Current Editorial: Can the ASB and its acting president get their act together?

In politics, rookies get eaten alive. It doesn’t help when the tumultuous waters in which the Associated Student Body Student Senate swim are full of obstacles that lie just below the surface.

The fact that elected president Tyrone Robinson jumped ship at the beginning of the semester didn’t help with the start of things. Add to that a lack of official bylaws and an order of succession that puts the director of finance in charge, and one starts to see what could be the ASB equivalent of a maelstrom brewing.

For those of you wondering, all this makes Jorge Riley acting president, and quite a few people have been out spoken about their displeasure with that appointment during public comment at the ASB senate meetings. Students and faculty may remember the protests around campus last spring surrounding the ASB elections, some of which focused on Riley.

With Riley now at the helm of the Student Senate, members of fierce, the campus LGBTQA Club, as well as former Senate president Quierra Roby and other students, have concerns that Riley will not represent the will of ARC students. The solution they propose is a special election, and Riley agrees.

But as with anything in politics it isn’t as simple as that. Remember those bylaws that were never passed? Well, they are the only thing that would allow for a special election.

The California Education Code requires students at community colleges to have a voice. The Current provides one of those voices, but the ASB provides the voice and representation. On a campus of over 30,000 students (with a voter turn out at the last election of only 950) the job of the ASB is often overlooked, but they make decisions that can impact everything from campus culture to extra costs or savings for students.

Without proper representation, that student voice will be sadly lacking. If the ASB cannot get on course and figure out a solution, the students of ARC will be the ones affected.  The bickering and complaints about Jorge Riley are only making the process of figuring out the next step that much slower.

It’s time for the ASB Student Senate to buckle down, pay off their debts, clean house and get to the business of representing students. It’s time to figure out a way to get the special elections underway so they can move on to the work they were voted in to do.

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1 Comment on "Current Editorial: Can the ASB and its acting president get their act together?"

  1. First of all I would like to thank those who have stood with me during these hard times. I know that not everyone knows the trials I have been put through since this has happened but now that I am catching up on all the work that was thrown at me in this unreasonable course of events I will address these issues.

    I ran last Spring to be the Director of Finance, a seemingly simple task for someone with my education and experience. I had two months before the end of the school year to ask for any policy I needed to review and any forms that I needed to do my job. During the summer President elect Tyrone Robinson failed to show up to a meeting we had that would close down issues about the unpaid bill for VoteNet (the required online voting system we use to have elections). During this meeting the incoming president failed to appear in which time I had expressed my unhappiness that this had happened.

    When Tyrone Robinson resigned I was not only not notified but left off the email. I imagine he did this prior to the meeting and no body bothered to tell me. I wasn’t told until 2 days before I was supposed to perform my duties by the Current’s Editor in Chief. All at once I had an unreasonable task thrown at me and was in a horrible position of cleaning up the prior administrations inability to pass a set of bylaws in a year. I was told I had to generate several lists of appointments, and that JBC was a newly created entity to deal with the money for our ASB but it needed new bylaws created as well.

    The Constitution, I had no part in writing this but I know that while I was reviewing the framework of the law I was to work within I found a place for special elections that was unreasonably in conflict. The Constitution clearly states:

    “ARTICLE XV SEC 2 PG 25:
    Special elections may be called as necessary. Special elections may be held only for
    (a) changes in the constitution; (b) the creation of a new elective office in the Associated Student Body; or (c) after an election, all elective offices of the Student Senate or Clubs and Events Board remain vacant.”

    This does not provide for the resignation of a Student Body President or any of the three required elected positions in the ASB:

    President, Vice-President, Director of Finance

    The problem of course has been worked out and I am pleased to announce that bylaws are in place with some needed changes but we have been able to start doing business and I have formed a committee for bylaw review to fix the many problems in the bylaws.

    HOW DO YOU CHANGE THE CONSTITUTION TO FIX THE PROBLEM?
    ARTICLE XVI AMENDMENTS Pg 26

    SECTION 1
    This Constitution may be amended by concurrent resolutions passed by two thirds (2/3) of the members of the Senate and two thirds (2/3) of the members of the Clubs and Events Board and ratified by the students in a generally scheduled election.

    SECTION 2
    Any amendment requires the ratification of 2/3 of the students voting in a generally scheduled election in which 10% of the headcount enrollment of the college votes on the amendment ratification issue.

    This means that while we have provided for a special election that if we put the constitutional amendment on the ballot and candidates for election which include:

    Student Senate:
    President
    Vice-President
    8 Senators

    CAEB
    Vice-President
    Commissioner of Finance

    And if the Constitution is not ratified by the 10% headcount of enrolled students in the American River College headcount which is about 3,650 students then not only will it void the election but then this problem could reoccur until it is fixed.

    Good news:
    Aside from all the problems I have kept my promise and have brought Summer Bus Passes back to the table for review of the Los Rios District and will be forming a committee to work on solving this problem. Also I would like to inform the students that Lobby day will be the 1st Tuesday of February (the 4th) 2014. I need to have statewide issues that students face for proposal to the district for legal ratification of the state law by November 13, 2013. Please send any suggestions to:
    [email protected]
    also packets for special election are now available.

    Thank you,
    Jorge Riley
    (Acting) Student Body President

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