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Only six seated senators show up for Halloween Senate meeting, with five arriving on time

Senate discusses UCPath payment issues for employees at CoHo — some students have not been paid since September

Only Senators Maya Barak, Sean Kumar, Shondreya Landrum, Karolina Rodriguez and Tony Chen were present and on time for the Oct. 31 Senate meeting. Senator Sahiba Kaur arrived late. Without two additional senators present, the senate did not reach a quorum. The meeting was called to order at 6:20 p.m. — based on a consultation of the Bylaws and Constitution, it was decided that the meeting would continue without a quorum.

Senators Anna Estrada and Andre Spignolio were absent. Senator Victoria Choi arrived an hour late to the meeting. Two chairpersons were also absent.

The meeting began with the confirmations of interim senators. Lylah Schmedel, a third-year transfer student and anthropology major, was confirmed as interim senator for both Fall and Winter Quarter. Schmedel addressed mental health among transfer students and safety on campus in terms of lack of lighting as issues that she has noticed during her time at UC Davis.

Violeta Ruiz, a first-year political science major, was sworn in to serve as interim senator for the remainder of Fall Quarter. Ruiz is interested in expanding advocacy efforts for the undocumented student community during her brief time as a senator. 

During elected officer reports, Rodriguez conveyed grievances brought up to her by students. Many students expressed their frustration regarding payroll problems associated with the transition to UCPath. Rodriguez said that she and other CoHo student employees have not been paid since September.

“I have rent due tomorrow and I haven’t gotten paid,” Rodriguez said. “It’s not okay, just because it’s a shift to a new system. Students still need to get paid.”

BreAnda Northcutt, a member of the UCPath communications team, weighed in on issues involving the UC-wide transition to a new payroll system.

“Bottomline, we have a process to get student employees paid within 24 hours or less if they are due pay,” Northcutt said. “If they’re not getting paid, then they should contact their supervisor immediately. The UCPath team has done so much to plan and prepare for potential problems and we need students to take advantage of those help options by letting us know so we can help.” 

Students can take advantage of resources located in Dutton Hall, where there are services prepared to cut students emergency checks in the event they are not paid. 

At the time of this article’s publication, there have been 59 student employees who have reported issues with payroll services, but many other cases have likely gone unreported.

“There are a lot of folks working around the clock, over weekends, with the sincere intention of helping our student workers get paid,” Northcutt said.

The week following this Senate meeting, on Nov. 7, students gathered outside of the CoHo to protest pay delays and system errors with the transition to UCPath. Students who gathered chanted “UCPath, pay your staff” and “UCPath can’t do math.” At this time, student protestors brought up the fact that while there are emergency checks being written, they should not have to rely on figuring out how to access emergency checks to get paid.

The Senate then confirmed Novejot Bal, a second-year economics and political science double major, as Student Advocate. The position was created through a Constitutional amendment last year, but this is the first time a student has been interested in the position. 

The Student Advocate position was created to be an advocate for the student body and a point of reference between students and different resources on campus. 

Bal hopes to shape the position for future students in the role. The position has been modeled after other UC campuses’ student advocates, which have boosted student turnout for student government elections.

Six students were confirmed to the Academic Senate. The Senate did one overall confirmation for all students without objections.

The Senate then moved into consideration of old legislation. The table saw five pieces of legislation: SB #10, CA #61, SB #8, SR #1 and SB #5. 

SB #10, authored by Internal Affairs Commission Chair Ashley Lo, would create a one-time Elections Committee made up of ex-officio members. Due to a number of circumstances, there is no official Elections Committee or Elections Committee Chair for this election cycle. 

Vice President Shreya Deshpande removed their own voting power from the committee after pushback they received due to the possibility of their own bias. They would remain on the committee because of their logistical knowledge of elections proceedings and workshop formats. 

Landrum commented on the executive team’s work behind the scenes trying to fill the position of Elections Committee Chair and specifically commended Deshpande’s efforts.

“This is not their jobs,” Landrum said. “They have taken steps to diligently rectify this and as you can see there’s a bill in front of you now.”

The bill passed without objections, just in time for the closing of student petitions and the candidate workshop on Nov. 1.

Written by: Ally Russell — campus@theaggie.org

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article used incorrect pronouns for Shreya Deshpande. The article has been corrected to use their correct pronouns. The Aggie apologizes for this error.



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