The Associated Student Body Student Senate meeting last week included the end of discussion on the American River College Republicans club funding request, the introduction of resolutions regarding bullying, benefits for adjunct faculty and criticism of the coverage of Student Senate in The Current.
The board decided to indefinitely postpone Jorge Riley’s bill to give $900 to the College Republicans for their trip to the state Republican convention on the weekend of March 14-16.
The money couldn’t be provided because it wasn’t included in the final Joint Budget Committee budget that was submitted on February 13.
Members of the Student Senate expressed their regrets.
“I love the diversity on this campus and I’m so sorry you guys couldn’t get this money,” Director of Public Relations Daniela Vargas said. “Fierce has the money going to them, you should have the money to you guys. I think it would have been amazing for them to meet Condoleezza Rice, that would be pretty awesome. This is more a manner of timeliness, not ‘we don’t love the Republican club.’”
Student Senate President Kenneth Hinton agreed that the reason for the board’s refusal to fund the College Republicans was a matter of punctuality, not bias.
“I’m going to respond as the president and I want everyone in this room to hear me out,” Hinton said. “I got this piece of legislation from the Director of Finance (Jorge Riley) sent to me via email February 5, six days before the final budget was to be submitted and signed. Okay?”
Sen. Sam Elliot took a more nuanced approach to the situation.
“I agree with the Director of Finance Riley that regardless of there not being funds for this bill, this bill was met with much more negativity than other bills,” he said. “Besides that, it’s not true that the other clubs did not present budgets and plans.”
“We haven’t passed a bill for the banquet, but that is in the budget,” he added, rhetorically asking President Hinton “you do know how that looks, right?”
Board members introduced resolutions that will be debated at a later date, including resolutions in support of lifelong learning, the Incentivization of Student Advocacy Act reauthorization, increased benefits for adjunct faculty, a bully free campus, and bully free workplaces.
Current and former members of the Student Senate were critical of The Current’s coverage of the March in March in its most recent issue.
“There are multiple articles in (The Current) and a lot of them are directly targeting President Hinton,” former Student Senate President Quierra Robey said during the public comment section of the meeting.
“There’s a cartoon piece that kind of makes fun of him. There’s also a piece where he’s looking at his cell phone. If I received those articles as president, I would be pretty torn up about it. A lot of you should really have his back. Remember that he is a student and he is a person and I don’t think we should bully one another,” she added.
Director of Activities Luciana Curtis echoed this sentiment.
“March in March is supposed to be about our community, which is what our past president left us, this legacy, this beautiful building, all these wonderful things,” Curtis said. “To come to an end like this in the paper is very, very disheartening and I feel for you – President Hinton – because it’s exactly opposite of what’s happening behind the scenes.”