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CSUF student goes to ASI meeting asking student government for help against hate speech

ASI Senate meeting topics range from hate speech, issues of Prospector Pete, a closure of 40 parking spots and new resolutions.

Illustration by Bobby Yagake

Illustration by Bobby Yagake

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Hate Speech

To combat hate speech within California State Universities and protest alt-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos’ roundup of campus visits, a Cal State Fullerton student came to the Associated Students, Inc. Senate meeting to beg senators to “step up” against threatening language.

Liz Sanchez, a second-year graduate sociology student at CSUF, spoke out during public comments on the problems of the Yiannopoulos’ problematic future visit to their campus. They pleaded with ASI to pass a resolution to denounce a hate speech.

“I’m here because I need help,” Sanchez said. “We have been working since summer trying to fight against the extreme right. We have been working so hard to fight against Milo Yiannopoulos and all that he represents.”

Sanchez listed financial problems associated with the visit. Yiannopoulos’ speaker event at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo earlier this year cost the school over $55,000 in security costs and had over 150 officers with snipers. CSUF has over 40,000 students and is estimated to have 300 police officers at the event, according to Sanchez.

“They’re going to use our money to police us, when we don’t have money in the system,” Sanchez said.

La Raza officer Asia Gonzalez said she doesn’t want negative speech at CSUF to happen at Cal State Long Beach. She also mentioned La Raza’s “disappointment” in the reaction to death threats the organization received on Facebook last weekend and looked to ASI for help.

“Administration basically told us that these threats made against us and other communities— people of color, of Jewish faith—is freedom of speech as well.” Gonzalez said.  “These little death threats are freedom of speech. I’m asking ASI to… somehow take a stance on this [and] do something about the rising hate speech.”

Prospector Pete

ASI President Joe Nino’s report touched on discussing the potential change of the Prospector Pete mascot during a meeting with Carmen Taylor, vice president for student affairs. ASI would come up with ways if students preferred the change and optioned a referendum.

Thulani Ngazimbi, a senator-at-large, talked about meeting with indigenous groups on campus to address issues regarding the mascot.

“We had spoken about meeting with the Native American groups and taking an active stance to understanding the role that Prospector Pete played to the people who are natives in this area,” Ngazimbi said. “[We are] trying to come up with ideas from the student perspectives of respectably honoring those traditions and trying to use that to supplement ideas of who we think should be the next candidate for the mascot.”

Parking

The City of Long Beach will close down 40 parking spots along Bellflower boulevard and turn them into a bike lane. These parking spots are typically used by off-campus parkers.

ASI vice president Sofia Musman and senator-at-large Danielle Carancho attended a parking committee meeting where the information was disseminated. The vice president announced the change during the meeting.

One of the reasons for the city implementing the new bike lane is because neighbors are complaining about students taking all the parking spaces along the road. Talks of removing the parking spaces on Palo Verde avenue were also mentioned at the parking meeting.

A bike share program is also being encouraged by the city. Carancho said the program would cost $80 a year and there would be a cheaper deal for students at $20.

“They want to implement this bike share program and to get that running so that can leave parking for people commuting,” Carancho said.

Resolutions

For a first reading, the ASI Senate passed a resolution in support of the Dream Act of 2017, an American legislative proposal that grants undocumented people conditional and permanent residency for those that meet certain qualifications, respectively.

As co-author of the resolution, senator-at-large Hilda Jurado talked about the benefits of the Dream Act in that it is bipartisan and is similar to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

“The Dream Act is almost similar to DACA in it does include a path to citizenship and it does increase the number of years they are protected from deportation,” Jurado said. “The Dream Act … would police that to four years.”

Jurado’s presentation of the resolution showed statistical support for the national legislative proposal. A recent poll showed that 76 percent of Americans were in favor of the Dream Act.

Student government also approved for its first reading a resolution in support of Rise’s California campaign for free college tuition.

Rise is a non-partisan campaign and coalition of students with goals to eliminate college tuition, protect students from debt and invest in public higher education, according to the organization’s website.

Senator of health and human services Courtney Yamagiwa, co-author of the proposal and a member of the organization, said Rise would not ask for funding from student organizations and students-at-large.

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