In an age of COVID and Zoom meetings, many things have become difficult. But as we progress and grow accustomed to this new age, school organizations must also cater to these changes.
American River College’s Associated Student Body is one such organization: Currently, the ASB is failing to provide students with proper access to its meetings.
Multiple barriers exist for access to ASB’s meetings. The Discord link provided on ASB’s page on the ARC website is no longer functioning. Currently, the only way to access ASB’s meetings is through posts on its Instagram account (@asb_arc), which only provides a link that you must manually type out for access.
Recordings of previous meetings are not being uploaded consistently, so if you are unable to attend a meeting, you have no access to the information that was discussed.
These inaccessibility issues not only make it difficult for students in general but also for students who may have disabilities. As our official student body, the ASB team should put more effort into making sure that they are providing everyone with access.
ARC’s ASB is essentially violating the Brown Act, a California law that requires local legislative bodies to provide full access for the public to attend, participate in, and view their meetings. By not providing accessible links, ASB cannot say that they are operating within the grounds of the Brown Act.
The meeting agendas, as well as links that are posted on ASB’s Instagram account, are also not posted within the designated time. They are typically posted one day before the actual meeting date, which is also a violation of the Brown Act.
According to the Brown Act, “An agenda must be posted at least 72 hours before a regular meeting in a location freely accessible to members of the public. It shall state the meeting time and place and must contain a brief general description of each item of business to be transacted or discussed at the meeting, including items to be discussed in closed session.”
Understandably, trying to navigate through Zoom meetings and the online world may be difficult, but ASB prohibiting the public from basic information and access creates an issue of inequity.
Members of ASB need to do a better job at providing the public with accessible links, updated recordings, and timely notices for their meetings. This is their duty as our Associated Student Body.