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.