The Associated Students, Inc. Board of Directors passed a resolution supporting assistance for college students who have been unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in a Zoom meeting on Wednesday.
The resolution to advocate for employee health and safety protections says students who refused to work in unsafe work conditions due to COVID-19 should still be eligible for unemployment insurance, according to ASI President Noah Marty.
Marty, who presented the resolution, said he wants to have protections provided to working college students, who are often working service jobs, which puts them in constant contact with the community.
“A lot of our college students, because of our limited career experience in many circumstances, work jobs that are in the front line,” Marty said.
College students are often the first ones called back into the job due to the closings and reopenings of businesses, according to Marty.
Marty said there are times where some of these workplaces that come back into business are not in compliance with health and safety protocols in place.
“Some students are generally put in a position where they are having to choose between returning to work and getting a paycheck and putting their health and safety at risk,” Marty said. “So we want to make sure this is protected.”
The board also passed a resolution in support of Assembly Bill 245, which was introduced to the California State Legislature on Jan. 13 and would allow students and alumni of public colleges in California to change their name and gender on their diploma and academic records to reflect their current identity.
“They would be able to have whatever name they identify with and whatever gender they identify with,” Marty said.
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Similar legislation was in the works last year, but the resolution was dropped due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the legislature’s shifting priorities, according to Marty.
The board also approved an operating rule change to the eligibility requirements for ASI’s United States Armed Forces Scholarship.
Presented by Vice President of Finance Prabhjyot Shinh, the operating rule change will add the words “and student veterans” to include students that have served in the past as well as those in active service in the scholarship’s eligibility requirements. This legislation was passed because there were no applications for this scholarship last semester, causing the funds to be reallocated.
“We are hoping that more students will apply for the scholarship by knowing that both the people currently in the armed forces as well as those that are student veterans can apply for the scholarship,” Shinh said.