Recent California State University issues brought about 30 students to the Associated Students Senate meeting on Tuesday to show support for the Dream Act and to address CSU Student Trustee Jennifer Reimer.
With her recent support of the CSU executive pay increases and rumors of another 10 percent tuition hike during the fall 2008 semester, Reimer had plenty of questions to answer.
Reimer began with a presentation about the CSU Student Trustee position and mentioned that there was an open position on the Board of Trustees for any senators interested in the position. She said she was the voice of students and looked out for their best interests.
“We need qualified people and competent people in these roles,” Reimer said about her vote to approve the pay increase.
Also mentioned by Reimer was the 46 percent pay difference among similar institutions that has been continuously used to justify approval of the pay raises by the CSU Board of Trustees.
Sen. Samer Habib asked whether or not the Chancellor and CSU presidents threatened to leave their positions if the salary increase wasn’t approved. Reimer answered that “we need to pay them” because the executives were of retirement age.
Sen. Vianney Moran questioned what Reimer thought her role and responsibility was to students.
Reimer said her role was “to look out for the system and students. My role is to be the guardian.”
“I represent the students by collecting data and talking to people,” the 24-year-old Fresno MBA student said. “I talk to people and make a decision for what’s best for the students and CSU.”
Sen. Gershon Feit questioned Reimer’s position on the rumored tuition increase after Reimer said if she had to vote “today,” she’d not vote in favor of the increase.
“Your stance is not firm enough to not raise,” Feit said. “We’re trying to raise it zero percent.”
California State Student Association President and A.S. Sen. Dina Cervantes said, “We didn’t feel they don’t deserve more money. It was just bad timing.”
In closing, A.S. President Adam Haverstock told Reimer she continually said she had the best interest of the students and said, “I hope your actions in the future further represent students.”
Later, in University Advisor Tom Piernik’s report, he commended the senate for an impressive discussion. He also noted that the CSSA is very important and the best way to know the voice of the students.
“The student trustee often fails to carry the voice of the students,” Piernik said.
CSUN will host the CSSA Conference in November.
A group of about 10 students waited outside for Reimer when she left the meeting, but she said she was busy and didn’t have time to talk to them.
CSUN Chicana/o Studies Marcos Zamora, who waited to speak to Reimer outside, said, “She loves traveling and addressing student issues that she gets paid for.”
Reimer receives a $100 a day stipend for when she is attending Board of Trustee and CSSA meetings.
Zamora was one of several students who spoke to the Senate during open forum to commend Cervantes and Haverstock for traveling to Sacramento on Monday to support the California Dream Act.
“You’re either for the students or against the students,” Zamora said.
Cervantes said in her report that the California Dream Act is “not an immigration issue,” but “a student issue.” Senators and people in the gallery were asked by Cervantes to “educate yourself before you form an opinion.”
Students at the rally filled the governor’s voice mails at all of his offices in support of the bill, Cervantes said.
No Bull, the A.S.-proposed magazine was removed from the agenda. The magazine was to be discussed before it could be allocated any funding.
“We did not feel we went over the business plan accurately enough to report to the senate,” said Sen. Nicole Umali, chair of internal affairs committee.
Discussion for approval of the A.S. magazine will be included in the agenda for next week’s meeting.
The Senate also approved a new mission statement and said they hope to educate the students of the importance of the statement.
“The Associated Students is the primary advocate for students at California State University, Northridge and provides excellent, meaningful programs and services designed to create and enhance, learning-focused campus environment,” the mission statement indicates.
The amended S.P.A.C.E. code was also approved. Changes will rearrange and add responsibilities and titles.
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