Student Senate funds student advocacy events

John Ferrannini and John Ferrannini

The Associated Student Body Student Senate meeting this week included allocation of money for a trip to the General Assembly of California Community College student governments in Los Angeles and further discussion of upcoming advocacy events.

It was resolved that six students, one adviser, and one delegate will attend the General Assembly in May at a cost of $6,647.

Any American River College student wishing to attend the General Assembly must have their application in by March 13.

Also discussed was the visit of adviser Tanika Byrd and Senators Laurie Jones and Ross Rayala, the director of legislative affairs, to the state Capitol for Lobby Day on Thursday to discuss student issues with state politicians.

Adviser Byrd expressed during the meeting that she wished more student leaders were participating in Lobby Day.

“We didn’t participate last year so I’m happy that at least we’re participating this year,” Byrd said. “But I’m a little disappointed that we don’t have more students participating especially since that’s what this board is about – advocacy.”

Byrd explained to the board members that this is an event where they “get a chance to actually go down to the capitol, advocate in front of different groups that you guys are interested in, meet with some important people”

Much of the rest of the meeting was devoted to amending the bill that would fund the March in March in order to cut costs.

The March in March is a student advocacy event to be held Monday, March 3 downtown. Students from across the state of California will march from Raley Field to the capitol and then lobby legislators on issues important to students, such as textbook affordability.

Although they won’t vote on the bill until next week, the consensus is that the Student Senate will cut costs by using t-shirts from last year.

On the other hand, it looks like the senators will decide against taking public transit and will spend more than $800 on a bus and two Paratransit busses to take them from the ARC campus to the capitol.

“From an organizational standpoint, we’re going with a big group of people,” Clubs and Events Board President Jeremy Diefenbacher said. “Regional transit has issues of its complete own accord that, as an organization, we would be taking on if we chose to use that as our primary means of transportation, especially for that many people at one time.”

“That money from the student representation fee is for student advocacy and this is one of the biggest events that Student Senate does throw that is open to more members of the public,” Diefenbacher added.

The Student Senate also approved up to $40 to be used to purchase business cards for its members.

And with the approval of $50 for the Lobby Day attendees to enjoy lunch downtown Thursday, the meeting was adjourned.