The Associated Students of the University of Arizona, the university’s undergraduate student governing body, met on Wednesday, Nov. 3 to discuss allocating $5,000 to the Student Union Memorial Center to provide free meals to students on Thanksgiving.
The meeting was called to order at 7:03 p.m. and adjourned at 8:14 p.m. The senate gathered in the Madera Room of the Student Union Memorial Center and over Zoom.
According to ASUA’s post-meeting minutes, two senators were marked absent during roll call:
Jack Haskins, senator for the College of Fine Arts and Giselle Lugo, an at-large senator.
Free Thanksgiving Meals
The senate passed an initiative to allocate $5,000 from their budget to the student union to help fund free grab-and-go meals on Thanksgiving to any UA student.
Ex-Officio Dean Sylvester Gaskin brought the allocation to the attention of the senate on behalf of the student union. He said that the money will go directly to providing food for students who register for a Thanksgiving meal. This meal will serve students who are food insecure or students who cannot go home for the holiday.
“I don’t think this should be a question,” said Jordan-Isaiah Toyos, an at-large senator. “What we’re serving is the students … I think it’s such a valuable thing.”
The total anticipated cost of the project will be around $13,000, and the rest of the money comes from various donors such as the Executive Office of the President, the Alumni Association and the Graduate and Professional Student Council among other donors.
The senate passed this allocation unanimously.
“Last year 1,100 undergraduate students and 400 graduate students used this on Thanksgiving,” Gaskin said. It is predicted more students will use it this year.
New Senators Sworn In
Four new senators were sworn into office at the meeting: Abby Hauser from the College of Humanities, Anne Zlatow, a graduate student in the College of Veterinary Medicine, Ziana Collins from the College of Pharmacy and Edda Anderson from the College of Public Health.
The first responsibility of these senators, as encouraged by Executive Vice President Ally Devereux, is to reach out to the respective deans of their colleges to discuss next steps for the schools and establish a line of communication between the colleges and ASUA.
“You begin to form this relationship with them, so if things do come up, you want to be in direct contact with them,” Devereux said.
The new members were also encouraged to join one of ASUA’s committees, which include elections and policy, internal affairs and accountability, budget oversight and projects and outreach.
According to Devereux, ASUA hopes to gain even more senators from various colleges like College of Medicine, College of Optical Sciences, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and a few small technology based colleges that have been previously underrepresented.
Noah Vega, ASUA student body president, met with Troy Vaughn, director of Campus Recreation, to discuss the number of disposable masks being used each month on campus.
Around 23,000 disposable masks are distributed on campus each month. Vega and Vaughn want to figure out a way to make this more sustainable. Vega said a potential option is to work with TerraCycle to start recycling the masks with them.
TerraCycle is a company that offers free recycling programs for items that are typically difficult to recycle.
Follow Jane Florance and Sam Parker on Twitter