a representative for each grade and all spots filled, so I’m excited to see that,” Lara Chagoya said.
Lara Chagoya also said she hopes ASCLU Senate works to make the Zoom meetings equally transparent and accessible, as they were when meeting in person.
“Open comments. I don’t know if we are still doing that but if we could, that would be awesome. A lot of students might have ideas right now that we are going through a pandemic of what we can do to have more social, virtual, or in-person events,” Lara Chagoya said.
She said the Zoom link for Senate meetings should be available for all students. “This way students know they have a Zoom link where they can make any suggestions or talk about what they want to see change for,” Lara Chagoya said.
David Bryant, ASCLUG Junior Senator, said in a phone interview that being reunited brings him comfort.
“I just liked getting back into the swing of things. I really enjoyed meeting all the new faces and getting the year started,” Bryant said.