I am the current President of the American River College Club and Events Board, and have been one of the TWO student body presidents since my appointment to the position last July. A common misconception on campus is that the Student Senate President and the Student Body president are the same, but they are not. At our campus, we have sister boards, each carrying EQUAL weight in student representation. For this reason, I not only chair the Club and Events Board, but also sit on the Student Senate. CAEB and I have worked the entire year to unify student organizations and get them the funding needed for events, while also giving them a platform to represent themselves at our monthly Club Day events. I would now like share some of my challenges with you with you.
Last fall, the elected President of Senate resigned, leaving the seat vacant. As stated in the bylaws of the organization, the interim presidential seat went to the elected Director of Finance, Jorge Riley. Riley then refused to delegate the role of Director of Finance to another member of Senate, claiming that he himself was going to hold both positions. Because of this, the Joint Budget Committee was not able to meet during the majority of the fall semester, despite complete preparation from the Clubs and Events Board. All of the paperwork for student funding requires signatures from both the President AND the Director of Finance, therefore by withholding the appointment of Director of Finance, the Student Senate was unable to make financial decisions for the majority of the Fall term.
After failing to run in the Special Elections, Riley returned to the role of Director of Finance, but began to question the decisions of the previous semester’s Student Senate as if he himself was not a part of it. He is continually calling the senate discriminatory, uneducated, and has likened the year’s allocations to a “squandering of funds”. This separation is self-inflicted, and is but one of many was Riley has been manipulating the entire system of student government for self-publicity.
As Director of Finance, it is Riley’s duty to have a working knowledge of the funds available in the various accounts that Student Senate has access to. After the final budget was presented in February, he was completely aware that the accounts were frozen, and all allocation projections were complete for the year. Despite this, he drafted a Bill requesting $900 for the Republican Club from an account that could not support such funding. As Director of Finance, he knew this, yet presented the Bill time and time again insisting that the Board vote on it. After WEEKS of discussion, he attempted to retract the bill after declaring that it was only brought up to show how the board’s resistance to him. The bill was voted down, and he then chose to pay for the trip out of pocket. Through the entire exchange, he did not once request funds from the Clubs and Events Board, which is sad because there is still funding allocated for student organizations such as the Republican Club, should they go through the appropriate channels.
Last week, Riley presented a Resolution that Senate support an extension for an application deadline that they themselves did not set. After the discussion on the theoretical extinction dominated the entire meeting, it was agreed that Riley himself would help to draft the application, yet it was never submitted.
This week I received an email from Jorge requesting a $10,000 audit of the Associated Student Body. He is claiming that there is paperwork missing from last semester. Because he held both the seat of Interim President and Director of Finance, the missing paperwork in question is paperwork that he himself did not draft.
I sit on the Senate on behalf of my entire board, and these resolutions are clearly being brought forward for the sake of martyrdom and self-publicity. I look forward to continuing my work with the Associate Student body, and hope that in the future the Current will pay attention to the entirety of the situation. In an age of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, the media should be more translucent and accurate than ever because it is not difficult to check the credibility of ones sources. One would hope that credibility is one of the things that the media would strive for, if not in the business world that at least in the academic one.
# SpinThat! O.o
President, Associated Student Body Clubs and Events Board